Award-Worthy Fiction from Aaron Gwyn, Sadie Jones, Simon Sebag Montefiore, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 1,

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Davenport, Randi. The End of Always. Twelve. May 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781455573073. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455573066. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455552108. Downloadable: Hachette. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association Prize for Creative Non-fiction, Davenport drew on her family history to write this first novel about a young woman’s desire to escape a legacy of […]

Seven Best-Selling Commercial Authors from Bradford to ebook Wonder Van Dyken | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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Bradford, Barbara Taylor. Cavendon Hall. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781250032355. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250032331. CD: Macmillan Audio. POP FICTION/HISTORICAL Perk up, Downton fans: the mega-best-selling Bradford, OBE, sets her next work in Edwardian England, at the home of the aristocratic Inghams. The family of Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mowbray, includes two […]

Emma Donoghue, Michelle Huneven, Ward Just, Peter Matthiessen, Lawrence Osborne | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 1

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Donoghue, Emma. Frog Music. Little, Brown. Apr. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780316324687. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316324663. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORICAL/CRIME Donoghue caught everyone’s attention with Room, a visceral stunner that has sold more than 1.5 million copies and was a 2010 Man Booker Prize finalist. Her follow-up short story collection, Astray, a personal favorite, demonstrated her […]

Carla Buckley, Sophie Hannah, Mai Jia, B.J. Novak, & More | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Adrian, Lara. Crave the Night: A Midnight Breed Novel. Delacorte. Feb. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345532633. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780345532640. Downloadable: Random Audio. PARANORMAL ROMANCE Edge of Dawn, latest in a hugely popular series that broke into hardcover last year, pushed up Adrian’s Midnight Breed story by 20 years. Continuing in that time frame, this volume […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Chiavareni, Cornwell, Johnson, Jungersen, & Sansom, plus Poetry of Witness

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Chiaverini, Jennifer. Mrs. Lincoln’s Rival. Dutton. Jan. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780525954286. $26.95. HISTORICAL Having demonstrated her talent for revivifying real-life women from the Civil War era with Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker and The Spymistress, Chiaverini introduces us to Kate Chase Sprague, who helped her much-widowed father get established as secretary of the Treasury in Abraham Lincoln’s […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Fiction from Albom, Baldacci, Banks, Child/Preston, Griffith, Hammett, Lynch, Miles, & Smith

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Albom, Mitch. The First Phone Call from Heaven. Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780062294371. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062294395. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Phones are ringing off the hook in little Coldwater, MI, but the callers are all deceased, stirring emotions from joyous relief to uncertain fear as they report being happy in […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Sebastian Faulks, Fannie Flagg, Richard Kadrey, Wally Lamb, Diane Setterfield, Anita Shreve, Robert Stone

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Faulks, Sebastian. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781250047595. $24.99. POP FICTION What a combination! Faulks, author of absorbingly well-rendered best sellers like Charlotte Gray, as well as the James Bond sequel Devil May Care, here takes on one of his favorite authors with the permission of the estate. Yes, […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Fiction from Daniel Alarcón, James Franco, Kathleen Kent, David Leavitt, & Valerie Plame

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Alarcón, Daniel. At Night We Walk in Circles. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Oct. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781594631719. $27.95. LITERARY A PEN/Hemingway finalist and one of The New Yorker’s 20 under 40, Alarcón is being primed for a breakout with this second novel. At age eight, as his country descends into civil war, Nelson hears a […]

Fiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Top Commercial Fiction, Including Christmas Stories from Andrews, Macomber, & Thayer

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Andrews, Mary Kay. Christmas Bliss. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9781250019721. $16.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019738. CD: Macmillan Audio. CHRISTMAS FICTION New York Times best-selling author Andrews draws characters from her three popular Savannah novels—Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, and Blue Christmas—to craft a blissful Christmas novella. As the holidays loom, so does antiques dealer Weezie […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup; from Terry McMillan to Debut Novelists Allen, Crawford, Daly, & More

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Allen, Lisa Van. The Wishing Thread. Ballantine. Sept. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345538550. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345537829. WOMEN’S FICTION Owners of the Stitchery Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, NY, the Van Ripper women can reputedly grant wishes by stitching them into their knitted goods. But the Stitchery’s matriarch has just died, leaving a will that could […]

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