Mendelsohn’s Odyssey, Ward/Burns on Vietnam, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2017

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Blum, Ben. Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime. Doubleday. Sept. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780385538435. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385538442. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR Why would an upright young man, determined to become a U.S. Army Ranger, join with two fellow soldiers and two strangers the day before his deployment to Iraq […]

Greenblatt, Korda, Sattouf, Taubman, Tur | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2017

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Greenblatt, Stephen. The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve. Norton. Sept. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780393240801. $27.95. ebk. ISBN 9780393634587. HISTORY If anyone can reanimate the famous story of Adam and Eve, it’s Pulitzer Prize winner Greenblatt, whose eloquence and erudition vivified Renaissance Italy in The Swerve and had us strutting the Elizabethan stage in […]

Biography, Freud, & Flood | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Aug. 2017

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Atlas, James. The Shadow in the Garden: A Biographer’s Tale. Pantheon. Aug. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781101871690. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871706. Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR/LITERARY Atlas is a publishing-world fixture, having founded Atlas Books and the “Lipper/Viking Penguin Lives” series and been a staff writer, contributor, or editor for publications from Time to the New York […]

War, the UN, & Wrongful Conviction | Social Science Previews, Aug. 2017

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Brennan, Thomas J. USMC (Ret.) & Finbarr O’Reilly. Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War. Viking. Aug. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780399562549. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399562563. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR/MILITARY Though the cause may be different, war correspondents suffer posttraumatic stress disorder at about the same rate as combat […]

Science, Knausgaard, & America from Abroad | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jul./Aug. 2017

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Davis, Angela J., ed. Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment. Pantheon. Jul. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781101871270. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871287. AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES The recent deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and more bring into ever sharper focus the long, tragic history of the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of African American men. This […]

Paris to Palestine to America | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

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Begley, Adam. The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera. Tim Duggan: Hogarth. Jul. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101902608. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101902615. HISTORY Former books editor of the New York Observer, Begley offers the portrait of an artist as both celebrity and entrepreneur. Nadar was famed for iconic photographs of folks like Manet and Sarah […]

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Dublin Winner Sharma, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

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Alexievich, Svetlana. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II. Random. Jul. 2017. 384p. tr. from Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. ISBN 9780399588723. $30; ekb. ISBN 9780399588730. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY Winner of the Nobel Prize for her rich, incisive oral histories of the Soviet Union, Alexievich […]

Seven Great Beach Reads | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

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Fagone, Jason. The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Jul. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062430489. $27.99. HISTORY Now that The Imitation Game has familiarized everyone with the concept of code-breaking, it’s time to step back to its origins during World War […]

The Shi’a-Sunni Divide, Moses, My Utmost, Thich Nhat Hahn | Spirituality & Religion Reviews, February 1, 2017

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A careful analysis of the current state of the Arab world; an intriguing story filled with tragic “if-only’s” and powerful examples of courage; a thoughtful work that is worth the effort for spiritually erudite and patient readers

Beattie, Gabaldon, Gay, Sullivan, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 3

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Beattie, Ann. The Accomplished Guest: Stories. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501111389. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501111402. SHORT STORIES Since her 1976 publishing debut with the story collection Distortions and the novel Chilly Scenes of Winter, Beattie has worked in both genres, but her gifts really belong to short fiction. Here’s her 11th story collection, following […]