From Don DeLillo to Service Dogs to the Baker & Taylor Cats | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 4


Belfer, Lauren. And After the Fire. Harper. May 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780062428516. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062428547. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION In 1796 Berlin, famed musician Sara Itzig Levy hides an anti-Semitic cantata written by Johann Sebastian Bach and given to her by her teacher, one of Bach’s sons. In 1945 Germany, U.S. soldier Henry Sachs snatches a […]

Banks on Travel, Guy on Elizabeth I, Dickey on Pit Bulls, & More | Nonfiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 4


Banks, Russell. Voyager: Travel Writings. Ecco. May 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780061857676. $25.99. ESSAYS/TRAVELOG A Pulitzer Prize and Carnegie Medal finalist, novelist Banks is also an inveterate traveler. Here he offers a collection of essays arching over decades and continents as he interviews Fidel Castro in Cuba, elopes to Edinburgh with his fourth wife, travels along […]

Memoirs of Traveling Light, Escaping from a Cult, & Growing Up with Rosa Parks | Audio in Advance January 2016 | Nonfiction


Bensen, Clara. No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering. Blackstone. ISBN 9781504662185. Reader TBA. When Clara Bensen arranged to meet Jeff Wilson on the steps of the Texas State Capitol after just a few email exchanges, it felt like something big was going to happen. Clara, a sensitive and reclusive personality, was immediately […]

The Middle East | Nonfiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 2


Hamid, Shadi. Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam Is Reshaping the Middle East. St. Martin’s. May 2016. 256p. ISBN 9781250061010. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466866720. POLITICAL SCIENCE The caliphate has always been Islam’s dominant form of governance, and since the Ottoman Caliphate was abolished in 1924, there has been a continuing struggle for some kind […]

Jo Baker, Haigh, Montefiore, Mukherjee, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 2


Baker, Jo. A Country Road, a Tree. Knopf. May 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781101947180. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101947197. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION Having taken us downstairs with the Bennet family servants in Longbourn, both a LibraryReads and a Discover Great New Writers pick and a New York Times Notable Book, Baker reimagines the […]

LJ Nonfiction Reviews: November 1, 2015


From Baby Care Basics to Planet Middle School, Parenting Is Easy. Ancient Rome, two for Alzheimer’s caregivers, plus public library archives, a guide to online searching, books for Black History Month

Sean Carroll, Janine di Giovanni, Roxane Gay, Mark Kurlansky, Nathaniel Philbrick | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, May 2016, Pt. 1


Carroll, Sean. The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself. Dutton. May 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780525954828. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698409767. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SCIENCE A theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, Carroll won the Royal Society Winton Prize for The Particle at the End of the Universe, his […]

America at War, from the 1800s to Afghanistan | Nonfiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 1


Borneman, Walter R. MacArthur at War: World War II in the Pacific. Little, Brown. May 2016. 608p. ISBN 9780316405324. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780316405317. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316405300. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY A best-selling author of books like The Admirals, which has over 75,000 copies in print, Borneman does not offer a biography of Gen. Douglas […]

British Royals, American Jihadists, Humanitarian Doctors, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2016, Pt. 3


Andersen, Christopher. Game of Crowns: Elizabeth, Camilla, Kate, and the Throne. Gallery: S. & S. Apr. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781476743950. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476743974. BIOGRAPHY/ROYALTY Anderson, the author of 16 New York Times best sellers, including William and Kate and The Day Diana Died, has a way with royalty of all sorts. Here he gives […]

Volcanoes, Dame Maggie Smith, & Life in the Andes | Audio in Advance December 2015 | Nonfiction


Barr, Niall. Eisenhower’s Armies: The American-British Alliance During World War II. Dreamscape. ISBN 9781682620687. Reader TBA. The Anglo-American relationship from 1941-1945 proved to be the most effective military alliance in history. Yet there were also constant tensions and disagreements that threatened to pull the alliance apart. This book highlights why the unprecedented level of cooperation […]