From Aciman to Coretta Scott King | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

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Aciman, André. Enigma Variations. Farrar. Jan. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780374148430. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374714772. LITERARY FICTION Aciman made his name with the memoir Out of Egypt and came forth as a novelist with 2007’s Let Me Call Your Name, a New York Times Notable Book that won numerous other honors; 2013’s Harvard Square got raves. […]

American Intervention, Siberian Exile, & More | History Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

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Baier, Bret. Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission. Morrow. Jan. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062569035. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062569066. CD: HarperAudio. HISTORY Fox News Channel’s chief political anchor, a co-moderator for three of this year’s Republican presidential debates, and the host of Special Report with Bret Baier, the top cable news show in its […]

Rising Stars | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 1

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Barkan, Josh. Mexico: Stories. Hogarth: Crown. Jan. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101906293. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781101906309. SHORT STORIES What do you do when a drug lord walks into your restaurant? Or when a parent walks into your classroom and threatens to kill you if his son falls for the wrong girl? These are some of the […]

Benjamin Black, Elena Ferrante, Pulitzer Prize Winner Lowery, George Mitchell | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 3

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Black, Benjamin. Golden Lane. Holt. Nov. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781627795173. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781627795180. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY/HISTORICAL John Banville writes impeccable literary works like the Man Booker Prize–winning The Sea, while as Benjamin Black he writes impeccable crime novels starring Dublin-based pathologist Quirke. Here he assumes his Black persona but travels back to 1599 […]

Europe 1815–1914, the Pacific War, & More | History Previews, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

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Evans, Richard J. The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815–1914. Viking. Nov. 2016. 928p. ISBN 9780670024575. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780735221215. HISTORY Winner of Wolfson and Fraenkel honors and twice nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, Evans here sweeps through surging British imperialism, upheaval in Spain, the unification of both Germany and Italy, the decline […]

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

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

Denby’s Great Books in High School, Grushin’s New Dream of a Novel, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 2

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Blaedel, Sara. The Killing Forest. Grand Central. Feb. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781455581542. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455581535. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455591862. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER An internationally best-selling author voted Denmark’s most popular novelist for the fourth time in 2014, Blaedel has been getting good attention here for relentlessly bleak and edgy books like The Forgotten […]

Literary Reads from Ivan Doig, Alice LaPlante, Andreï Makine, & More | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 2

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Doig, Ivan. Last Bus to Wisdom. Riverhead. Aug. 2015. NAp. ISBN 9781594633638. $27.95. LITERARY Raised in the mid-1950s by his beloved grandmother in Montana’s Two Medicine Country, known to anyone who has read Doig’s big-sky novels, orphaned Donal Kyle feels as if he’s been tossed into cold water when Gram, recovering from surgery, sends him […]

Julianna Baggott, Alice Hoffman, Adam Johnson, John Scalzi, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2015, Pt. 1

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Baggott, Julianna. Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders. Little, Brown. Aug. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780316375108. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316375092. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316337694. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. WOMEN’S FICTION Author of the “Pure” trilogy, a bleak and gorgeously rendered dystopian tale, Baggott here does something arrestingly different. Reclusive author Harriet Wolf is long dead, but rumors […]