Debuts with Buzz, from British Playwright Paull, 5 Under 35 Honoree Johnston, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 4

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Gay, Roxane. An Untamed State. Black Cat: Grove Atlantic. May 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780802122513. pap. $16. LITERARY A multiple Pushcart nominee with work in Best American Short Stories 2012, Gay has a built-in readership anticipating this work. Mireille Duval Johnson, youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest men, lives contentedly with her husband and son […]

Mystery from Crombie, History from Dunmore, & a Steinbeck Anniversary Edition | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Crombie, Deborah. To Dwell in Darkness. Morrow. Apr. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062271600. $25.99. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY In the latest Duncan Kincaid–Gemma James outing, Duncan is investigating a lethal bombing in famed St. Pancras Station after having just been transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters. Gemma’s assistant saw it all, but […]

History & Political Science from the Fight for Marriage Equality to the Lives of Mitterrand | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Aly, Götz. Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust. Metropolitan: Holt. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780805097009. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780805097047. HISTORY A noted scholar of the Holocaust who’s won the National Jewish Book Award and the Heinrich Mann Prize, among other honors, Aly argues that German anti-Semitism […]

Max Brooks on the Harlem Hellfighters, Boston Marathon Victim Jeff Bauman on Hope, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Bauman, Jeff with Bret Witter. Stronger: Fighting Back After the Boston Marathon Bombing. Grand Central. Apr. 2014. 250p. ISBN 9781455584376. $26. MEMOIR Bauman’s life changed dramatically when a bomb exploded at last spring’s Boston Marathon, severing both of his legs. A photograph of his initial agony came to embody the tragedy of the event, and […]

Kellerman, Mina, & 23 More Thriller/Mystery Writers | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Beaton, M.C. Death of a Policeman. Grand Central. Feb. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9781455504732. $24. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MYSTERY When Detective Chief Inspector Blair sends eager rookie Cyril Sessions to monitor series stalwart Sgt. Hamish Macbeth, whom Blair would so love to can, Sessions ends up murdered and Macbeth ends up a suspect. With a 50,000-copy […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Dow, Grandin, Moore, & More

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Brewster, Joe & Michèle Stephenson. American Promise: Raising Black Boys To Succeed in School and in Life. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780812994483. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994490. EDUCATION The black male achievement gap is a real problem even for successful parents like Harvard-trained psychiatrist Brewster and Columbia Law School graduate Stephenson, who became […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Nonfiction from Auster, Bloom, Brotton, Gardiner, Halperin/Heilemann, Klima, & Robb

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Auster, Paul. Report from the Interior. Holt. Nov. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780805098570. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780805098594. CD: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR At 63, celebrated novelist Auster wrote an account of his body and of physical sensation generally that was published last year as Winter Journal. In this work he charts the life of the mind, particularly […]

Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 5: Memoirs, from Chelsea Handler to Elizabeth Smart

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Buffett, Howard. 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World. S. & S. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781451687866. $26. MEMOIR Farmers can anticipate 40 growing seasons—that is, 40 chances to improve their land’s yield. Son of mega-investor Warren Buffett, who once challenged him to consider what he really wanted to accomplish in life, Howard Buffett […]

Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 4: Capturing the Kommandant of Auschwitz and Playing Chopin During the Revolution

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Bacon, John U. Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football. S. & S. Sept. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781476706436. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476706443. SPORTS College football is currently beset with scandal and sanctions, so one can be forgiven for expecting this report from Bacon to be a downer. And, indeed, drawing on […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 4: Four Commercial Blockbusters from Brown, Gruber, Lindsay, & Sparks

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Brown, Sandra. Deadline. Grand Central. Sept. 2013. 300p. ISBN 9781455501519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. SUSPENSE War-weary journalist Dawson Scott needs the distraction of the case dropped into his lap by an FBI contact; former U.S. Marine Jeremy Wesson, son of terrorists who have been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for decades, is missing and […]

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