14 Award-Worthy Mysteries | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2017

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Bolton, Sharon. Dead Woman Walking. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781250103444. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250103451. CD: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY Winner of a Mary Higgins Clark Award, Bolton here dreams up an unusual premise. A woman manages to survive the crash of a hot-air balloon but still faces trouble. During that awful descent near […]

Politics, Art, & Grief | Memoir Previews, Aug./Sept. 2017

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Ausiello, Michael. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies; A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words. Atria. Sept. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781501134968. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501134982. MEMOIR A longtime entertainment journalist, now founder and editor in chief of TVLine.com, Ausiello knows how to write. But here he’s set himself a tough task: discussing what happened […]

Kenyon, Wilson, & a War of the Worlds Sequel | Pop Fiction Previews, Aug. 2017

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Baxter, Stephen. The Massacre of Mankind. Crown. Aug. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9781524760120. $27. SF Winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, Baxter does something daring: he offers a sequel to H.G. Wells’s iconic The War of the Worlds, featuring Wells’s narrator, Walter Jenkins. Fourteen years after the last invasion, humans complacently […]

Writers To Watch | Literary Fiction Previews, Jul. 2017

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Clemmons, Zinzi. What We Lose. Viking. Jul. 2017. 192p. ISBN 9780735221710. $22; ebk. ISBN 9780735221727. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY Raised by a South African mother and an American father, ever walking the color line, Thandi is already struggling to find a sense of sureness in life when she learns that her mother has cancer. Debut […]

Ford, Murakami, Shreve, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Bouman, Tom. Darling Cory: A Henry Farrell Novel. Norton. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780393249644. $NA. MYSTERY Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, as well as LibraryReads honors and a John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, Bouman’s Dry Bones in the Valley featured a rural […]

Top Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Alyan, Hala. Salt Houses. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780544912588. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544912380. LITERARY/SAGA This embracing and salt-sharp tale by Palestinian American poet and clinical psychologist Alyan magnifies the problem of displacement in the Middle East by chronicling the fate of one family continually uprooted after the Six-Day War of 1967. After her […]

It’s a Mystery | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Atherton, Nancy. Aunt Dimity and the Widow’s Curse. Viking. May 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781101981320. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101981337. MYSTERY/COZY Enjoying a break from her husband and sons, who are off camping, Lori Shepherd heads to a quilting bee. There, widowed Annabelle Craven reveals a secret about her first husband’s death that leads Lori to investigate […]

Making History | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Allison, Graham. Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides’s Trap. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780544935273. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544935334. POLITICAL SCIENCE/HISTORY Founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who has served in both the Reagan and the Clinton administrations and twice won the Pentagon’s highest civilian award, Allison coined the term the […]

Award-Winning Short Fiction, Hamlet Worldwide, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Arimah, Lesley Nneka. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories. Riverhead. Apr. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780735211025. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735211049. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Arimah won the 2015 African Commonwealth Prize for the Granta-published “Light,” was a finalist for the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for the title story, […]

Books for Our Times | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 1

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Douthat, Ross. To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. S. & S. Apr. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501146923. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146947. RELIGION As conservative New York Times columnist Douthat clarifies, Pope Francis’s stewardship as 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church is not without controversy. His raising issues like communion for […]