History from Fred Kaplan, Michael Korda, David Reynolds, & More | Nonfiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 1


Borneman, Walter R. American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution. Little, Brown. May. 2014. 480p. ISBN 9780316221023. $33. ebk. ISBN 9780316221016. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316365185. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY Borneman, author of the best-selling The Admirals, recapitulates the few crucial months of the American Revolution, from Paul Revere’s December 1774 ride to Portsmouth, […]

Emma Donoghue, Michelle Huneven, Ward Just, Peter Matthiessen, Lawrence Osborne | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 1


Donoghue, Emma. Frog Music. Little, Brown. Apr. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780316324687. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316324663. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORICAL/CRIME Donoghue caught everyone’s attention with Room, a visceral stunner that has sold more than 1.5 million copies and was a 2010 Man Booker Prize finalist. Her follow-up short story collection, Astray, a personal favorite, demonstrated her […]

Big Science Titles from Tim Flannery, Michio Kaku, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4


Ferreira, Pedro G. The Perfect Theory: A Century of Geniuses and the Battle Over General Relativity. Houghton Harcourt. Feb. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780547554891. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780547554907. SCIENCE Oxford astrophysicist Ferreira writes for trade as well as academic publications and frequently appears on the BBC, so we can trust him to write limpidly about a […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Humor, Memoir, Sports, & More


Barry, Dave. You Can Date Boys When You’re Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780399165948. $26.95. CD: Penguin Audio. HUMOR Pulitzer Prize winner Barry is always funny, and here he is being funny about the trials of parenthood, including having to accompany his […]

Fiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: 12 Crucial Titles, from Hot International Fiction (Drndic, Yu Hua) to Works by American Prize Winners (Greenway, Martin) to Upscale Thrillers (Billingham, Dolan)


  Billingham, Mark. From the Dead. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780802122131. $25. THRILLER A top-selling UK crime writer (and, surprisingly, a former stand-up comic who proved how funny he can still be at Grove Atlantic’s ALA dinner), Billingham is making a name for himself here—with the help of his publisher, which has signed […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: Cosmology, Technology, & the Brain


American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How To Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2014. ed. by Debra Horwitz & others. 384p. ISBN 9780547738918. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780547834450. PETS/DOGS Why decode your dog’s behaviors? Because, explains this first-ever book from the American […]

Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Data Mining, Gold, Suspense, Fiction in Translation, & a Big Debut Novel


Aiden, Erez & Jean-Baptiste Michel. Uncharted: Big Data and an Emerging Science of Human History. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Dec. 2013. 256p. ISBN 9781594487453. $27.95. SCIENCE/HISTORY Harvard Society Fellow Aiden and Harvard University scientist Michel, a 2012 TED Fellow recently named one of Forbes’s “30 under 30,” here address a hot (indeed, controversial) topic: mining […]

Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Sports Stars, Classical Music, & Anxiety


  Bradlee, Ben, Jr. The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. 784p. ISBN 9780316614351. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780316084482; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316163712. CD: Hachette Audio. BIOGRAPHY/SPORTS On leave from 25 distinguished years as a reporter and then deputy managing editor at the Boston Globe, Bradlee gives us a biography of […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Fiction from Albom, Baldacci, Banks, Child/Preston, Griffith, Hammett, Lynch, Miles, & Smith


Albom, Mitch. The First Phone Call from Heaven. Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780062294371. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062294395. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Phones are ringing off the hook in little Coldwater, MI, but the callers are all deceased, stirring emotions from joyous relief to uncertain fear as they report being happy in […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Sebastian Faulks, Fannie Flagg, Richard Kadrey, Wally Lamb, Diane Setterfield, Anita Shreve, Robert Stone


Faulks, Sebastian. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781250047595. $24.99. POP FICTION What a combination! Faulks, author of absorbingly well-rendered best sellers like Charlotte Gray, as well as the James Bond sequel Devil May Care, here takes on one of his favorite authors with the permission of the estate. Yes, […]