Visiting Florida with Barry, the Internet with Levitin, & the Marches with Stewart | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4


Alexander, Jane. Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780385354363. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385354370. Downloadable: Random Audio. SCIENCE/MEMOIR A Tony Award–winning and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress, plus a four-time Academy Award nominee and former chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, Alexander is […]

Real Artists Have Day Jobs by Sara Benincasa | LJ Review


Admitting that she is no expert at, well, anything, comedian Benincasa (Great; ­Agorafabulous!) transforms her hard-earned experiences into fun and sound advice.

Socially Significant Works on Resegregation, ADHD, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 2


Ajayi, Luvvie. I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual. Holt Paperbacks. Sept. 2016. 224p. ISBN 9781627796064. pap. $17; ebk. ISBN 9781627796071. HUMOR/ESSAYS In her much-read blog,, Ajayi addresses popular culture with sharpened wit. Yet as her 500,000 monthly readers can attest, she’s not just reporting on popular television shows or Facebook gaffes but acting as […]

Kate Braestrup, Sen. Claire McCaskill, New Yorker Staffers Finnegan & Marx, & More | Memoir Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 3


Braestrup, Kate. Anchor and Flares: A Memoir of Motherhood, Hope, and Service. Little, Brown. Jul. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780316373784. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316259330. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316373760. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR Braestrup came crashingly to our attention with Here If You Need Me, a heart shaker about her pursuing a career as chaplain to the […]

Humor Studies, American English, plus Short Takes, & More | Reference Reviews


Laughter is the best medicine, and there is a good deal present here, a fascinating look at the American English language that will do well in circulating collections, a contemporary academic treatment to William Shakespeare’s use of plant and garden terminology.

Memoirs from Musicians (Charlie Wilson), Journalists (Robert Chirstgau, Kevin Sessums), a Genius Gamer (Garriott de Cayeux ), & More | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 1


Christgau. Robert. Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic As a Young Man. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Feb. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062238795. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062238818. MEMOIR Chief music critic at the Village Voice for more than three decades and still going strong as a columnist and visiting arts professor at New York University, […]

Performing Arts Essentials: Books by Cumming, Dunham, Lear, & Poehler | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 3


Cumming, Alan. Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir. Dey: HarperCollins. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780062225061. $26.99. MEMOIR A star of stage and screen who broke our hearts with his Tony Award–winning portrayal of the Emcee in 1998’s Cabaret—and is doing so again on Broadway now—Cumming here offers a totally unexpected memoir. At the time he […]

Wendy Davis, Dana Goldstein, Steven Pinker, Terry Pratchett, Tavis Smiley | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5


Davis, Wendy. Untitled Memoir. Blue Rider. Sept. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780399170577. $27.95. MEMOIR/POLITICS A women’s rights heroine for her nearly 11-hour filibuster to block a bill that aimed to close all but five abortion clinics in Texas, Texas state senator Wendy Davis is equally famed for being a single mom who eventually got herself into […]

Joseph Boyden, Rivka Galchen, Tom Rachman, Phyllis Rose, Colson Whitehead | Barbara’s Picks, May 2014, Pt. 5


Boyden, Joseph. The Orenda. Knopf. May 2014. 448p. ISBN 9780385350730. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385350747. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION Canadian Boyden has a shelf full of awards for his first two novels, and from what I’ve seen of this arrestingly written new work, soon he’ll have more. When his guides flee the rampaging Iroquois, Jesuit missionary Christophe finds […]

Aczel on Science and Religion, Hadlow on King George III, Jessye Norman on Her Life, & More | Nonfiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 5


Aczel, Amir. Why Science Does Not Disprove God. Morrow. Apr. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780062230591. $27.99. SCIENCE/RELIGION Aczel, the award-winning author of Fermat’s Last Theorem and recipient of a doctoral degree in mathematics from Berkeley, profoundly disagrees with the decree by the so-called New Atheists that modern breakthroughs in science prove that there is no God. […]