Sugar, Fat, & Flavor | Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2016, Pt. 2

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Lohman, Sarah. Eight Flavors: The Untold Story of American Cuisine. S. & S. Dec. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9781476753959. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476753980. COOKING As a historical gastronomist, Lohman has worked her way through cookbooks, manuscripts, and various economic, scientific, political, and religious tracts dating from the 1700s to understand what’s cooking in America. And despite […]

Richard Fortey & Val McDermid | Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2016, Pt. 2

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Fortey, Richard. The Wood for the Trees: One Man’s Long View of Nature. Knopf. Dec. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781101875759. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101875766. SCIENCE As evidenced by a stack of awards, including the 2002 Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing About Science, Fortey can make science sing, and his books always sell well. His new work […]

P.D. James, Javier Marias, the Gelbs on O’Neill, & Pulitzer Prize Winner Wood | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 2

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Gelb, Arthur & Barbara Gelb. By Women Possessed: A Life of Eugene O’Neill. Marian Wood: Putnam. Nov. 2016. 896p. ISBN 9780399159114. $50; ebk. ISBN 9780698170681. LITERATURE The Gelbs are already the authors of O’Neill (1962) and O’Neill: Life with Monte Cristo (2000), so they were building on a solid base when they crafted this final […]

In Wartime | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 2

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Cozzens, Peter. The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West. Knopf. Oct. 2016. 576p. ISBN 9780307958044. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780307958051. HISTORY In the 16 books he has authored or edited, Cozzens has written about both the Civil War and the Indian Wars of the American West. Here he […]

Claire Harman’s Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart; What To Read, Listen to, Watch Next | RA Crossroads

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In this column, the life of Charlotte Brontë and her creation Jane Eyre lead me down a winding path

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

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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 […]

FDR’s Last Months, African American Women Mathematicians, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Lelyveld, Joseph. His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780385350792. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385350808. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY A former executive editor of the New York Times and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Move Your Shadow, Lelyveld doesn’t give us overarching biography but an incisive slice of life […]

Jay McInerney, Eowyn Ivey, Jesmyn Ward, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Donohoe, Kathleen. Ashes of Fiery Weather. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780544464056. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544526693. LITERARY FICTION Ranging across six generations, from famine-stalked Ireland to post–9/11 New York, Donohoe’s ambitious debut offers portraits of women in the Keegan/O’Reilly clan, bound together by fire and ash. For a family of firefighters, life is fraught […]

Spring 2016 Poetry: Top Picks

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From Frank Bidart’s contained drama and Rita Dove’s blazingly heartfelt exploration of self and history, to the engaging openness of Campbell McGrath and Maureen McLane, to the shape-shifting formal verve of Tyehimba Jess and Brenda Shaughnessy, to the sheer burning wit of Kim Addonizio and Bob Hicok, poetry today is so rich and varied that, […]

Binelli, Buckhanon, McCrumb, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 4

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Andrews, Mary Kay. The Weekenders. St. Martin’s. May 2016. 400p. ISBN 9781250065940. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466872929. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. WOMEN’S Dousing us again in salt spray, the New York Times best-selling author of Beach Town takes us to Belle Isle, NC, where Riley Griggs awaits her husband’s arrival on the Friday afternoon ferry. But he […]