Midwinter Reminders & Last-Minute Spring Finds from Blume, Gruen, & More

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In just a few weeks, many of us will be blowing into cold Chicago for another action-packed ALA Midwinter. If you’re going, don’t miss two fun events: 2015’s Best in Debut Authors, sponsored by LibraryReads and the Association of American Publishers and taking place Saturday, January 31, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at McCormick Place […]

Carolina De Robertis, Paula McLain, Adam Mansbach, William Vollmann | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2015, Pt. 1

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De Robertis, Carolina. The Gods of Tango. Knopf. Jul. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9781101874493. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101874509. LITERARY/HISTORICAL De Robertis, whose The Invisible Mountain was an international best seller with a lot of best book shout-outs in this country, echoes what she did in that novel and her following, much-praised Perla: she explores the fate […]

Jonathan Galassi, Lisa Gornick, Suzanne Joinson, Kevin Kwan, Elmore Leonard | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3

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Galassi, Jonathan. Muse. Knopf. Jun. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780385353342. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353359. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY FICTION We know Galassi as president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, as the author of three collections of poetry, and as an icon in the publishing industry. Now we get to know him as a debut […]

Thrilling Stuff from Jefferson Bass to Dick Wolf | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3

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Bass, Jefferson. The Breaking Point: A Body Farm Novel. Morrow. Jun. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780062262332. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062262356. THRILLER Ten years after Dr. Bill Brockton created the Body Farm for conducting posthumous research, things are looking bad. He’s accused of misidentifying a body, threatened by a serial killer who has already attempted to kill […]

David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Jo Nesbo, Jane Smiley, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Hillerman, Anne. Rock with Wings. Harper. May 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062270511. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062270535. MYSTERY With the 2013 publication of Spider Woman’s Daughter, award-winning journalist Hillerman took over the series starring famed tribal officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee that had won raves for her father, the late Tony Hillerman. Good move: the book […]

The Bill of Rights, Waterloo, & Yoga Queen Indra Devi | History & Biography Previews, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Berkin, Carol. The Bill of Rights: James Madison and the Politics of the People’s Parchment Barrier. S. & S. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781476743790. $27.50. HISTORY We regard the Bill of Rights as the crowning achievement of the Constitution and indeed central to our definition as Americans, so it’s sobering to learn from Berkin, Presidential […]

Atkinson, Dubow, Palahniuk, & Shepard | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 1

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Atkinson, Kate. A God in Ruins. Little, Brown. May 2015. 400p. ISBN 9780316176538. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316341554. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316341530. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY Even without its Costa Award and numerous Best Book nods, Atkinson’s remarkably shape-shifting Life After Life would have legions of fans, and they’ll be excited to learn that her next […]

Bloom, Ellis, Shipler, & the Freakonomics Duo | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 1

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Bloom, Harold. The Daemon Knows: Literary Greatness and the American Sublime. Spiegel & Grau. May 2015. 528p. ISBN 9780812997828. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780812997835. LITERATURE A Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard, and MacArthur Fellow, Bloom at 84 remains one of our best-known and most influential critics. Though he’s […]

Upmarket Fiction from Amit Chaudhuri, Emily Schultz, Adam Thirlwell, & More | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 3

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Begley, Louis. Killer, Come Hither. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. 256p. ISBN 9780385539142. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385539159. LITERARY/THRILLER In a departure from his smooth-as-melted-butter stories of New York’s stratospheric milieu (e.g., About Schmidt), Begley tries out a literary thriller starring Jack Dana, a Yalie turned marine officer turned successful novelist. Close to his uncle Harry, a […]

From the Vietnam War to LGBT Rights | History & Current Events Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2

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Blehm, Eric. Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines. Crown. Apr. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780804139519. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804139526. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MILITARY In 2012’s Fearless, Blehm chronicled SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown’s moment of supreme sacrifice […]