Self-Help (Marlo Thomas), Cooking (the Neelys), Getting Fit (Bob Harper), Sports (John Calipari) | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Calipari, John & Michael Sokolove. Players First: Success from the Inside Out. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781594205736. $28.95. SPORTS In a book that the publisher expects to be big, famed and famously blunt University of Kentucky basketball coach Calipari explains what distinguishes good teams (and coaches) from bad ones and what’s gone haywire […]

Maeve Binchy, Lydia Davis, Julia Glass, Mo Hayder, Laura Kasischke | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Binchy, Maeve. Chestnut Street. Knopf. Apr. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780385351850. $26.95. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. POP FICTION Following Binchy’s untimely death in July 2012, this set of previously unpublished linked short stories will warm the hearts of fans everywhere. Binchy wrote these pieces intermittently while producing her big novels and Irish Times columns, hoping someday to […]

Doyle, Figes, McCracken, Simpson, Vaill, Wilson | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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Doyle, Brian. The Plover. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250034779. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250034786. LITERARY FICTION Editor of Portland Magazine, Doyle has written 13 books of fiction, poetry, and essays but came to my attention only with the original and wittily lyrical 2010 novel Mink River—which actually caught the attention of plenty […]

History, from America’s First War Correspondents to the Trial of a Khmer Rouge Prison Officer | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 1

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Brown, Frederick. The Embrace of Unreason: France, 1914–1940. Knopf. Apr. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780307595157. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385351638. HISTORY Ah, France, home of the Enlightenment, where art, reason, and humanist tradition reign. In fact, Brown, a distinguished cultural historian (e.g., Flaubert, a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist) here shows how these ideals collapsed in […]

Fiction from Fortier, Moore, & Mosse, a Memoir from Feldman, a Soldier’s Story | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 2

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Feldman, Deborah. Exodus. Blue Rider. Mar. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780399162770. $26.95. MEMOIR As she recounted in her eye-opening memoir, Unorthodox, a New York Times best seller, Feldman was raised in a strict Satmar Hasidic community in Brooklyn but eventually abandoned her roots and a loveless marriage, attending Sarah Lawrence College and becoming a writer. Here […]

Teju Cole, David Grossman, Dinaw Mengestu, Muslim Youth | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 1

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Aidi, Hisham. Rebel Music : Race, Empire, and the New Muslim Youth Culture. Pantheon. Mar. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780375424908. $27.95. SOCIAL SCIENCE/ISLAMIC STUDIES Since 9/11, young Muslims worldwide have worked to forge a distinctively racial, radicalized identity in the face of the West’s War Against Terror, resisting American efforts in particular to subsume Muslims within the […]

David Brion Davis, Glen Duncan, Anna Quindlen, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Allen, Jonathan & Amie Parnes. HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton. Crown. Feb. 2014. 350p. ISBN 9780804136754. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780804136761. CD: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/POLITICAL “Will Hillary run again?” There’s the hot question among anyone who cares about U.S. politics. Written by two authors intimately familiar with the political process—Allen is the […]

Carla Buckley, Sophie Hannah, Mai Jia, B.J. Novak, & More | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Adrian, Lara. Crave the Night: A Midnight Breed Novel. Delacorte. Feb. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345532633. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780345532640. Downloadable: Random Audio. PARANORMAL ROMANCE Edge of Dawn, latest in a hugely popular series that broke into hardcover last year, pushed up Adrian’s Midnight Breed story by 20 years. Continuing in that time frame, this volume […]

American Fun, SAT Prep, & the Financial Divide | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Beckman, John. American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt. Pantheon. Feb. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780307908179. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307908186. SOCIAL HISTORY Author of the debut novel The Winter Zoo, a New York Times Notable Book, Beckman challenges our understanding of American Puritanism by showing that we’ve been an essentially prankish, fun-loving nation. Colonists reveled wildly, […]

Lippman, McCall Smith, Minot, Teicholz, Werth | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Lippman, Laura. After I’m Gone. Morrow. Feb. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062083395. $26.99. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. THRILLER Investigating cold cases for some extra cash, retired Baltimore detective Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez looks into the murder 26 years earlier of Julie, once mistress to rich but shady businessman Felix Brewer, who disappeared ten years before Julie’s death. […]

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