Literary Criticism, September 2015 | Best Sellers

December 2014 to date as identified by YBP Library Services

Denby’s Great Books in High School, Grushin’s New Dream of a Novel, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 2


Blaedel, Sara. The Killing Forest. Grand Central. Feb. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9781455581542. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455581535. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455591862. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER An internationally best-selling author voted Denmark’s most popular novelist for the fourth time in 2014, Blaedel has been getting good attention here for relentlessly bleak and edgy books like The Forgotten […]

Geraldine Brooks, J.M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, & the Return of Lisbeth Salander | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3


Brooks, Geraldine. The Secret Chord. Viking. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780670025770. $27.95. CD: Penguin Audio. HISTORICAL FICTION Brooks, who wins both prizes (e.g., the Pulitzer for March) and audiences (there are two million copies of her books out there), has always triumphed with historical subjects, and she’s back at it with this novel about King […]

Literary Criticism, January 2015 | Best Sellers

April 2014 to date as identified by YBP Library Services

Eric Foner, Seth Grahame-Smith, Edith Pearlman, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3


Cohen, Roger. The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family. Knopf. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780307594662. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353137. MEMOIR New York Times columnist Cohen, honored by the Overseas Press Club for his work as the paper’s Balkans bureau chief during the Bosnian War and in charge of the Pulitzer […]

History/Biography from Thomas Cromwell to the Great Society to the Death of Tin Pan Alley | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3


Borman, Tracy. Thomas Cromwell. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2015. 336p.ISBN 9780802123176. $30. BIOGRAPHY Here’s a nonfiction account of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s invaluable adviser, to go with the fictional account that Hilary Mantel has provided in the Man Booker Award winners Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies. Borman has special insight (and an audience-pleasing touch) […]

Literary Criticism, May 2014 | Best Sellers

August 2013 to date as identified by YBP Library Services

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 […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Jung Chang, Nora Ephron, Wil S. Hylton, Richard Kurin, Ann Patchett, Claudia Roth Pierpont


Chang, Jung. Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China. Knopf. Nov. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780307271600. $30. BIOGRAPHY First a Red Guard, then the recipient of a doctoral degree in linguistics from England’s Bristol University, then the hugely best-selling author of Wild Swans and Mao, Jung Chang has a remarkable life story. And the […]

Nonfiction Previews, Pt. 5: On Johnny Carson, Charlie Parker, and Masterpiece Theatre


Bushkin, Henry. Untitled on Johnny Carson. Houghton Harcourt. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780544217621. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544217737. MEMOIR/TELEVISION Johnny Carson’s attorney for nearly two decades, at a time when the Tonight Show was at its height and Carson went through two divorces, Bushkin ultimately served as his “counselor, partner, employee, business advisor, earpiece, mouthpiece, enforcer, […]