Mystery from Crombie, History from Dunmore, & a Steinbeck Anniversary Edition | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Crombie, Deborah. To Dwell in Darkness. Morrow. Apr. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062271600. $25.99. lrg. prnt. MYSTERY In the latest Duncan Kincaid–Gemma James outing, Duncan is investigating a lethal bombing in famed St. Pancras Station after having just been transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters. Gemma’s assistant saw it all, but […]

Emma Donoghue, Michelle Huneven, Ward Just, Peter Matthiessen, Lawrence Osborne | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 1

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Donoghue, Emma. Frog Music. Little, Brown. Apr. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780316324687. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316324663. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORICAL/CRIME Donoghue caught everyone’s attention with Room, a visceral stunner that has sold more than 1.5 million copies and was a 2010 Man Booker Prize finalist. Her follow-up short story collection, Astray, a personal favorite, demonstrated her […]

Peter Ackroyd, Louis Bayard, Granta Best Nadifa Mohamed, & More | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 1

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Ackroyd, Peter. Three Brothers. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Mar. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780385538619. $25.95. LITERARY A Guardian and Whitbread winner for his fiction and renowned for his crusading biography and history as well, Ackroyd here revisits 1960s London with the help of brothers Harry, Daniel, and Sam Hanway, youngsters in a Camden Town council estate […]

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, […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Feb. 204, Pt. 1: Sarah Addison Allen, Isabel Allende, Wiley Cash, Joyce Carol Oates

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Allen, Sarah Addison. Lost Lake. St. Martin’s. Feb. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781250019806. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019813. POP FICTION Allen offers her own brand of magic in books like Garden Spells and The Peach Keepers and always gets on the New York Times best sellers list. Here she sends newly widowed Kate to Lost Lake Cottages […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Fiction from Albom, Baldacci, Banks, Child/Preston, Griffith, Hammett, Lynch, Miles, & Smith

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Albom, Mitch. The First Phone Call from Heaven. Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780062294371. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062294395. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Phones are ringing off the hook in little Coldwater, MI, but the callers are all deceased, stirring emotions from joyous relief to uncertain fear as they report being happy in […]

Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Sebastian Faulks, Fannie Flagg, Richard Kadrey, Wally Lamb, Diane Setterfield, Anita Shreve, Robert Stone

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Faulks, Sebastian. Jeeves and the Wedding Bells. St. Martin’s. Nov. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781250047595. $24.99. POP FICTION What a combination! Faulks, author of absorbingly well-rendered best sellers like Charlotte Gray, as well as the James Bond sequel Devil May Care, here takes on one of his favorite authors with the permission of the estate. Yes, […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Fiction from Daniel Alarcón, James Franco, Kathleen Kent, David Leavitt, & Valerie Plame

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Alarcón, Daniel. At Night We Walk in Circles. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Oct. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781594631719. $27.95. LITERARY A PEN/Hemingway finalist and one of The New Yorker’s 20 under 40, Alarcón is being primed for a breakout with this second novel. At age eight, as his country descends into civil war, Nelson hears a […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup; from Terry McMillan to Debut Novelists Allen, Crawford, Daly, & More

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Allen, Lisa Van. The Wishing Thread. Ballantine. Sept. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345538550. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345537829. WOMEN’S FICTION Owners of the Stitchery Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, NY, the Van Ripper women can reputedly grant wishes by stitching them into their knitted goods. But the Stitchery’s matriarch has just died, leaving a will that could […]

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