Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2013, Pt. 4: Bass, Bohjalian, Dunant, Housh, Mankell, Rakoff, Sapienza

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Bass, Rick. All the Land to Hold Us. Houghton Harcourt. Jul. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780547687124. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780547687438. LITERARY FICTION It’s not surprising that exemplary nature writer Bass’s fourth novel, set in Texas, features salt miners and oil and gas wildcatters. But you’ll also meet Baptists, high school football players, a local beauty, a […]

Fiction Previews, Jul. 2013, Pt. 4: Susan Choi, Matt Haig, Karin Slaughter, & More

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Adler, Elizabeth. Please Don’t Tell. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2013. 384p. ISBN 9781250019899. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250019905. WOMEN’S FICTION One stormy night on the California coast, elegant 58-year-old Fenny Dexter opens her door to a blood-soaked man claiming to have been in an accident. He departs after a cozy night (they feel a spark), and […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2013, Pt. 4 & Jul. 2013, Pt. 1: Greer, Keneally, Walls, and More

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Evanovich, Stephanie. Big Girl Panties. Morrow. Jul. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780062224842. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062224866. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Rather too zaftig after turning to food for comfort during her husband’s illness and death, 32-year-old Holly Brennan is chagrined to be occupying the plane seat next to Logan Montgomery, personal trainer to star […]

Fiction Previews, Jul. 2013, Pt. 1: Nine Debuts from Butler’s Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love to Zambrano’s Lotería

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Butler, Sarah. Ten Things I’ve Learnt About Love. Penguin Pr: Penguin Group (USA). Jul. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9781594205330. $26.95. LITERARY Unconventional Alice, the youngest of three sisters and a frequent traveler to far-off climes, returns home just in time to say good-bye to her dying father, with whom she’s never been close. Daniel, who’s been […]

Fiction Previews, Jun. 2013, Pt. 2: Great Book Club Books from Upcoming Writers

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Brown, Eli. Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Farrar. Jun. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780374123666. $26. HISTORICAL Evocative title, and the plot sounds like a hoot. In 1819, the pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot kills the lord of a booming tea concern but will spare his chef, the famous Owen Wedgwood, as long as he manages to serve her an […]

Fiction Previews, Mar. 2013, Pt. 3: Crossing Borders with Nancy Kricorian, Amit Majmudar, Elif Shafak, and More

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Epstein, Jennifer Cody. The Gods of Heavenly Punishment. Norton. Mar. 2013. ISBN 9780393071573. 384p. $26.95. HISTORICAL After the 1945 firebombing of Tokyo rips apart 15-year-old Yoshi’s old life, she builds a new one with the help of three Americans: downed bomber pilot Cam; Billy, an Occupation soldier guarding a secret; and Anton, an architect who […]

Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2013, Pt. 4: Jim Crace, Ron Currie Jr., and Karen Russell

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Crace, Jim. Harvest. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Feb. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780385520775. $24.95. LITERARY Multi-award-winner Crace (Being Dead) creates astonishing worlds, and he seems to have done so again in a work set in an isolated English village of indeterminate time and place but essential forcefulness. One frosty morning, smoke is seen drifting skyward, one […]

Fiction Previews, Feb. 2013, Pt. 4: Award-Winning Authors Jennifer Haigh, Jamaica Kincaid, Ron Rash, and More

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Dee, Jonathan. A Thousand Pardons. Random. Feb. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780812993219. $26; eISBN 9780679645009. LITERARY A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 with Chang-Rae Lee (Jennifer Egan won for A Visit from the Goon Squad), Dee goes au courant with the story of a woman who returns to work after her corporate-lawyer husband loses all following […]

Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2013, Pt. 2: Julianna Baggott, Amity Gaige, Cissy Houston, Maurice Sendak

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Baggott, Julianna. Fuse. Grand Central. Feb. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9781455503087. $25.99. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. DYSTOPIAN In Baggott’s laceratingly inventive Pure, those not safely under the Dome at the bomb-bright apocalyptic moment have been permanently fused to whatever was nearby, object or human, and Partridge defies his father, Dome master Willux, by escaping to the wider […]

Fiction Previews, Feb. 2013, Pt. 2: Debut Novels, Including Roger Hobbs’s Frankfurt Hit, Ghostman

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Amin, Manisha Jolie. Dancing to the Flute. Atria: S. & S. Feb. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781451672046. pap. $15. CD/downloadable: S. & S. Audio. POP FICTION Born in Kenya to Indian parents, Amin grew up in Australia listening to her mother spin out Indian folktales as her father played the flute. So you can tell what […]

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