Amy Bloom, Robert Galbraith, Mary Gordon, John Scalzi, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Aug. 2014, Pt. 3


Bloom, Amy. Lucky Us. Random. Aug. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9781400067244. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812996005. CD: Penguin Random Audio. LITERARY Bloom, a New York Times best-selling author as well as a National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist, here offers a tale of two half-sisters. It’s the 1940s, and Iris is dreaming of […]

New Fiction from Award Winners Appelfeld, Mosley, Norman, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 5


Appelfeld, Aharon. Suddenly, Love. Schocken. May 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780805242959. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780805243154. LITERARY Gruff and moody Ernst, a 70-year-old Red Army veteran born in the Ukraine, has lived in Israel since World War II; he lost his first wife and child to the German invaders and his second wife to divorce. He’s tended […]

Award-Worthy Fiction from Aaron Gwyn, Sadie Jones, Simon Sebag Montefiore, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 1,


Davenport, Randi. The End of Always. Twelve. May 2014. 336p. ISBN 9781455573073. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455573066. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455552108. Downloadable: Hachette. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Winner of the Great Lakes Colleges Association Prize for Creative Non-fiction, Davenport drew on her family history to write this first novel about a young woman’s desire to escape a legacy of […]

Leon & Shipstead in Fiction, Caldwell & Ehrenreich in Nonfiction | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4


Caldwell, Gail. New Life, No Instructions: A Memoir. Random. Apr. 2014. 176p. ISBN 9781400069545. $22; ebk. ISBN 9780679604426. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR Highly regarded when she served as chief book critic for the Boston Globe—she won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism—Caldwell has since made her mark with the thoughtful and beautifully wrought memoirs Let’s Take […]

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


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


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


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


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


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


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 […]