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


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


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


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 […]

Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2013, Pt. 2: Fiction from Kelley Armstrong to Paul Yoon


Armstrong, Kelley. Omens: A Cainsville Novel. Dutton. Aug. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780525953043. $26.95. FANTASY In this launch of a new series from the author of the hugely popular “Otherworld” books, wealthy, 24-year-old Ivy Leaguer Olivia Taylor Jones is happily engaged when she discovers that she is adopted—and that her biological parents are serial killers imprisoned […]

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


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


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


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


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


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


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 […]