Technology, Literature, & Dan Rather | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Nov. 2017

Berlin, Leslie. Troublemakers: The Story of Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age. S. & S. Nov. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781451651508. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451651522. TECHNOLOGY Five of the world’s six most valuable companies are high-tech firms, and they were helped to the top by the six innovators profiled here, who broke ground in 1970s and early […]

Music, Art, & Literature | Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2017

A-Trak. When the Needle Dropped: A DJ’s Journey. Scribner. Nov. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781476745497. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476745510. MEMOIR/MUSIC His full name is Alain Macklovitch, but he’s known worldwide as A-Trak, and through his memoir he traks, er, tracks a huge trend in music: the emergence of the DJ as the star of the show […]

Eco, Erdrich, Khizr Khan, Kevin Young, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2017

Eco, Umberto. Chronicles of a Liquid Society. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2017. tr. from Italian by Richard Dixon. 272p. ISBN 9780544974487. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780544974579. PHILOSOPHY/ESSAYS Novelist, essayist, literary critic, philosopher, and semiotician nonpareil (see his star turn in Laurent Binet’s sensational The Seventh Function of Language, which supposes that Roland Barthes was murdered), Eco began […]

Mendelsohn’s Odyssey, Ward/Burns on Vietnam, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2017

Blum, Ben. Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime. Doubleday. Sept. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780385538435. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385538442. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR Why would an upright young man, determined to become a U.S. Army Ranger, join with two fellow soldiers and two strangers the day before his deployment to Iraq […]

28 Titles Exploring & Celebrating Native History & Culture

INDIGENOUS CIVILIZATIONS flourished in North America centuries before Christopher Columbus set sail in 1492. These 28 titles include new releases as well as classics. Some discuss ancient societies, while others explore the modern experience.

Paris to Palestine to America | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

Begley, Adam. The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera. Tim Duggan: Hogarth. Jul. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101902608. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101902615. HISTORY Former books editor of the New York Observer, Begley offers the portrait of an artist as both celebrity and entrepreneur. Nadar was famed for iconic photographs of folks like Manet and Sarah […]

Oh, the Horror! | Arts & Humanities Reviews, December 2016

Skal’s exploration of Stoker’s most famous work is for serious students of horror literature and ­Victorian ­culture; thoroughly documented, Powers of Darkness is recommended for Dracula scholars

Award-Winning Short Fiction, Hamlet Worldwide, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Arimah, Lesley Nneka. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories. Riverhead. Apr. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780735211025. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735211049. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Arimah won the 2015 African Commonwealth Prize for the Granta-published “Light,” was a finalist for the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for the title story, […]

Literature, Music, TV | Arts Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Bloom, Harold. Falstaff: Give Me Life. Scribner. Apr. 2017. 176p. ISBN 9781501164132. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781501164156. LITERATURE Distinguished critic Bloom, known especially for his Shakespeare scholarship, shows us why Falstaff—central to the three Henry plays—is considered Shakespeare’s greatest comic character. As Bloom explains, readers experience Falstaff differently as they move through life, which clarifies how […]

Two Big Fiction Debuts, Gaitskill, Lamott, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

El Akkad, Omar. American War. Knopf. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780451493583. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451493590. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/DYSTOPIAN FICTION Having reported on key issues from the war in Afghanistan to the Black Lives Matter movement, Egyptian-born, Canadian-based journalist El Akkad not surprisingly offers a debut novel shaped by current events while pointing […]