Politics, Art, & Grief | Memoir Previews, Aug./Sept. 2017

Ausiello, Michael. Spoiler Alert: The Hero Dies; A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Other Four-Letter Words. Atria. Sept. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781501134968. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501134982. MEMOIR A longtime entertainment journalist, now founder and editor in chief of TVLine.com, Ausiello knows how to write. But here he’s set himself a tough task: discussing what happened […]

Biography, Freud, & Flood | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Aug. 2017

Atlas, James. The Shadow in the Garden: A Biographer’s Tale. Pantheon. Aug. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781101871690. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871706. Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR/LITERARY Atlas is a publishing-world fixture, having founded Atlas Books and the “Lipper/Viking Penguin Lives” series and been a staff writer, contributor, or editor for publications from Time to the New York […]

War, the UN, & Wrongful Conviction | Social Science Previews, Aug. 2017

Brennan, Thomas J. USMC (Ret.) & Finbarr O’Reilly. Shooting Ghosts: A U.S. Marine, a Combat Photographer, and Their Journey Back from War. Viking. Aug. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780399562549. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399562563. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR/MILITARY Though the cause may be different, war correspondents suffer posttraumatic stress disorder at about the same rate as combat […]

Patterson, Scottoline, Slaughter, & More | Thriller Previews, Aug. 2017

Brennan, Allison. Shattered. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Aug. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9781250129277. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250129284. THRILLER After a friend’s young son is kidnapped and suffocated, a crime for which the friend’s wife now stands accused, investigative reporter Max Revere is looking into three similar cases over the last two decades. Funny how no one wants […]

Writers To Watch | Literary Fiction Previews, Jul. 2017

Clemmons, Zinzi. What We Lose. Viking. Jul. 2017. 192p. ISBN 9780735221710. $22; ebk. ISBN 9780735221727. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY Raised by a South African mother and an American father, ever walking the color line, Thandi is already struggling to find a sense of sureness in life when she learns that her mother has cancer. Debut […]

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Dublin Winner Sharma, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

Alexievich, Svetlana. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II. Random. Jul. 2017. 384p. tr. from Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. ISBN 9780399588723. $30; ekb. ISBN 9780399588730. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY Winner of the Nobel Prize for her rich, incisive oral histories of the Soviet Union, Alexievich […]

Top Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

Alyan, Hala. Salt Houses. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780544912588. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544912380. LITERARY/SAGA This embracing and salt-sharp tale by Palestinian American poet and clinical psychologist Alyan magnifies the problem of displacement in the Middle East by chronicling the fate of one family continually uprooted after the Six-Day War of 1967. After her […]

Four Essential Thrillers | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 1

Crichton, Michael. Dragon Teeth. Harper. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780062473356. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062473370. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. THRILLER Set in 1876, at the height of the Bone Wars—the frantic competition by paleontologists to find the very best preserved dinosaur fossils—this newly discovered novel should cheer up fans of Crichton, who died in 2008. To […]

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, […]

From Boylan to Karen White | Pop Fiction, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

Boylan, Jennifer Finney. Long Black Veil. Crown. Apr. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9780451496324. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780451496348. Downloadable: Random Audio. THRILLER/COMING OF AGE/LGBT LGBT rights advocate, Op-Ed page contributor to the New York Times since 2007, and the inaugural Anna Quindlen Writer in Residence at Barnard College, Boylan still finds time to write both fiction and […]