War, Islam, & Evangelicals | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2


Bellaigue, Christopher de. The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2017. 560p. ISBN 9780871403735. $35. HISTORY Many Westerners see Islam as behind the times, having failed to experience Europe’s Enlightenment. But Bellaigue, an authority on Islam and the Middle East who speaks Turkish, Persian, and Arabic […]

Of Historical Interest | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2


Carroll, Andrew. My Fellow Soldiers: General John Pershing and the Americans Who Helped Win the Great War. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2017. 400p. ISBN 9781594206481. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780698192669. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. HISTORY Creator of the Legacy Project, which collects wartime correspondence, Carroll drew on the project’s archives to assemble two New York Times best-selling anthologies, […]

Four Key Biographies | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2


Rosnay, Tatiana de. Manderley Forever. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2017. 352p. tr. from French by Sam Taylor. ISBN 9781250099136. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250099150. CD: Macmillan Audio. BIOGRAPHY “Manderley forever” has been the cri de coeur of No. 1 New York Times best-selling author de Rosnay (Sarah’s Keys) since she first read Daphne du Maurier’s twisty-misty Rebecca […]

Books for Our Times | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 1


Douthat, Ross. To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. S. & S. Apr. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501146923. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146947. RELIGION As conservative New York Times columnist Douthat clarifies, Pope Francis’s stewardship as 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church is not without controversy. His raising issues like communion for […]

Hot-Button Issues | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 1


Alter, Adam. Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked. Penguin Pr. Mar. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9781594206641. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698402638. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. PSYCHOLOGY/SOCIAL MEDIA The newest addiction? It’s not to a substance but to a behavior, argues New York University professor Alter, author of the New York Times […]

Nobel Prize Winner Coetzee & Civil War as Concept | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4


Armitage, David. Civil Wars: A History in Ideas. Knopf. Feb. 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780307271136. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353090. PHILOSOPHY/HISTORY The Lloyd C. Blankfein Professor of History at Harvard University, Armitage considers civil war not as an aggregation of battles but as an idea dating back to republican Rome. That idea really matters, for whether or […]

Eliot Ackerman, Han Kang, Mark Kurlansky, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2017, Pt. 1


Ackerman, Elliot. Dark at the Crossing. Knopf. Jan. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101947371. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101947388. LITERARY A Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart recipient who served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Ackerman is among the soldier-writers who have returned home to give us a considered view of the fighting. He’s […]

Rising Stars | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 1


Barkan, Josh. Mexico: Stories. Hogarth: Crown. Jan. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101906293. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781101906309. SHORT STORIES What do you do when a drug lord walks into your restaurant? Or when a parent walks into your classroom and threatens to kill you if his son falls for the wrong girl? These are some of the […]

On Elvis Presley & George Lucas | Nonfiction Previews, December 2016, Pt. 1


Connolly, Ray. Being Elvis. Liveright: Norton. Dec. 2016. 369p. ISBN 9781631492808. $27.95. BIOGRAPHY Longtime British rock journalist Connolly, also a novelist and award-winning screenwriter, interviewed numerous Sixties and Seventies stars while working for the London Evening Standard. Elvis Presley was among them. Now, on the 40th anniversary of Presley’s death, Connolly has crafted a biography […]

Pop Fiction from Kelley Armstrong to Stuart Woods | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 4


Armstrong, Kelley. Otherworld Chills. Plume. Oct. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780062410337. pap. $16; ebk. ISBN 9780698173569.  FANTASY Armstrong drums up the last of three anthologies featuring short stories and novellas about characters from her mega-best-selling “Otherworld” series. While the first anthology featured romance and the second mystery, this all-new collection puts Nick, Hope, Karl, and the […]