Timely Tellings: Memoir Highlights 2017 (so far)

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LJ’s memoir columnists and reviewers help celebrate the first quarter of 2017 with four starred reviews from the monthly online column, a book about love of urban gardening, and, just in time for Valentine’s Day, three titles that deal with making marriage work in these troubled times.

Science, Knausgaard, & America from Abroad | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jul./Aug. 2017

POLICING

Davis, Angela J., ed. Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment. Pantheon. Jul. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781101871270. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871287. AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES The recent deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and more bring into ever sharper focus the long, tragic history of the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of African American men. This […]

Books Beyond Our Borders | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

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Bassingthwaighte, Ian. Live from Cairo. Scribner. Jul. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501146879. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146893. LITERARY FICTION A Hopwood Award winner and finalist for the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative, Fulbright grantee Bassingthwaighte worked in Egypt in 2009 to help refugees from Iraq, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa. Thus he brings both writing skills […]

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

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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 […]

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

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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 […]

The Shi’a-Sunni Divide, Moses, My Utmost, Thich Nhat Hahn | Spirituality & Religion Reviews, February 1, 2017

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A careful analysis of the current state of the Arab world; an intriguing story filled with tragic “if-only’s” and powerful examples of courage; a thoughtful work that is worth the effort for spiritually erudite and patient readers

Nonfiction: Sexual Assault in the Military, Boxing, da Vinci, Jewish Holidays, Skillet Cooking | Xpress Reviews

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Hall’s brave and honest work sexual assault in the military; a trip down memory lane for hard-core boxing fans; for readers already familiar with Lappin’s novels and essays; a modern take on a pilgrim’s journal for Jewish and non-Jewish readers alike; explore the stalwart skillet’s versatility

Beattie, Gabaldon, Gay, Sullivan, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 3

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Beattie, Ann. The Accomplished Guest: Stories. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501111389. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501111402. SHORT STORIES Since her 1976 publishing debut with the story collection Distortions and the novel Chilly Scenes of Winter, Beattie has worked in both genres, but her gifts really belong to short fiction. Here’s her 11th story collection, following […]

Performing Arts | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2017, Pt. 2

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Aikman, Becky. Off the Cliff: How the Making of Thelma & Louise Drove Hollywood to the Edge. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9781594206719. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780698405639. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. FILM Former Business Week/Newsday reporter Aikman explains how 30-year-old production assistant Callie Khouri persisted in the face of considerable indifference to write a film […]

Sherman Alexie, Alexandra Fuller, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 1

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Alexie, Sherman. You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me: A Memoir. Little, Brown. Jun. 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780316270755. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316270762. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316395649. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR Notable for his precise, punch-in-the-gut writing, as evidenced by his PEN/Malamud and PEN/Hemingway honors, and winner of the National Book Award for Young People’s […]