Shirley Jackson, 9/11 Hero Welles Crowther, John le Carré, Riad Sattouf, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

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Bergner, Daniel. Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family. Lee Boudreaux: Little, Brown. Sept. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780316300674. $28. BIOGRAPHY Growing up in low-income housing in Virginia, Ryan Speedo Green was placed in a special classroom for unmanageable children and by age 12 was in juvenile detention after threatening to kill […]

Cleave, Dyer, Junger, Müller, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 3

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Blumenthal, Sidney. A Self-Made Man: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1809–1849. S. & S. May 2016. 608p. ISBN 9781476777252. $35; ebk. ISBN 9781476777276. BIOGRAPHY A veteran reporter, former assistant and senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, and senior adviser to Hillary Rodham Clinton, Blumenthal offers the first of a three-volume study of President Abraham […]

From Politics (Dionne, Dyson, & Frank) to the Israeli-Palestinian Life (Kashua) to Raising a Transgender Child | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2016, Pt. 1

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Dionne, E.J. Why the Right Went Wrong: Conservatism—From Goldwater to the Tea Party and Beyond. S. & S. Feb. 2016. 560p. ISBN 9781476763798. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781476763811. POLITICAL SCIENCE A syndicated columnist who appears twice weekly in the Washington Post and a Los Angeles Times Book Prize winner for Why Americans Hate Politics, also a […]

From the Armenian Genocide to the Holocaust to the Dadaab Refugee Camp | History Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3

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Loridan-Ivens, Marceline. But You Did Not Come Back. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2016. 112p. ISBN 978080212450. $22. HISTORY When she was only 15, Loridan-Ivens was sent by the Vichy militia to the Drancy transit camp with her father, who told her that he would not survive the ordeal they were about to face. In fact, he  […]

Getting Educated with Jason Boog, John Casey, William Deresiewicz, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2014, Pt. 1

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Boog, Jason & Betsy Bird. Born Reading: Bringing Up Bookworms in a Digital Age—From Picture Books to eBooks and Everything in Between. Touchstone. Aug. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9781476749792. pap. $15.99. EDUCATION Once publishing editor at Mediabistro, Boog launched into fatherhood by writing this book on turning children into lifelong readers. After interviewing childhood development experts, […]

History & Political Science from the Fight for Marriage Equality to the Lives of Mitterrand | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Aly, Götz. Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust. Metropolitan: Holt. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780805097009. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780805097047. HISTORY A noted scholar of the Holocaust who’s won the National Jewish Book Award and the Heinrich Mann Prize, among other honors, Aly argues that German anti-Semitism […]

Self-Help (Marlo Thomas), Cooking (the Neelys), Getting Fit (Bob Harper), Sports (John Calipari) | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Calipari, John & Michael Sokolove. Players First: Success from the Inside Out. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781594205736. $28.95. SPORTS In a book that the publisher expects to be big, famed and famously blunt University of Kentucky basketball coach Calipari explains what distinguishes good teams (and coaches) from bad ones and what’s gone haywire […]

Doyle, Figes, McCracken, Simpson, Vaill, Wilson | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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Doyle, Brian. The Plover. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250034779. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250034786. LITERARY FICTION Editor of Portland Magazine, Doyle has written 13 books of fiction, poetry, and essays but came to my attention only with the original and wittily lyrical 2010 novel Mink River—which actually caught the attention of plenty […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Dow, Grandin, Moore, & More

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Brewster, Joe & Michèle Stephenson. American Promise: Raising Black Boys To Succeed in School and in Life. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780812994483. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994490. EDUCATION The black male achievement gap is a real problem even for successful parents like Harvard-trained psychiatrist Brewster and Columbia Law School graduate Stephenson, who became […]

Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 3: Current Events from Bacevich, Goldhagen, Barnard President Spar, & More

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Bacevich, Andrew. Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country. Metropolitan: Holt. Sept. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780805082968. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780805096033. POLITICAL SCIENCE A Brown professor of history and international relations who served as an officer in the U.S. Army for 23 years, Bacevich argues that there is a tremendous divide between […]