FDR’s Last Months, African American Women Mathematicians, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Lelyveld, Joseph. His Final Battle: The Last Months of Franklin Roosevelt. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780385350792. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385350808. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY A former executive editor of the New York Times and author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning Move Your Shadow, Lelyveld doesn’t give us overarching biography but an incisive slice of life […]

Sophie Hannah, Eimear McBride, Ron Rash & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2016. , Pt. 3

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Hannah, Sophie/Agatha Christie. Closed Casket: The New Hercule Poirot Novel. Morrow. Sept. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062458827. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062458841. CD: HarperAudio. MYSTERY With The Monogram Murders, Hannah gutsily took on the task of bringing back Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, and though some fans sniped, it was a New York Times best seller that got […]

Fifteen Mystery/Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 2

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Ahnhem, Stefan. Victim Without a Face: A Fabian Risk Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2016. 592p. tr. from Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. ISBN 9781250103185. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250103192. THRILLER Screenwriter Ahnhem joins the Swedish crime brigade with a first novel whose initial victims were class bullies three decades ago. Alas, criminal investigator Fabian Risk, who’s […]

Anderson/Rovin, Jennifer Chiaverini, J.A. Jance, Karin Slaughter | Essential Pop Fiction, Sept. 2016, Pt. 1

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Anderson, Gillian & Jeff Rovin. The Sound of Seas. (The EarthEnd Saga, Bk. 3). Simon451: S. & S. 320p. ISBN 9781476776590. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781476776613. SF Having proven herself as a writer with her well-received “EarthEnd Saga” series, written with New York Times best-selling author Rovin, award-winning actress Anderson wraps up the series with some […]

Top Pop from Carriger, Harbison, Iggulden, Steel, & More | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3

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Banner, Catherine. The House at the Edge of Night. Random. Jul. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780812998795. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812998801. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL Having published the first in a YA trilogy when she was only 15, Banner goes adult at the veteran age of 25, offering a saga starring three generations of women striving to […]

The Idiot Brain, Fashion Photography, the Microbiome, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3

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Burnett, Dean. Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To. Norton. Jul. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780393253788. $26.95. COGNITIVE SCIENCE Ever popular, books about the brain typically extol its wonders, but Burnett lets us in on all the weird things it does, ranging from blackouts to insomnia, and all the mistakes we’ve made in trying […]

Fifteen Essential Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4

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Adler, Elizabeth. The Charmers. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781250058195. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862265. THRILLER A villa in the south of France, inherited from an aunt? Sounds great for Mirabella Matthews until she’s nearly run off the road while driving there with the young woman to whom she’s giving a lift. As Mirabella […]

From Don DeLillo to Service Dogs to the Baker & Taylor Cats | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 4

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Belfer, Lauren. And After the Fire. Harper. May 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780062428516. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062428547. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION In 1796 Berlin, famed musician Sara Itzig Levy hides an anti-Semitic cantata written by Johann Sebastian Bach and given to her by her teacher, one of Bach’s sons. In 1945 Germany, U.S. soldier Henry Sachs snatches a […]

Banks on Travel, Guy on Elizabeth I, Dickey on Pit Bulls, & More | Nonfiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 4

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Banks, Russell. Voyager: Travel Writings. Ecco. May 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780061857676. $25.99. ESSAYS/TRAVELOG A Pulitzer Prize and Carnegie Medal finalist, novelist Banks is also an inveterate traveler. Here he offers a collection of essays arching over decades and continents as he interviews Fidel Castro in Cuba, elopes to Edinburgh with his fourth wife, travels along […]

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 […]