Egyptian Revolution, European Flashpoints, Cryptocurrency, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

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Cambanis, Thanassis. Once Upon a Revolution: An Egyptian Story. S. & S. Jan. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9781451658996. $26. POLITICAL SCIENCE A correspondent for the Atlantic who also writes “The Internationalist” column for the Boston Globe, Cambanis captures the 2011 Tahrir Square revolution in Cairo by focusing on two key leaders: Basem, a middle-class architect not […]

Eric Foner, Seth Grahame-Smith, Edith Pearlman, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3

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Cohen, Roger. The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family. Knopf. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780307594662. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353137. MEMOIR New York Times columnist Cohen, honored by the Overseas Press Club for his work as the paper’s Balkans bureau chief during the Bosnian War and in charge of the Pulitzer […]

History/Biography from Thomas Cromwell to the Great Society to the Death of Tin Pan Alley | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3

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Borman, Tracy. Thomas Cromwell. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2015. 336p.ISBN 9780802123176. $30. BIOGRAPHY Here’s a nonfiction account of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s invaluable adviser, to go with the fictional account that Hilary Mantel has provided in the Man Booker Award winners Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies. Borman has special insight (and an audience-pleasing touch) […]

Science, Creativity, Animal Rights, & AIDS | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3

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Ashton, Kevin. How To Fly a Horse: The Secret History of Creation, Invention, and Discovery. Doubleday. Jan. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781594204340. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781594204340. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. SUCCESS Invention: it’s not a sudden, blazing act of genius but the accumulation of many small steps, minus many small setbacks, and the turning of chance insight […]

Ackroyd on the Stuarts & Charlie Chaplin, Bai on Gary Hart, Hill on Diplomacy, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2014, Pt. 5

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Ackroyd, Peter. Rebellion: The History of England from James I to the Glorious Revolution. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2014. 528p. ISBN 9781250003638. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466855991. HISTORY The award-winning biographer, historian, and novelist (e.g., Whitbread Novel Award, James Tait Black Memorial Prize) continues his “History of England” series with a third volume focusing on […]

Jill Lepore, Azar Nafisi, Simon Schama, Edward O. Wilson | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 3

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Lepore, Jill. The Secret History of Wonder Woman. Knopf. Oct. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780385354042. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385354059. HISTORY A Harvard historian and New Yorker staff writer who’s a Bancroft Prize winner and Pulitzer and National Book Award finalist, Lepore offers some surprising history here. She tells the story of the creation of Wonder Woman, […]

Marshmallow Tests and Swimming Puppies | More Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Aptowicz, Cristin O’Keefe. Dr. Mütter’s Marvels: True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine. Gotham. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9781592408702. $27.50. BIOGRAPHY/MEDICINE Whether you know it or not, you are deeply indebted to Thomas Dent Mütter, a plastic surgeon in mid-19th-century Philadelphia who pioneered the use of anesthesia and the sterilization […]

Richard Blanco, Charles M. Blow, John Lahr, Brian Turner, Sheila Weller | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 4

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Blanco, Richard. Untitled Memoir. Ecco. Sept. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780062313768. $25.99. MEMOIR Blanco has won Agnes Starrett, Tom Gunn, Patterson, and PEN/American Beyond Margins honors for his poetry. What’s more, he was appointed the fifth inaugural poet of the United States, the youngest and the first Latino, immigrant, and openly gay poet to receive that […]

Ackerman, Carr, Darnton, Fukuyama, Kissinger | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 3

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Ackerman, Diane. The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us. Norton. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780393240740. $27.95. SCIENCE Humans now dominate 75 percent of the landmass, and our technological prowess allows us to gift orangutans with iPads and collect DNA samples even as species are killed off. As distinguished naturalist and poet Ackerman notes, “Our […]

Ann Hood, Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman, Hilary Mantel, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 3

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Hood, Ann. An Italian Wife. Norton. Sept. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780393241662. $25.95. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Winner of the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction and the Best American Spiritual Writing Award, among other honors, Hood seems primed to write a multigenerational saga with a quest at its heart. At the turn of the 20th century, Josephine Rimaldi […]

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