Fredrik Backman, C.J. Box, Shirley Jackson, & The Voyage of the Slave Ship Antelope | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2015, Pt. 4


Backman, Fredrik. My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry. Atria. Jul. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781501115066. $25. LITERARY FICTION An international best seller published in more than 25 languages worldwide, Backman’s first novel, A Man Called Ove, got lovely reviews here that almost always used the word charming. That word (though perhaps with more […]

Gaiman, Klaussmann, Kumin, Scottoline/Serritella, Wascom, & Karjel’s Hot New Swedish Thriller | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2


Gaiman, Neil. Neverwhere: The Author’s Preferred Edition. Morrow. Jul. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780062371058. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780061793059. FANTASY You know Neverwhere, Gaiman’s first book, the career launcher that told the story of perfectly pleasant London businessman Richard Mayhew’s sudden drop through a crack in reality to the Neverwhere, a shadowy place under siege by some […]

Butler, Danielewski, Enright, Hemon, Pearl, & Perkins-Valdez | Barbara’s All-Fiction Picks, May 2015, Pt. 2


Butler, Nickolas. Beneath the Bonfire: Stories. St. Martin’s. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781250039835. $23.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466875531. CD: Macmillan Audio. SHORT STORIES After receiving some powerful reviews when it appeared last spring (the New York Times called it “an impressively original debut”), Butler’s Wisconsin-set, warmly small-town, big-friendship Shotgun Lovesongs went on to become a national […]

Brian Doyle, Bruce Holsinger, Ann Packer, & Three Essential World War II Titles | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2


Doyle, Brian. Martin Marten. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250045201. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466843691. LITERARY Published by an academic press, the luminously written Mink River was a dead giveaway that Doyle had a big literary future ahead of him, and he proved himself nicely with last year’s The Plover. His new novel […]

From the Vietnam War to LGBT Rights | History & Current Events Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2


Blehm, Eric. Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines. Crown. Apr. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780804139519. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804139526. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MILITARY In 2012’s Fearless, Blehm chronicled SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown’s moment of supreme sacrifice […]

Charles Baxter, Sara Blaedel, Nick Hornby, Reif Larsen, Peter Swanson, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2015, Pt. 4


Baxter, Charles. There’s Something I Want You To Do. Pantheon. Feb. 2015. 240p. ISBN 9781101870013. $24; ebk. ISBN ISBN 9781101870020. SHORT STORIES A National Book Award nominee for The Feast of Love, Baxter returns with his first story collection in 15 years. Piercingly elegant, as always, the stories are divided into two sections, one embodying […]

Split-Brain Theory, Evolution, Interstellar Travel, & More | Science Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 3


Bell, Jim. The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission. Dutton. Feb. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780525954323. $27.95. ASTRONOMY The Voyager spacecraft mission was launched in 1977 with the aim of traveling into interstellar space; Voyager 1 left the solar system in 2013 and sister craft Voyager 2 is expected to do so in 2015. Clipping along […]

Memoirs from Musicians (Charlie Wilson), Journalists (Robert Chirstgau, Kevin Sessums), a Genius Gamer (Garriott de Cayeux ), & More | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 1


Christgau. Robert. Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic As a Young Man. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Feb. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062238795. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062238818. MEMOIR Chief music critic at the Village Voice for more than three decades and still going strong as a columnist and visiting arts professor at New York University, […]

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


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


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 […]