History from Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte to Kennan’s Diaries | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Berkin, Carol. Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte. Knopf. Feb. 2014. 256p. ISBN 9780307592781. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385351621. BIOGRAPHY How many readers know that Napoleon’s youngest brother, Jerome, married a Baltimore beauty named Elizabeth Patterson, which so angered Napoleon that he insisted Jerome renounce her or lose all his powers? As […]

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, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: Cosmology, Technology, & the Brain

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American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How To Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2014. ed. by Debra Horwitz & others. 384p. ISBN 9780547738918. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780547834450. PETS/DOGS Why decode your dog’s behaviors? Because, explains this first-ever book from the American […]

Nonfiction Previews, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Sports Stars, Classical Music, & Anxiety

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  Bradlee, Ben, Jr. The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. 784p. ISBN 9780316614351. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780316084482; lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316163712. CD: Hachette Audio. BIOGRAPHY/SPORTS On leave from 25 distinguished years as a reporter and then deputy managing editor at the Boston Globe, Bradlee gives us a biography of […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Nonfiction from Auster, Bloom, Brotton, Gardiner, Halperin/Heilemann, Klima, & Robb

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Auster, Paul. Report from the Interior. Holt. Nov. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780805098570. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780805098594. CD: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR At 63, celebrated novelist Auster wrote an account of his body and of physical sensation generally that was published last year as Winter Journal. In this work he charts the life of the mind, particularly […]

Nonfiction, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: A Dozen Arts Titles, from Mozart to Norman Rockwell to the Spider-man Musical

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Berger, Glen. The Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History. S. & S. Nov. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781451684568. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451684582. MUSICALS Chosen by Julie Taymor to collaborate on the book of the Spider-man musical, Emmy Award–winning television and theater writer Berger saw the entire musical unfold […]

Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: History & Biography, from Red Cloud to JFK to the Warsaw Uprising

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Davis, Wes. The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War To Rescue Crete from the Nazis. Crown. Nov. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780307460134. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307460158. HISTORY History both crucial and swashbuckling: an odd bunch of British intelligence officers (involved because they made “the obsolete choice of Greek at school”) joined with Cretan resistance fighters and an […]

Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup: From Mary Beard to Eileen Rockefeller

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Beard, Mary. Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations. Liveright: Norton. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780871407160. $28.95. HISTORY Described by the New York Times as “the closest thing, if it exists, to a celebrity classics professor” in a story about her having stood up to some naysayers who abused her on the Internet, Cambridge scholar […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 5: Essential Reading Beyond the Commercial Blockbusters: Baker, Horn, Perrotta, & More

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Baker, Nicholson. Traveling Sprinkler. Blue Rider: Penguin Group (USA). Sept. 2013. 288p. ISBN 9780399160967. $26.95. LITERARY Baker’s The Anthologist, in which Paul Chowder tries valiantly to get started on a collection of formal verse, won best-book nods from a half-dozen venues. This new novel again features the hapless Chowder, here eager to jump-start his life […]

Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2013, Pt. 1: Short Stories from Barrett, New Fiction from Danticat, the Muslim Response to Fundamentalism, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

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Barrett, Andrea. Archangel. Norton. Aug. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780393240009. $24.95. SHORT STORIES As Barrett demonstrated with books like Voyage of the Narwhal, she writes perceptively about science. And as she proved with her National Book Award winner, Ship Fever, she’s mastered the short form. With these short stories, focusing on science, she’s set to prove […]

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