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

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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 […]

History (David O. Stewart), Politics (David Axelrod), Self-Help (Ron Lieber), & More | Social Science Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 4

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Axelrod, David. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. Penguin Pr. Feb. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9781594205873. $29.95. CD: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR After eight years as a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Axelrod switched lanes to become a political consultant, strategizing for over 150 local, state, and national campaigns. His clients have included Barack Obama, […]

Our Vietnam, Legal Advice for Women, Langston Hughes, Andrew Cuomo, Fashion Giants | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2015, Pt. 3

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Appy, Christian G. American Reckoning: The Vietnam War and Our National Identity. Viking. Feb. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780670025398. $28.95. HISTORY A professor of history at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Appy is noted for two big books on the Vietnam War, Patriots: The Vietnam War Remembered from All Sides, an oral history, and Working-Class War: […]

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

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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 […]

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) […]

Makos on Korean War Heroism, Moynahan on the Siege of Leningrad, Panetta on Government, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Prepub Alert, Oct. 2014, Pt. 5

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Kaplan, Eric. Does Santa Exist?: A Philosophical Investigation. Dutton. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780525954392. $20. PHILOSOPHY Candidate for a PhD in philosophy at Berkeley, as well as co-executive producer of and writer for the hit TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory, Kaplan has the tools to make accessible some big philosophical questions: how are our […]

Performing Arts Essentials: Books by Cumming, Dunham, Lear, & Poehler | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 3

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Cumming, Alan. Not My Father’s Son: A Memoir. Dey: HarperCollins. Oct. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780062225061. $26.99. MEMOIR A star of stage and screen who broke our hearts with his Tony Award–winning portrayal of the Emcee in 1998’s Cabaret—and is doing so again on Broadway now—Cumming here offers a totally unexpected memoir. At the time he […]

Biography from Joan of Arc & George Marshall to Stalin & Goebbels | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1

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Auricchio, Laura. The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered. Knopf. Oct. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780307267559. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353243. BIOGRAPHY Americans know the Marquis de Lafayette as the French hero of the American Revolution who at age 19 volunteered to fight under George Washington and subsequently negotiated increased French support that went a long way toward winning the […]

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 […]

Interesting People from Chen Guangcheng to Bob Dylan to Pat O’Brien | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 4

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Callahan, Maureen. Champagne Supernovas: Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, Alexander McQueen, and the 90s Renegades Who Remade Fashion. Touchstone. Sept. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781451640533. $26. FASHION Style and pop culture journalist Callahan offers a history of fashion in the 1990s, when mere glamor morphed into culturally significant cutting-edge artistry, touching on dozens of personalities but using […]

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