Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2014, Pt. 2: Hillary Rodham Clinton, Alan Furst, Sue Miller, & More

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Betts, Dwayne. The Circumference of a Prison: Youth, Race, and the Failures of the American Justice System. Avery. Jun. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781583334751. $27. LAW A distinguished poet, Yale law student, and NAACP Image award winner, Betts received a Soros Justice Fellowship to support the writing of this book, which addresses the inequities of a […]

Keep Those First Novels Coming: The Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize

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“We write about our shared past to understand our shared present,” declared Margaret Wrinkle when she was awarded the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize by the Center for Fiction on December 11 at New York’s Union League Club. Wrinkle’s award winner, Wash, darkly illuminates the treatment of slaves in America; as a white woman born in […]

Fiction To Watch from David Guterson, Cristina Henríquez, Lisa O’Donnell, & More | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2014, Pt. 1

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Conn, Andrew Lewis. O, Africa! Hogarth: Crown. Jun. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780804138284. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780804138291. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Conn, whose devilishly over-the-top debut novel, P., got mostly strong reviews, would seem to be delivering on that sly promise. Micah and Izzy Grand, twin brothers from a Jewish immigrant family, are successfully producing slapstick comedies in 1920s […]

History & Political Science from the Fight for Marriage Equality to the Lives of Mitterrand | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Aly, Götz. Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust. Metropolitan: Holt. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780805097009. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780805097047. HISTORY A noted scholar of the Holocaust who’s won the National Jewish Book Award and the Heinrich Mann Prize, among other honors, Aly argues that German anti-Semitism […]

Self-Help (Marlo Thomas), Cooking (the Neelys), Getting Fit (Bob Harper), Sports (John Calipari) | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Calipari, John & Michael Sokolove. Players First: Success from the Inside Out. Penguin Pr. Apr. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9781594205736. $28.95. SPORTS In a book that the publisher expects to be big, famed and famously blunt University of Kentucky basketball coach Calipari explains what distinguishes good teams (and coaches) from bad ones and what’s gone haywire […]

Max Brooks on the Harlem Hellfighters, Boston Marathon Victim Jeff Bauman on Hope, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Bauman, Jeff with Bret Witter. Stronger: Fighting Back After the Boston Marathon Bombing. Grand Central. Apr. 2014. 250p. ISBN 9781455584376. $26. MEMOIR Bauman’s life changed dramatically when a bomb exploded at last spring’s Boston Marathon, severing both of his legs. A photograph of his initial agony came to embody the tragedy of the event, and […]

Histories of Paris & World War II, Biographies of Begin & Chavez | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 1

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DeJean, Joan. How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City. Bloomsbury USA. Mar. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781608195916. $28. HISTORY Everyone thinks of Paris as being remade in the 19th century under the direction of Baron Haussmann, but DeJean argues that its real rebirth occurred as it emerged from the medieval past in the […]

On the Edge with Thomas Pynchon

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Thomas Pynchon’s new novel, Bleeding Edge (Penguin Pr. ISBN 9781594204234. $27.95), is set for publication in September, and already reviews are passing before my eyes. So I’ll give you my take on this heady, ground-shifting novel, which explores early Internet angst and the buildup to 9/11 to give us a world on the verge. Interestingly, […]

Nonfiction Previews: July 2012, Pt. 1: Opium Dreams and Our War with Iran

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Nonfiction Previews: July 2012, Pt. 1: Opium Dreams and Our War with Iran

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