Final Summer Sweep: Louis de Bernières, Ernest Cline, & More

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This newsletter opens coverage of September titles, before you even have a chance to shimmy into your bathing suit and head to the pool, and it’s the last chance to cite a few big summer titles that have come to my attention late. Note, for instance, Louis de Bernières’s The Dust That Falls from Dreams […]

Patrick deWitt, Lori Ostlund, Edward St. Aubyn, & More Award-Winning Writers | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1

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deWitt, Patrick. Undermajordomo Minor. Ecco. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062281203. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062281234. LITERARY FICTION If you liked DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, an edgily funny remake of the classic Western that was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, you’ll probably like his new work, too. Weak and hapless Lucien (Lucy) Minor feels like a […]

Race, Education, & the Prison System | Social Science Reviews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1

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Faderman, Lillian. The Gay Revolution:The Story of the Struggle. S. & S. Sept. 2015. 512p. ISBN 9781451694116. $35. SOCIAL HISTORY Winner of six Lambda Literary Awards, two Stonewall Book Awards from the American Library Association, and Yale’s James Robert Brudner Memorial Prize and Lecture for Exemplary Scholarship in Lesbian/Gay Studies, among other honors, Faderman is […]

Peter Carey, Anita Diamant, Haruki Murakami, & More | Last-Minute Fall/Winter Fiction

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Carey, Peter. Amnesia. Knopf. Jan. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780385352772. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385352789. LITERARY Just in time for all those revelations about America spying on its allies, Carey, the winner of multiple Booker, Commonwealth, and Miles Franklin awards, examines key points of contention between this country and Australia with an edgy cyber story as context. […]

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 […]

Ten Big Breakout Authors | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 3

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Bradford, Arthur. Turtleface and Beyond: Stories. Farrar. Feb. 2015. 208p. ISBN 9780802123190. $25; ebk.ISBN 9780374712846. SHORT STORIES An O. Henry Award–winning writer and Emmy-nominated filmmaker whose work has appeared in places like Esquire and McSweeny’s, Bradford has good connections that are making this book buzz. The stories are funny in a dark and wicked sort […]

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 […]

From Lev Grossman to Susan Vreeland | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Aug. 2014, Pt. 2

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Grossman, Lev. The Magician’s Land. Viking. Aug. 2014. ISBN 9780670015672. $27.95. CD: Penguin Random. Audio. FANTASY When he’s not reviewing books for Time, Grossman writes engrossing fantasy that has won him the 2011 John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best New Writer from the World Science Fiction Society. Here’s the conclusion to a trilogy that […]

Key Summer Titles | Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers

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It may be snowing in New York City as I write, but the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program is already announcing its top summer picks. Pay attention, because this program is excellent at spotting worthy and big-breaking books. The titles most likely to make tracks, maybe to some best sellers lists, include […]

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 […]

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