Top Pop from Richard Paul Evans, Debbie Macomber, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1

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Dallas, Sandra. A Quilt for Christmas. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2014. 224p. ISBN 9781250045942. $17.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466846081. HISTORICAL/CHRISTMAS Home alone tending family and farm once husband Will has joined the Kansas volunteers to fight the Confederates, Eliza Spooner works on a quilt to keep Will warm during those long winter months in uniform. Then she […]

Ann Hood, Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman, Hilary Mantel, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 3

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Hood, Ann. An Italian Wife. Norton. Sept. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780393241662. $25.95. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Winner of the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction and the Best American Spiritual Writing Award, among other honors, Hood seems primed to write a multigenerational saga with a quest at its heart. At the turn of the 20th century, Josephine Rimaldi […]

Eight Women Writers, from Best Sellers (Gray, Gregory) to Newcomers (Simpson, Zourkova) | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 1

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Crombie, Deborah. To Dwell in Darkness. Morrow. Sept. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780062271600. $25.99. THRILLER In the latest Duncan Kincaid–Gemma James outing, Duncan investigates a lethal bombing in famed St. Pancras Station after having been transferred to the London borough of Camden from Scotland Yard headquarters. Postponed from April; with a 100,000-copy first printing and a […]

Summer Heart Warmers (Harbison, McCullough) & Sexy Reads (Hoover, McHugh) | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2014, Pt. 1

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Bertino, Marie-Helene. 2 a.m. at The Cat’s Pajamas. Crown. Aug. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780804140232. $25. CD:Penguin Random Audio. LITERARY On the day before Christmas, spunky nine-year-old Madeline Altimari goes hunting for the famed Philly jazz club, The Cat’s Pajamas, hoping to make her debut, even as Madeline’s divorced teacher hunts for love and Cat’s Pajamas […]

From Samuel Beckett to James Carroll to Jacqueline Winspear in Historical Fiction Mode | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2014, Pt. 2

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Beckett, Samuel. Echo’s Bones. Grove. Jul. 2014. 128p. ISBN 9780802120458. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780802194077. LITERARY FICTION In 1933, Chatto & Windus agreed to issue Beckett’s first published work of fiction, a collection of ten linked stories called More Pricks Than Kicks. The editor asked Beckett to write a final piece, which was then rejected as […]

From Sally Beauman & Robert Hellenga to Jude Deveraux & Danielle Steel | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2014, Pt. 2

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Beauman, Sally. The Visitors. Harper. Jul. 2014. 544p. ISBN 9780062302687. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062302717. LITERARY/HISTORICAL This isn’t simply the story of the friendship between delicate Lucy, sent from England to recover from typhus in sun-glazed Egypt, and a girl she meets there, the daughter of an American archaeologist. It’s also the story of the hunt […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2014, Pt. 1: Chris Bohjalian, Deborah Harkness, Sam Kean, Liane Moriarty, & More

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Bohjalian, Chris. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands. Doubleday. Jul. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780385534833. $25.95. CD: Penguin Random Audio. POP FICTION Emily Shepard is hiding out in a shelter made of ice and trash bags after a nightmarish meltdown at a nuclear plant in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom that left her parents dead. Since the meltdown might […]

Fiction Previews, Jun. 2014, Pt. 2: 41 Big Commercial Titles, from Megan Abbott to Daniel H. Wilson

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Abbott, Megan. The Fever. Little, Brown. Jun. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780316231053. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316231022. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316365703. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Things go badly for the Nash family, as a friend of teenage Deenie Nash experiences a seizure signaling the onset of a mysterious contagion that tears apart the entire community. Edgar Award […]

Desperate Times | African American Fiction (and More)

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The phrase “desperate times call for desperate measures” is especially true for December’s selections. Whether plunging into a gang war or jockeying to be plucked as a millionaire’s wife, the characters in these novels find themselves caught up in desperate situations. Some will turn to God and others will rely on superior firepower.

Damien Echols, Stephen King, Larry McMurtry, Lisa See, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2014, Pt. 1

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Allen, Danielle. Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality. Liveright: Norton. Jun. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780871406903. $27.95. HISTORY A political philosopher who looms large in the scholarly community (she is a professor of social science at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton and on the board of the […]

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