Technology, Literature, & Dan Rather | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Nov. 2017

Berlin, Leslie. Troublemakers: The Story of Silicon Valley’s Coming of Age. S. & S. Nov. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781451651508. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781451651522. TECHNOLOGY Five of the world’s six most valuable companies are high-tech firms, and they were helped to the top by the six innovators profiled here, who broke ground in 1970s and early […]

Eco, Erdrich, Khizr Khan, Kevin Young, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2017

Eco, Umberto. Chronicles of a Liquid Society. Houghton Harcourt. Nov. 2017. tr. from Italian by Richard Dixon. 272p. ISBN 9780544974487. $24; ebk. ISBN 9780544974579. PHILOSOPHY/ESSAYS Novelist, essayist, literary critic, philosopher, and semiotician nonpareil (see his star turn in Laurent Binet’s sensational The Seventh Function of Language, which supposes that Roland Barthes was murdered), Eco began […]

Fiction Beyond Our Borders | Barbara’s Picks, Jul./Aug. 2017

Adebayo, Ayobami. Stay with Me. Knopf. Aug. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9780451494603. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451494610. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY In this debut from rising Nigerian star Adebayo, Yejide and Akin fall in love and get married but fail to conceive a child. The consequences are dire, as Yejide’s parents eventually saunter in with a young […]

Science, Knausgaard, & America from Abroad | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jul./Aug. 2017

Davis, Angela J., ed. Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution, and Imprisonment. Pantheon. Jul. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9781101871270. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871287. AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES The recent deaths of Eric Garner, Michael Brown, and more bring into ever sharper focus the long, tragic history of the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of African American men. This […]

Books Beyond Our Borders | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

Bassingthwaighte, Ian. Live from Cairo. Scribner. Jul. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501146879. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146893. LITERARY FICTION A Hopwood Award winner and finalist for the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative, Fulbright grantee Bassingthwaighte worked in Egypt in 2009 to help refugees from Iraq, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa. Thus he brings both writing skills […]

Paris to Palestine to America | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

Begley, Adam. The Great Nadar: The Man Behind the Camera. Tim Duggan: Hogarth. Jul. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101902608. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101902615. HISTORY Former books editor of the New York Observer, Begley offers the portrait of an artist as both celebrity and entrepreneur. Nadar was famed for iconic photographs of folks like Manet and Sarah […]

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Dublin Winner Sharma, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

Alexievich, Svetlana. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II. Random. Jul. 2017. 384p. tr. from Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. ISBN 9780399588723. $30; ekb. ISBN 9780399588730. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY Winner of the Nobel Prize for her rich, incisive oral histories of the Soviet Union, Alexievich […]

Six Top Mysteries | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2017, Pt. 3

Greenlaw, Linda. Shiver Hitch. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2017. 304p. ISBN 9781250107565. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250107572. MYSTERY Prominently featured as captain of a swordboat in Sebastian Junger’s The Perfect Storm, Greenlaw is author of several nonfiction titles, e.g., the New York Times best-selling The Hungry Ocean, as well as the Jane Bunker mysteries. Here, Jane, […]

War, Islam, & Evangelicals | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2

Bellaigue, Christopher de. The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2017. 560p. ISBN 9780871403735. $35. HISTORY Many Westerners see Islam as behind the times, having failed to experience Europe’s Enlightenment. But Bellaigue, an authority on Islam and the Middle East who speaks Turkish, Persian, and Arabic […]

Four Key Biographies | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2

Rosnay, Tatiana de. Manderley Forever. St. Martin’s. Apr. 2017. 352p. tr. from French by Sam Taylor. ISBN 9781250099136. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250099150. CD: Macmillan Audio. BIOGRAPHY “Manderley forever” has been the cri de coeur of No. 1 New York Times best-selling author de Rosnay (Sarah’s Keys) since she first read Daphne du Maurier’s twisty-misty Rebecca […]