Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup: From Mary Beard to Eileen Rockefeller

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Beard, Mary. Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations. Liveright: Norton. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780871407160. $28.95. HISTORY Described by the New York Times as “the closest thing, if it exists, to a celebrity classics professor” in a story about her having stood up to some naysayers who abused her on the Internet, Cambridge scholar […]

Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2013, Pt. 3: Barnes, Carroll, Coetzee, Ford, George, Harding, Hastings, Kennedy, Lahiri

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Barnes, Julian. Levels of Life. Knopf. Sept. 2013. 144p. ISBN 9780385350778. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385350785. MEMOIR Not a conventional memoir—did you really expect something so mundane from the multi-award-winning author of Flaubert’s Parrot and The Sense of an Ending?—this book aims to “put together two things that have not been put together before, and the […]

Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2013, Pt. 1: Short Stories from Barrett, New Fiction from Danticat, the Muslim Response to Fundamentalism, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

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Barrett, Andrea. Archangel. Norton. Aug. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780393240009. $24.95. SHORT STORIES As Barrett demonstrated with books like Voyage of the Narwhal, she writes perceptively about science. And as she proved with her National Book Award winner, Ship Fever, she’s mastered the short form. With these short stories, focusing on science, she’s set to prove […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2013, Pt. 4: Bass, Bohjalian, Dunant, Housh, Mankell, Rakoff, Sapienza

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Bass, Rick. All the Land to Hold Us. Houghton Harcourt. Jul. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780547687124. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780547687438. LITERARY FICTION It’s not surprising that exemplary nature writer Bass’s fourth novel, set in Texas, features salt miners and oil and gas wildcatters. But you’ll also meet Baptists, high school football players, a local beauty, a […]

Nonfiction Previews, May 2013, Pt. 1: Two Big Books on Fox News

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Muto, Joe. An Atheist in the FOXhole: A Liberal’s Eight-Year Odyssey Inside the Heart of the Right-Wing Media. Dutton. May 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780525953951. $26.95. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. JOURNALISM Muto calls himself a godless, bleeding-heart liberal, but, hey, he needed a job, so he signed on at Fox, the biggest cable news channel in America […]

Final April 2013 Previews: Rees on Hitler, Meyer on the Borgias, and Best Poetry of 25 Years

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Barnett, Kristine. The Spark: A Mother’s Story of Nurturing Genius. Random. Apr. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780812993370. $27; eISBN 9780679645245. CD/Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR At age 12, Jacob Barnett became a paid researcher in quantum physics, and his IQ is higher than Einstein’s was. But as a distracted toddler, he was diagnosed with autism, and Jacob’s […]

Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2013, Pt. 1: Aslam, Berg, Close, Dalrymple, Lanier, Leibovich

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Aslam, Nadeem. The Blind Man’s Garden. Knopf. Apr. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9780307961716. $26.95; eISBN 9780307961723. LITERARY FICTION Winner of Betty Trask and Kiriyama honors and shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award (for Maps for Lost Lovers), Aslam is among an outstanding group of Pakistani-born writers now working in English (e.g., Daniyal Mueenuddin, Mohammed Hanif, […]

Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2013: Pt. 3: Peter Higgins, Michael Moss, Ruth Ozeki, and M.G. Vassanji

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Higgins, Peter. Wolfhound Century. Orbit: Hachette. Mar. 2013. 380p. ISBN 9780316219679. $25.99. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. FANTASY Inspector Vissarion Lom has been ordered to Mirgorod, his country’s corrupt capital, to ensnare a terrorist. He’s chosen not simply because he’s an outsider amid the city’s secret police, cabaret girls, and rabid party loyalists—not to mention golems and […]

Fiction Previews, Mar. 2013, Pt. 1: Ann Hood, Marisa Silver, Fowler on Zelda Fitzgerald, & More

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Fowler, Therese Anne. Z—: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald. St. Martin’s. Mar. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781250028655. $24.99. HISTORICAL FICTION Fowler won an LJ star for her 2008 debut, Souvenir, settling comfortably into fraught contemporary relationship territory and finding herself compared to Jodi Picoult. Here she does something entirely different, reimagining the tumultuous life of the […]

Fiction Previews, Feb. 2013, Pt. 4: Award-Winning Authors Jennifer Haigh, Jamaica Kincaid, Ron Rash, and More

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Dee, Jonathan. A Thousand Pardons. Random. Feb. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780812993219. $26; eISBN 9780679645009. LITERARY A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2009 with Chang-Rae Lee (Jennifer Egan won for A Visit from the Goon Squad), Dee goes au courant with the story of a woman who returns to work after her corporate-lawyer husband loses all following […]

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