Elif Batuman, Mohsin Hamid, Chris Hayes, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2017, Pt. 1

batuman

Batuman, Elif. The Idiot. Penguin Pr. Mar. 2017. 448p. ISBN 9781594205613. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781101622513. lrg. prnt. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY FICTION As evidenced by her National Book Critics Circle finalist, The Possessed: Adventures with Russian Books and the People Who Read Them, Batuman is a refreshingly different breed of critic, offering intriguingly personal and […]

Award-Worthy Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

danielewski

Danielewski, Mark Z. The Familiar. Vol. 4: Hades. Pantheon. Feb. 2017. 880p. ISBN 9780375715006. pap. $26.95. LITERARY/FANTASY One Rainy Day in May, the first volume of National Book Award finalist Danielewski’s magnum opus, The Familiar, was published in 2015 and quickly hit the New York Times best sellers list, rising to No. 5. The entire […]

Essential Literary Fiction | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

appelfeld

Appelfeld, Aharon. The Man Who Never Stopped Sleeping. Schocken. Jan. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9780805243192. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780805243208. LITERARY In this new work from celebrated Israeli author Appelfeld (winner of two National Jewish Book Awards), a young Holocaust survivor barely recalls his journey from Europe to Palestine, where he now works on a kibbutz. But […]

Rising Stars | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 1

bitto

Barkan, Josh. Mexico: Stories. Hogarth: Crown. Jan. 2017. 256p. ISBN 9781101906293. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781101906309. SHORT STORIES What do you do when a drug lord walks into your restaurant? Or when a parent walks into your classroom and threatens to kill you if his son falls for the wrong girl? These are some of the […]

Queen Victoria, Pixar, Space Travel, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2016, Pt. 4

baird

Alvarez, Walter. A Most Improbable Journey: A Big History of Our Planet and Ourselves. Norton. Nov. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780393292695. $26.95. SCIENCE/COSMOLOGY If you’re familiar with the “Impact Theory,” which blames dinosaur extinction on a crash-landed asteroid, then you’re familiar with Berkeley geologist Alvarez; he originated the idea. Here he argues that Big History, which […]

Five Big Debuts | Fiction Previews, Oct. 1, 2016, Pt. 1

changjade

  Bennett, Brit. The Mothers. Riverhead. Oct. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780399184512. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399184536. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY/WOMEN’S FICTION In a contemporary black community in Southern California, 17-year-old Nadia Turner and 21-year-old Luke Sheppard launch a soulful affair. She’s lost her mother to suicide, he’s lost a football career to injury, and the decisions […]

Delia Ephron, Laura McHugh, Cynthia Ozick, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3

siracusa

Bennett, Claire-Louise. Pond. Riverhead. Jul. 2016. 208p. ISBN 9780399575891. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399575914. SHORT STORIES Originally published by the Dublin press Stinging Fly, which has given us the likes of Kevin Barry and Colin Barrett, Bennett’s story collection attracted enough attention to get a book deal in Britain, where the Guardian called it “stunning.” This […]

Anne Tyler Revisits Shakespeare, plus Ausubel, Danielewski, & Newcomer El Rashidi | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jun. 2016. Pt. 4

vinegargirl

Ausubel, Ramona. Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty. Riverhead. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781616205621. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780698410855. LITERARY Ausubel debuted with No One Is Here Except All of Us, winner of the PEN Center USA Fiction Award and a New York Public Library’s Young Lions finalist that was ambitious, gorgeously written, and occasionally […]

Stephen King, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Lionel Shriver, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 2

perezreverte

King, Stephen. End of Watch. Scribner. Jun. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9781501129742. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501134159. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER Brady Hartsfield, responsible for the deaths of eight people and the injury of many others in the infamous Mercedes Massacre, was clobbered over the head by Holly Gibney and now vegetates in Room 217 […]

Binelli, Buckhanon, McCrumb, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 4

andrewmary

Andrews, Mary Kay. The Weekenders. St. Martin’s. May 2016. 400p. ISBN 9781250065940. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466872929. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. WOMEN’S Dousing us again in salt spray, the New York Times best-selling author of Beach Town takes us to Belle Isle, NC, where Riley Griggs awaits her husband’s arrival on the Friday afternoon ferry. But he […]