Mendelsohn’s Odyssey, Ward/Burns on Vietnam, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2017

gordonmichael

Blum, Ben. Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime. Doubleday. Sept. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780385538435. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385538442. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR Why would an upright young man, determined to become a U.S. Army Ranger, join with two fellow soldiers and two strangers the day before his deployment to Iraq […]

Boyne, Senna, Messud, Perrotta, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Aug 2017

senna

Boyne, John. The Heart’s Invisible Furies. Hogarth: Crown. Aug. 2017. 592p. ISBN 9781524760786. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781524760809. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY The author of the multi-award-winning and mega-best-selling children’s book The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and of adult fiction like 2015’s blade-sharp A History of Loneliness, Boyne here tells the affecting story of Cyril […]

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

refuge

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 […]

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

cairo

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 […]

Beattie, Gabaldon, Gay, Sullivan, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2017, Pt. 3

beattie

Beattie, Ann. The Accomplished Guest: Stories. Scribner. Jun. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501111389. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781501111402. SHORT STORIES Since her 1976 publishing debut with the story collection Distortions and the novel Chilly Scenes of Winter, Beattie has worked in both genres, but her gifts really belong to short fiction. Here’s her 11th story collection, following […]

Backman, Garrow, Gordon, & a Trip to Timbuktu | Barbara’s Picks, May 1, 2017

beartown

Backman, Fredrik. Beartown. Atria. May. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501160769. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781501160783. CD: S. & S. Audio. LITERARY FICTION Starting with his breakout debut, A Man Called Ove, Backman became an international sensation and New York Times best-selling author. In its focus on a struggling town seeking redemption through youth sports, his latest echoes […]

Award-Winning Short Fiction, Hamlet Worldwide, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

arimah

Arimah, Lesley Nneka. What It Means When a Man Falls from the Sky: Stories. Riverhead. Apr. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9780735211025. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735211049. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. SHORT STORIES Arimah won the 2015 African Commonwealth Prize for the Granta-published “Light,” was a finalist for the 2016 Caine Prize for African Writing for the title story, […]

Two Big Fiction Debuts, Gaitskill, Lamott, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 3

lamott

El Akkad, Omar. American War. Knopf. Apr. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9780451493583. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451493590. lrg. prnt. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/DYSTOPIAN FICTION Having reported on key issues from the war in Afghanistan to the Black Lives Matter movement, Egyptian-born, Canadian-based journalist El Akkad not surprisingly offers a debut novel shaped by current events while pointing […]

Books for Our Times | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 1

douthat

Douthat, Ross. To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. S. & S. Apr. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501146923. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146947. RELIGION As conservative New York Times columnist Douthat clarifies, Pope Francis’s stewardship as 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church is not without controversy. His raising issues like communion for […]

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 […]