Bill Clegg, Richard Dawkins, Jonathan Franzen, Elizabeth Gilbert, Erica Jong | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1


Clegg, Bill. Did You Ever Have a Family. Scout: Gallery. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781476798172. $26. LITERARY FICTION Clegg is a leading literary agent and the author of two well-regarded memoirs, Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man and Ninety Days, which detail how he fell into crack addiction and stays sober now. So […]

Five Key Memoirs from Felicia Day, Smokejumper Jason Ramos, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 4


Badkhen, Anna. Walking with Abel: Journeys with the Nomads of the African Savannah. Riverhead. Aug. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781594632488. $27.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698142718. MEMOIR Award-winning reporter Badkhen often reports on war, and even when she’s not she goes to the edge in interesting ways; 2013’s The World Is a Carpet: Four Seasons in an Afghan […]

Literary Reads from Ivan Doig, Alice LaPlante, Andreï Makine, & More | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 2


Doig, Ivan. Last Bus to Wisdom. Riverhead. Aug. 2015. NAp. ISBN 9781594633638. $27.95. LITERARY Raised in the mid-1950s by his beloved grandmother in Montana’s Two Medicine Country, known to anyone who has read Doig’s big-sky novels, orphaned Donal Kyle feels as if he’s been tossed into cold water when Gram, recovering from surgery, sends him […]

A Political Murder, a World War II Affair, & The Girl Who Slept with God | Debut Fiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 1


Bartsch, Jeff. Two Across. Grand Central. Aug. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781455554621. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455554607. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455590070. COMING OF AGE Brilliant but socially maladroit teenagers Stanley and Vera meet when they tie for first place in the National Spelling Bee, then try to escape their too-controlling parents by entering into an in-name-only marriage. […]

Chess at Auschwitz, Balkans War, & Friendship Via Wikipedia | Eleven Big Fiction Debuts, May 2015, Pt.


Acampora, Lauren. The Wonder Garden. Grove. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780802123558. $24. SHORT STORIES A real estate agent contemplates yet another tackily enlarged house. A group of suburban women gather to reveal themselves briefly to one another and condescend to the rest of the world. A father-to-be abandons a successful career at the urging of […]

From Steinhauer to Steel, More Than 30 Big Commercial Fiction Titles | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 3


Thrillers Berry, Steve. The Patriot Threat. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781250056238. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466862609. CD: Macmillan Audio. THRILLER When his former boss in the Justice Department asks him to track down a rogue North Korean possibly in possession of some hush-hush Treasury Department files, beloved Berry protagonist Cotton Malone finds himself […]

Charles Baxter, Sara Blaedel, Nick Hornby, Reif Larsen, Peter Swanson, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2015, Pt. 4


Baxter, Charles. There’s Something I Want You To Do. Pantheon. Feb. 2015. 240p. ISBN 9781101870013. $24; ebk. ISBN ISBN 9781101870020. SHORT STORIES A National Book Award nominee for The Feast of Love, Baxter returns with his first story collection in 15 years. Piercingly elegant, as always, the stories are divided into two sections, one embodying […]

Lynsey Addario, Mohsin Hamid, Mac McClellan, Richard Rhodes | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Feb. 2015, Pt. 1


Addario, Lynsey. It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War. Penguin Pr. Feb. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9781594205378. $29.95. MEMOIR/PHOTOJOURNALISM Addario isn’t just any photojournalist—she’s a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship and a Pulitzer Prize in International Reporting who came to everyone’s attention when she was kidnapped by pro-Qaddafi forces during Libya’s civil […]

Eric Foner, Seth Grahame-Smith, Edith Pearlman, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3


Cohen, Roger. The Girl from Human Street: Ghosts of Memory in a Jewish Family. Knopf. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780307594662. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353137. MEMOIR New York Times columnist Cohen, honored by the Overseas Press Club for his work as the paper’s Balkans bureau chief during the Bosnian War and in charge of the Pulitzer […]

Marlon James, Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley, Colm Tóibín | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1


James, Marlon. A Brief History of Seven Killings. Riverhead. Oct. 2014. 560p. ISBN 9781594486005. $28.95. LITERARY In his novels, Jamaican-born James centers on his homeland while giving larger scope to the African diaspora in caustically beautiful language. John Crow’s Devil, featuring two battling  preachers, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art […]