A Cain Kickback, Patterson in Paris, & the Art of the Thriller | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 4

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Abbott, Jeff. The First Order. Grand Central. Jan. 2016. 480p. ISBN 9780316268424. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781455558407. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455591855. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Three-time Edgar Award nominee Abbott returns with the fifth in his high-octane, newly formatted Sam Capra series. No word on plot yet, but this book is being positioned as a breakout; […]

Christopher Buckley, James Lee Burke, Paolo Giordano, & Ruth Rendell | Barbara’s Picks, Dec. 2015, Pt. 1

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Buckley, Christopher. The Relic Master. S. & S. Dec. 2015. 256p. ISBN 9781501125751. $26.95. HISTORICAL Buckley, who’s been called “the funniest writer in the English language” by Tom Wolfe and has a Thurber Prize for American Humor to prove it, offers a boisterous tale of 16th-century relic hunting that should have broad appeal. It’s 1517, […]

Reich on Capitalism, Schiff on the Salem Witch Trials, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 4

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Hotchner, A.E. Hemingway in Love: A Memoir. St. Martin’s. Oct. 2015. 176p. ISBN 9781250077486. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466889484. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR/LITERATURE Published in 1966, Papa Hemingway offers an affecting personal portrait of Hotchner’s close friend Ernest Hemingway. But there was more to the story. Apparently, in deference to Hemingway’s fourth wife, Mary, and his […]

Niall Ferguson, Joan Lunden, David Maraniss, Anne-Marie Slaughter, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4

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Ferguson, Niall. Kissinger: Vol. I: The Idealist, 1923–1968. Penguin Pr. Sept. 2015. 560p. ISBN 9781594206535. $36. BIOGRAPHY Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History at Harvard and a senior research fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution, Ferguson is the author of New York Times best sellers like Civilization and The Ascent of Money. With those credentials and […]

Biography (e.g., J.M. Coetzee, Mary McGrory) & History (e.g., World War II) | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3

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Attwell, David. J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face to Face with Time. Viking. Sept. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780525429616. $27.95. LITERARY CRITICISM/BIOGRAPHY Currently a professor at the University of York, Attwell completed an MA in African literary theory and criticism at the University of Cape Town, where his supervisor was Nobel Prize–winning novelist J.M. […]

Patrick deWitt, Lori Ostlund, Edward St. Aubyn, & More Award-Winning Writers | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1

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deWitt, Patrick. Undermajordomo Minor. Ecco. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062281203. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062281234. LITERARY FICTION If you liked DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, an edgily funny remake of the classic Western that was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, you’ll probably like his new work, too. Weak and hapless Lucien (Lucy) Minor feels like a […]

Race, Education, & the Prison System | Social Science Reviews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1

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Faderman, Lillian. The Gay Revolution:The Story of the Struggle. S. & S. Sept. 2015. 512p. ISBN 9781451694116. $35. SOCIAL HISTORY Winner of six Lambda Literary Awards, two Stonewall Book Awards from the American Library Association, and Yale’s James Robert Brudner Memorial Prize and Lecture for Exemplary Scholarship in Lesbian/Gay Studies, among other honors, Faderman is […]

Haruki Murakami, Ian Rankin, Two New York Times Reporters as Debut Novelists, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2015, Pt. 2

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Buck, Rinker. The Oregon Trail: An American Journey. S. & S. Aug. 2015. 432p. ISBN 9781451659160. $28. HISTORY In the years 1845–1860, 400,000 pioneers traveled west along the Oregon Trail, moving 2,000 miles from Missouri to the Pacific in what has come to be regarded as the largest land migration in history. Buck, an award-winning […]

From Soviet Intelligence to Hurricane Katrina | History Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 2

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Haslam, Jonathan. Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence. Farrar. Aug. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780374219901. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374710408. HISTORY Professor of the history of international relations at Cambridge, Haslam offers an overview of Soviet intelligence from the October Revolution to the end of the Cold War that encompasses not just the […]

Best-Selling Suspense from Higgins Clark, J.A. Jance, Brad Taylor, & More | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2

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Brown, Holly. A Necessary End. Morrow. Jul. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780062356376. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062356376. SUSPENSE Soon-to-be-40 Adrienne is so desperate for a baby that she allows a pregnant teenager whose child she will adopt to move into her and husband Gabe’s California home for the year after the baby’s birth. Does this sound like […]