From Spain’s Golden Age to the Billion-Dollar Spy | History Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 1

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Dickey, Christopher. Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South. Crown. Jul. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780307887276. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780307887290. HISTORY As the Civil War commenced, the Confederacy desperately wanted recognition from Great Britain. But that country opposed the slave trade, which the Southern states needed reopened to maintain their economy. […]

Thrilling Stuff from Jefferson Bass to Dick Wolf | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3

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Bass, Jefferson. The Breaking Point: A Body Farm Novel. Morrow. Jun. 2015. 368p. ISBN 9780062262332. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062262356. THRILLER Ten years after Dr. Bill Brockton created the Body Farm for conducting posthumous research, things are looking bad. He’s accused of misidentifying a body, threatened by a serial killer who has already attempted to kill […]

Dean Bakopoulos, Vendela Vida, & Nine More Authors You Must Read | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3

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Bakopoulos, Dean. Summerlong. Ecco. Jun. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062321169. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062321183. LITERARY In Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon, Bakopoulos’s wondrous debut and a New York Times Notable Book, women and children are left scrambling after the men start disappearing from a blue-collar neighborhood. In this third novel (after My American Unhappiness), […]

David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Jo Nesbo, Jane Smiley, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Hillerman, Anne. Rock with Wings. Harper. May 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062270511. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062270535. MYSTERY With the 2013 publication of Spider Woman’s Daughter, award-winning journalist Hillerman took over the series starring famed tribal officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee that had won raves for her father, the late Tony Hillerman. Good move: the book […]

The Bill of Rights, Waterloo, & Yoga Queen Indra Devi | History & Biography Previews, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Berkin, Carol. The Bill of Rights: James Madison and the Politics of the People’s Parchment Barrier. S. & S. May 2015. 272p. ISBN 9781476743790. $27.50. HISTORY We regard the Bill of Rights as the crowning achievement of the Constitution and indeed central to our definition as Americans, so it’s sobering to learn from Berkin, Presidential […]

Mark Adams, Julie Holland, & the Art of Poetry | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

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Adams, Mark. Meet Me in Atlantis: My Obsessive Quest To Find the Sunken City. Dutton. Mar. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780525953708. $27.95. TRAVEL The author of the New York Times best seller Turn Right at Machu Picchu can’t visit the subject of his new book: the lost city of Atlantis. But he does talk to the […]

History (David O. Stewart), Politics (David Axelrod), Self-Help (Ron Lieber), & More | Social Science Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 4

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Axelrod, David. Believer: My Forty Years in Politics. Penguin Pr. Feb. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9781594205873. $29.95. CD: Penguin Audio. MEMOIR After eight years as a reporter and columnist for the Chicago Tribune, Axelrod switched lanes to become a political consultant, strategizing for over 150 local, state, and national campaigns. His clients have included Barack Obama, […]

China, Russia, Guantánamo Bay, South Africa | Current Events Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 2

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Browder, Bill. Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice. S. & S. Feb. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9781476755717. $28. MEMOIR/POLITICAL Here’s a revealing story of contemporary Russia, featuring American financier Browder, who made a bundle by heading up an investment fund in post-Soviet Russia, then called down certain […]

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

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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 […]

Memoirs from Musicians (Charlie Wilson), Journalists (Robert Chirstgau, Kevin Sessums), a Genius Gamer (Garriott de Cayeux ), & More | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2015, Pt. 1

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Christgau. Robert. Going into the City: Portrait of a Critic As a Young Man. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Feb. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062238795. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062238818. MEMOIR Chief music critic at the Village Voice for more than three decades and still going strong as a Billboard.com columnist and visiting arts professor at New York University, […]