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


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


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


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


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


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 […]

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


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


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


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


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


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 […]