Talking with Graeme Simsion about The Rosie Project

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In Graeme Simsion’s The Rosie Project, Australian genetics professor Don Tillman wants to find a wife. Alas, schedule-bound, just plain dorky Don has never made it past a first date. Then he hits on the idea of launching a Wife Project with a questionnaire, “a purpose-built, scientifically valid instrument…to filter out the time wasters, the […]

Doyle, Figes, McCracken, Simpson, Vaill, Wilson | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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Doyle, Brian. The Plover. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250034779. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250034786. LITERARY FICTION Editor of Portland Magazine, Doyle has written 13 books of fiction, poetry, and essays but came to my attention only with the original and wittily lyrical 2010 novel Mink River—which actually caught the attention of plenty […]

Science Titles from Jane Goodall, Bernd Heinrich, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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  Denworth, Lydia. I Can Hear You Whisper: An Intimate Journey through the Science of Sound and Language. Dutton. Apr. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780525953791. $26.95. HEALTH/HEARING When her third son was almost two, Denworth was told that he suffered from profound and progressive hearing loss—a shocking revelation, for as a science writer she well understood […]

Chris Pavone, Helen Oyeyemi, & NYU Professor Conley’s Take on Parenting | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 4

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Conley, Dalton. Parentology: Everything You Wanted To Know About the Science of Raising Children but Were Too Exhausted To Ask. S. & S. Mar. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781476712659. $25. PARENTING Conley stars in two disciplines, sociology and biology, and has three appointments at NYU: in the sociology department and at the School of Medicine and […]

Commercial Fiction from Terry Brooks to Jeffery Deaver to Jane Green | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 2

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  Box, C.J. Stone Cold. Putnam. Mar. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780399160769. $26.95. CRIME Joe Pickett investigates a mysterious Black Hills rancher whose two companions include a “stone cold” killer and, even worse, a bad-news guy from Pickett’s past. From the multi-award-winning Box, who’s given us 14 Joe Pickett novels and four stand-alones. Brooks, Terry. The […]

Carla Buckley, Sophie Hannah, Mai Jia, B.J. Novak, & More | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Adrian, Lara. Crave the Night: A Midnight Breed Novel. Delacorte. Feb. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345532633. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780345532640. Downloadable: Random Audio. PARANORMAL ROMANCE Edge of Dawn, latest in a hugely popular series that broke into hardcover last year, pushed up Adrian’s Midnight Breed story by 20 years. Continuing in that time frame, this volume […]

American Fun, SAT Prep, & the Financial Divide | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Beckman, John. American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt. Pantheon. Feb. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9780307908179. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780307908186. SOCIAL HISTORY Author of the debut novel The Winter Zoo, a New York Times Notable Book, Beckman challenges our understanding of American Puritanism by showing that we’ve been an essentially prankish, fun-loving nation. Colonists reveled wildly, […]

Lippman, McCall Smith, Minot, Teicholz, Werth | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2014, Pt. 3

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Lippman, Laura. After I’m Gone. Morrow. Feb. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062083395. $26.99. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. THRILLER Investigating cold cases for some extra cash, retired Baltimore detective Roberto “Sandy” Sanchez looks into the murder 26 years earlier of Julie, once mistress to rich but shady businessman Felix Brewer, who disappeared ten years before Julie’s death. […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Dow, Grandin, Moore, & More

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Brewster, Joe & Michèle Stephenson. American Promise: Raising Black Boys To Succeed in School and in Life. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780812994483. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994490. EDUCATION The black male achievement gap is a real problem even for successful parents like Harvard-trained psychiatrist Brewster and Columbia Law School graduate Stephenson, who became […]

Fiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Fantasy, Horror, & First Historicals

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Clines, Peter. Ex-Purgatory. Broadway Bks: Crown. Jan. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780804136617. pap. $14. HORROR Clines collected a huge fan base with Ex-Heroes and Ex-Patriots, small-press publications that were subsequently reissued in a big way by Broadway. This original title features George Bailey, a handyman by day who has wild and mysterious dreams at night. Then […]

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