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, […]

Top Mystery from Alexander McCall Smith, Ashley Weaver, & More | Fiction Previews, Oct. 2015, Pt. 2

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Alexander, Tasha. The Adventuress: A Lady Emily Mystery. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781250058263. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466876071. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In this latest in the New York Times best-selling series, following The Counterfeit Heiress, Lady Emily Hargreaves heads to the French Riviera (and who wouldn’t?) to attend the nuptials of her […]

From Sisters in Law O’Connor & Ginsburg to Expanding Children’s Brains | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4,

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Ananthaswamy, Anil. The Man Who Wasn’t There: Investigations into the Strange New Science of the Self. Dutton. Aug.  2015. 320p. ISBN 9780525954194. $26.95. MEDICAL If you like Oliver Sacks, you’ll love this new work by Ananthaswamy, an award-winning science journalist and former deputy news editor and current consultant for New Scientist. His smart approach to […]

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 […]

Alaa Al Aswany, Adi Alsaid, Belinda Bauer, Jack Canfield, Susan Casey, Amitav Ghosh, Eli Gottlieb, Mary Kubica | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2015, Pt. 4

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Al Aswany, Alaa. The Automobile Club of Egypt. Knopf. Aug. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780373211548. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781460379370. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Published here in 2004, Al Aswany’s The Yacoubian Building was a best seller in the Arab world for five years and was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2006; the Times (London) recently […]

Literary (Couto, Gladstone), Historical (Forsyth, Iggulden), & Women’s (Harbison, Hopkins) | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 3

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Couto, Mia. Confession of the Lioness. Farrar. Jul. 2015. 208p. tr. from Portuguese by David Brookshaw. ISBN 9780374129231. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374710958. LITERARY Winner of the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, among other awards, and one of the major writers of Portuguese-speaking Africa, Couto sets this dark and mysterious tale in the isolated village […]

Jami Attenberg, Pratchett/Baxter, Matthew Quick, Kate Walbert | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2015, Pt. 2

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Attenberg, Jami. Saint Mazie. Grand Central. Jun. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9781455599899. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455599882. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455579501. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. LITERARY Attenberg’s New York Times best-selling The Middlesteins, so loved that it sold 100,000 copies across formats, returns with a new work unexpectedly set during Prohibition and inspired by a real-life figure in […]

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

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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 […]

Taya Kyle, Tavis Smiley, & Four Big Musicians| Memoir Previews, May 2015, Pt. 2

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General Bello, Maria. Love Is Love. Dey Street. May 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780062351838. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062351852. MEMOIR Having sparked a major conversation when “Coming Out as a Modern Family” appeared in the much-read “Modern Love” column in the New York Times, Bello here expands on her story of falling in love with a woman […]

Brian Doyle, Bruce Holsinger, Ann Packer, & Three Essential World War II Titles | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2

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Doyle, Brian. Martin Marten. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9781250045201. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466843691. LITERARY Published by an academic press, the luminously written Mink River was a dead giveaway that Doyle had a big literary future ahead of him, and he proved himself nicely with last year’s The Plover. His new novel […]