Award-Worthy Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 1

danielewski

Danielewski, Mark Z. The Familiar. Vol. 4: Hades. Pantheon. Feb. 2017. 880p. ISBN 9780375715006. pap. $26.95. LITERARY/FANTASY One Rainy Day in May, the first volume of National Book Award finalist Danielewski’s magnum opus, The Familiar, was published in 2015 and quickly hit the New York Times best sellers list, rising to No. 5. The entire […]

Barron, Jones, Rankin, & More | Mystery Previews, Jan. 2017, Pt. 3

barronstephanie

Barron, Stephanie. Jane and the Waterloo Map. Soho Crime. Jan. 2017. NAp. ISBN 9781616957995. pap. $16.95; ebk. ISBN 9781616954260. MYSTERY Next in the articulate and lovingly researched mystery series starring Jane Austen, begun in 1996 with the publication of Jane and the Unpleasantness at Scargrave Manor, this mystery opens in November 1815 with Jane’s banker […]

Günter Grass’s Last Work, the Nabokov-Wilson Feud, & More | Barbara’s Picks, December 2016, Pt. 1

grassgunter

Beam, Alex. The Feud: Vladimir Nabokov, Edmund Wilson, and the End of a Beautiful Friendship. Pantheon. Dec. 2016. 224p. ISBN 9781101870228. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101870235. LITERATURE/biogr In 1940, leading man of American letters Edmund Wilson helped asylum-seeker Vladimir Nabokov get settled in this country, introducing him to editors and assigning him book reviews for the […]

Seven Big Thrillers | Fiction Previews, December 2016, Pt. 1

greaney

Greaney Mark. Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance. Putnam. Dec. 2016. 736p. ISBN 9780399176814. $29.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698410664. lrg. prnt. CD: downloadable. Penguin Audio. THRILLER Along with his own popular “Gray Man” series, Greaney wrote three No. 1 best sellers with Tom Clancy, then carried on the Clancy tradition with another top-spot best seller, Tom […]

Michael Chabon, Alice Hoffman, Zadie Smith, John Edgar Wideman | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

chabonmoonglow

Chabon, Michael. Moonglow. Harper. Nov. 2016. 432p. ISBN 9780062225559. $28.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062225573. CD: HarperAudio. lrg. prnt. LITERARY FICTION Framed as a man’s deathbed confession to his grandson, capturing the seesawing intensity of the American century, ranging from South Philadelphia’s Jewish slums and the invasion of Germany to New York’s Wallkill Prison and a Florida […]

Europe 1815–1914, the Pacific War, & More | History Previews, Nov. 2016, Pt. 1

evansrichard

Evans, Richard J. The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815–1914. Viking. Nov. 2016. 928p. ISBN 9780670024575. $40; ebk. ISBN 9780735221215. HISTORY Winner of Wolfson and Fraenkel honors and twice nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Award, Evans here sweeps through surging British imperialism, upheaval in Spain, the unification of both Germany and Italy, the decline […]

Visiting Florida with Barry, the Internet with Levitin, & the Marches with Stewart | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

alexanderjane

Alexander, Jane. Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780385354363. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385354370. Downloadable: Random Audio. SCIENCE/MEMOIR A Tony Award–winning and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress, plus a four-time Academy Award nominee and former chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, Alexander is […]

Pearl Harbor, Stalin’s Last American Spy, & More | History Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

martonkati

Clark, Lloyd. Blitzkrieg: Myth, Reality, and Hitler’s Lightning War: France 1940. Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2016. 384p. ISBN 978-0802125132. $27. HISTORY British historian Clark (The Battle of the Tanks: Kursk, 1943) examines the German army’s swift toppling of France and the Low Countries in spring 1940, arguing that it was not inevitable—the Germans needed the element […]

Socially Significant Works on Resegregation, ADHD, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 2

ajayi

Ajayi, Luvvie. I’m Judging You: The Do-Better Manual. Holt Paperbacks. Sept. 2016. 224p. ISBN 9781627796064. pap. $17; ebk. ISBN 9781627796071. HUMOR/ESSAYS In her much-read blog, AwesomelyLuvvie.com, Ajayi addresses popular culture with sharpened wit. Yet as her 500,000 monthly readers can attest, she’s not just reporting on popular television shows or Facebook gaffes but acting as […]

Jay McInerney, Eowyn Ivey, Jesmyn Ward, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

donohoe

Donohoe, Kathleen. Ashes of Fiery Weather. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780544464056. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544526693. LITERARY FICTION Ranging across six generations, from famine-stalked Ireland to post–9/11 New York, Donohoe’s ambitious debut offers portraits of women in the Keegan/O’Reilly clan, bound together by fire and ash. For a family of firefighters, life is fraught […]