Ford, Murakami, Shreve, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Bouman, Tom. Darling Cory: A Henry Farrell Novel. Norton. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780393249644. $NA. MYSTERY Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Mystery/Thriller and the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, as well as LibraryReads honors and a John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, Bouman’s Dry Bones in the Valley featured a rural […]

Making History | Nonfiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

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Allison, Graham. Destined for War: America, China, and Thucydides’s Trap. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 368p. ISBN 9780544935273. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780544935334. POLITICAL SCIENCE/HISTORY Founding dean of Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who has served in both the Reagan and the Clinton administrations and twice won the Pentagon’s highest civilian award, Allison coined the term the […]

Literature, Music, TV | Arts Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 4

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Bloom, Harold. Falstaff: Give Me Life. Scribner. Apr. 2017. 176p. ISBN 9781501164132. $22; ebk. ISBN 9781501164156. LITERATURE Distinguished critic Bloom, known especially for his Shakespeare scholarship, shows us why Falstaff—central to the three Henry plays—is considered Shakespeare’s greatest comic character. As Bloom explains, readers experience Falstaff differently as they move through life, which clarifies how […]

Q&A: Alexandra Horowitz, Author of Being a Dog

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Conducting research and learning how to rely on her own sense of smell, Alexander Horowitz took a nosedive into the canine domain to ­understand a dog’s point of view in her latest book, Being a Dog.

Books for Our Times | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2017, Pt. 1

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Douthat, Ross. To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism. S. & S. Apr. 2017. 224p. ISBN 9781501146923. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146947. RELIGION As conservative New York Times columnist Douthat clarifies, Pope Francis’s stewardship as 266th pope of the Roman Catholic Church is not without controversy. His raising issues like communion for […]

Hot-Button Literary Fiction | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2017, Pt. 1

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Atogun, Odafe. Taduno’s Song. Pantheon. Mar. 2017. 240p. ISBN 9781101871454. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871461. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY/CULTURAL HERITAGE When Nigerian musician Taduno returns home from exile, he finds himself unrecognized in an unrecognizable land and learns that his girlfriend has been abducted by government agents. He faces a tough choice: to battle the powers […]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]