Marlon James, Marilynne Robinson, Jane Smiley, Colm Tóibín | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1

smileyjane

James, Marlon. A Brief History of Seven Killings. Riverhead. Oct. 2014. 560p. ISBN 9781594486005. $28.95. LITERARY In his novels, Jamaican-born James centers on his homeland while giving larger scope to the African diaspora in caustically beautiful language. John Crow’s Devil, featuring two battling  preachers, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize Art […]

Biography from Joan of Arc & George Marshall to Stalin & Goebbels | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Oct. 2014, Pt. 1

Kotkin.Stalin

Auricchio, Laura. The Marquis: Lafayette Reconsidered. Knopf. Oct. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780307267559. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353243. BIOGRAPHY Americans know the Marquis de Lafayette as the French hero of the American Revolution who at age 19 volunteered to fight under George Washington and subsequently negotiated increased French support that went a long way toward winning the […]

From Lincoln’s Gamble to Eichmann Before Jerusalem | History Previews, Sept. 2014, Pt. 5

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Brewster, Todd. Lincoln’s Gamble: How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Course of the Civil War. Scribner. Sept. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781451693867. $27. HISTORY Don E. Ackerman Director of Oral History at the United States Military Academy, West Point, Brewster chronicles the six months from July 12, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln first asserted that he would […]

Sophie Hannah Does Agatha Christie, Gail Sheehy Revisits Her Own Passages, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 1

hannah

Hannah, Sophie. The New Agatha Christie Hercule Poirot Mystery. Morrow. Sept. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780062297211. $25.99. CD: HarperAudio. MYSTERY Because only Shakespeare and the Bible outsell Agatha Christie, internationally best-selling  author Hannah must have been thrilled when the Christie estate authorized her writing a new Christie mystery—the first time it has ever done so. Given […]

The Nixon Tapes, Perlstein on the Rise of Reagan, & Women in the U.S. Army | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Aug. 2014, Pt. 3

nixontapes

Brinkley, Douglas & Luke Nichter. The Nixon Tapes. Houghton Harcourt. Aug. 2014. 608p. ISBN 9780544274150. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780544277373. HISTORY Surprisingly, the last of the nearly 4,000 hours’ worth of tapes made by President Nixon was released only last August, and very little of this material has been transcribed and published. CBS News Historian Brinkley […]

SF/Fantasy (Hobb, Lord) & Literary Fiction (Earley, Kunstler) | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2014, Pt. 3

lordkaren

SF/FANTASY Goodkind, Terry. Severed Souls. Tor. Aug. 2014. 528p. ISBN 9780765327741. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781429948449. FANTASY Fresh from The Third Kingdom, Seeker of Truth Richard Rahl and his wife, Mother Confessor Kahlan Amnell, have more adventures. All those Legend of the Seeker fans will want. Herbert, Brian & Kevin J. Anderson. Hellhole Inferno. Tor. Aug. […]

The ALA Midwinter Galley Chase | The Final Analysis

pavonechris

In galley or book form, hundreds of titles were there for the taking on the floor of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference, and tracking what went fastest says a lot about what people are interested in reading today. The escapist pleasures of a good thriller still attract, and the hottest hotcakes of the genre […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2014, Pt. 1: Nixon’s Defense, the Victorian City, & More

deanjohn

Abbott, Karen. Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War. Harper. Jul. 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780062092892. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062092915. HISTORY Belle Boyd, courier and spy for the Confederate army. Emma Edmonds, who cut her hair and enlisted as a man in the Union Army. Beautiful widow Rose O’Neale Greenhow, whose affairs […]

Damien Echols, Stephen King, Larry McMurtry, Lisa See, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2014, Pt. 1

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Allen, Danielle. Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality. Liveright: Norton. Jun. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780871406903. $27.95. HISTORY A political philosopher who looms large in the scholarly community (she is a professor of social science at the Institute of Advanced Studies in Princeton and on the board of the […]

Cunningham, Doerr, Hemmings, Kendal, Levitt/Dubner, McCullough Jr. | Barbara’s Picks, May 2014, Pt. 2

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Cunningham, Michael. The Snow Queen. Farrar. May 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780374266325. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374710347. CD: Macmillan Audio. LITERARY FICTION Lovelorn yet again, Barrett Meeks looks to the sky as he wanders through New York’s Central Park and is transfixed by a luminous white light that beams down on him angelically, inducing a religious conversion […]

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