History/Biography from Thomas Cromwell to the Great Society to the Death of Tin Pan Alley | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 3

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Borman, Tracy. Thomas Cromwell. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2015. 336p.ISBN 9780802123176. $30. BIOGRAPHY Here’s a nonfiction account of Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s invaluable adviser, to go with the fictional account that Hilary Mantel has provided in the Man Booker Award winners Wolf Hall and Bringing up the Bodies. Borman has special insight (and an audience-pleasing touch) […]

Memoirs from Jessie Close, Gail Godwin, Jay Williams, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2015, Pt. 1

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Close, Jessie with Peter Earley. Resilience: Two Sisters and a Story of Mental Illness. Grand Central. Jan. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9781455548828. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781455548811. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455579495. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR Sister of the celebrated actress Glenn Close, who offers running commentary and an epilog, Close suffers from severe bipolar disorder—an illness running […]

Top-Selling Authors Connelly, Cornwell, Scottoline, & More | Fiction Previews, Nov. 2014, Pt. 1

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Baldacci, David. The Escape. Grand Central. Nov. 2014. 432p. ISBN 9781455521197. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781455521272. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455579402. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Following Zero Day and The Forgotten, here’s the third novel featuring Army Special Agent John Puller, who takes on the nation’s most problematic cases. No plot details yet, but lots of promo […]

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 […]

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