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


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, 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,, 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, 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 […]

Irish Stars, New York Landscapes, & Colorado Chills | Debut Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1


Leo, Forrest. The Gentleman. Penguin Pr. Aug. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780399562631. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399562648. LITERARY Victorian poet Lionel Savage marries lovely Vivien Lancaster for her money and, in a fit of despondency over his sudden inability to write, accidentally conjures up the Devil, with whom he politely discusses literature. Later, when he realizes that […]

Delia Ephron, Laura McHugh, Cynthia Ozick, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3


Bennett, Claire-Louise. Pond. Riverhead. Jul. 2016. 208p. ISBN 9780399575891. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399575914. SHORT STORIES Originally published by the Dublin press Stinging Fly, which has given us the likes of Kevin Barry and Colin Barrett, Bennett’s story collection attracted enough attention to get a book deal in Britain, where the Guardian called it “stunning.” This […]

Four Books for Foodies | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 4


Behr, Edward. The Food and Wine of France: Eating and Drinking from Champagne to Provence. Penguin Pr. Jun. 2016. 352p. ISBN 9781594204524. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780399564024. COOKING Most people think French food and wine are the world’s best, but what does best mean? Behr, an important food writer who founded the food magazine The Art […]

Stephen King, Arturo Pérez-Reverte, Lionel Shriver, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 2


King, Stephen. End of Watch. Scribner. Jun. 2016. 496p. ISBN 9781501129742. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501134159. CD: S. & S. Audio. THRILLER Brady Hartsfield, responsible for the deaths of eight people and the injury of many others in the infamous Mercedes Massacre, was clobbered over the head by Holly Gibney and now vegetates in Room 217 […]

Erika Johansen, Annie Proulx, A.B. Yehoshua, & Rising Star Alexis M. Smith | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2016, Pt. 1


Johansen, Erika. The Fate of the Tearling. Harper. Jun. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780062290427. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062290434. LITERARY FICTION/FANTASY In The Queen of the Tearling, Princess Kelsea returned to the land of her birth to reclaim her throne. In The Invasion of the Tearling, Queen Kelsea faced serious trouble after refusing to send prisoners to […]

Not-Just-Memoirs from Barbara Boxer, Tig Notaro, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 1


Boxer, Barbara. The Art of Tough: Facing Politics and Life Without Fear. Hachette. Jun. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780316311465. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780316311441. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316311434. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR California’s junior senator since 1993 (following a ten-year career in the House of Representatives), Boxer proclaims, “One goal of this memoir is to inspire people […]

From Don DeLillo to Service Dogs to the Baker & Taylor Cats | Barbara’s Picks, May 2016, Pt. 4


Belfer, Lauren. And After the Fire. Harper. May 2016. 464p. ISBN 9780062428516. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062428547. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION In 1796 Berlin, famed musician Sara Itzig Levy hides an anti-Semitic cantata written by Johann Sebastian Bach and given to her by her teacher, one of Bach’s sons. In 1945 Germany, U.S. soldier Henry Sachs snatches a […]