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 […]

History from Fred Kaplan, Michael Korda, David Reynolds, & More | Nonfiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 1

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Borneman, Walter R. American Spring: Lexington, Concord, and the Road to Revolution. Little, Brown. May. 2014. 480p. ISBN 9780316221023. $33. ebk. ISBN 9780316221016. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316365185. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY Borneman, author of the best-selling The Admirals, recapitulates the few crucial months of the American Revolution, from Paul Revere’s December 1774 ride to Portsmouth, […]

History & Political Science from the Fight for Marriage Equality to the Lives of Mitterrand | Nonfiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 4

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Aly, Götz. Why the Germans? Why the Jews?: Envy, Race Hatred, and the Prehistory of the Holocaust. Metropolitan: Holt. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9780805097009. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780805097047. HISTORY A noted scholar of the Holocaust who’s won the National Jewish Book Award and the Heinrich Mann Prize, among other honors, Aly argues that German anti-Semitism […]

From Joan Barthel on Elizabeth Seton to Chelsea Handler on Travel Travails | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 4

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Barthel, Joan. American Saint: The Life of Elizabeth Seton. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Mar. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780312571627. $26.95. BIOGRAPHY Born and raised in late 1700s New York, at a time when Catholicism was illegal, Elizabeth Seton wore monogrammed slippers to George Washington’s 65th Birthday Ball, spent fruitless time in Italy trying to cure her […]

Histories of Paris & World War II, Biographies of Begin & Chavez | Nonfiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 1

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DeJean, Joan. How Paris Became Paris: The Invention of the Modern City. Bloomsbury USA. Mar. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9781608195916. $28. HISTORY Everyone thinks of Paris as being remade in the 19th century under the direction of Baron Haussmann, but DeJean argues that its real rebirth occurred as it emerged from the medieval past in the […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: History from the Tudors to Ariel Sharon

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Chappell, David L. Waking from the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. Random. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781400065462. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780812994667. SOCIAL SCIENCE/AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, this revisionist work has […]

Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: History & Biography, from Red Cloud to JFK to the Warsaw Uprising

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Davis, Wes. The Ariadne Objective: The Underground War To Rescue Crete from the Nazis. Crown. Nov. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780307460134. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780307460158. HISTORY History both crucial and swashbuckling: an odd bunch of British intelligence officers (involved because they made “the obsolete choice of Greek at school”) joined with Cretan resistance fighters and an […]

Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 5: Memoirs, from Chelsea Handler to Elizabeth Smart

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Buffett, Howard. 40 Chances: Finding Hope in a Hungry World. S. & S. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9781451687866. $26. MEMOIR Farmers can anticipate 40 growing seasons—that is, 40 chances to improve their land’s yield. Son of mega-investor Warren Buffett, who once challenged him to consider what he really wanted to accomplish in life, Howard Buffett […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup; from Terry McMillan to Debut Novelists Allen, Crawford, Daly, & More

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Allen, Lisa Van. The Wishing Thread. Ballantine. Sept. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345538550. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345537829. WOMEN’S FICTION Owners of the Stitchery Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, NY, the Van Ripper women can reputedly grant wishes by stitching them into their knitted goods. But the Stitchery’s matriarch has just died, leaving a will that could […]

Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 4: Capturing the Kommandant of Auschwitz and Playing Chopin During the Revolution

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Bacon, John U. Fourth and Long: The Fight for the Soul of College Football. S. & S. Sept. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781476706436. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476706443. SPORTS College football is currently beset with scandal and sanctions, so one can be forgiven for expecting this report from Bacon to be a downer. And, indeed, drawing on […]

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