Banville, Mamet, Zadie Smith, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2018

Banville, John. Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir. Knopf. Feb. 2018. 224p. ISBN 9781524732837. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9781524732844. Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR/TRAVEL Not just a memoir, this new work by Man Booker Prize winner Banville recounts his relationship with Dublin, a significant force in his life if not in his fiction until the Quirke mystery series […]

Literary Highlights | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2018

Anderson, James. Lullaby Road. Crown. Jan. 2018. 320p. ISBN 9781101906545. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781101906569. LITERARY THRILLER Engrossing and beautifully written, Anderson’s The Never-Open Desert Diner was issued by a small press in 2015, picked up by Crown in 2016, and received generally glowing reviews. Protagonist Ben Jones, a truck driver plying Utah’s highways, returns in […]

Bradley, Benjamin, Finn, Johnson, Joyce | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2018

Benjamin, Chloe. The Immortalists. Putnam. Jan. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780735213180. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735213197. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY FICTION Having won the Edna Ferber Prize for The Anatomy of Dreams, Benjamin came up with a second novel that caught fire at BookExpo—it was, in fact, a BE Buzz Book—and has already been bought by the […]

Top Story Collections: A Quintet of Award-Winning Women Authors

It is difficult to single out a few stories in a collection as good as Hadley’s; Hall deserves a closer look for her beguiling collection; Hunt admirers will find much to love; Lively’s gifts have only ripened with age; if readers are meeting Simpson for the first time, these engaging selections are an excellent place to begin

Allende, Keneally, Sontag, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Nov. 2017

Allende, Isabel. In the Midst of Winter. Atria. Nov. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501178139. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501178153. CD: S. & S. Audio. LITERARY When the personal shades into the political, Allende is there. Her latest novel features 60-year-old human rights scholar Richard Bowmaster, who feels he’s hit the end of the road—and one snow-blown Brooklyn […]

Miniseries, Movie Stars, Short Stories, Coulrophobia, & Mama Cass | What We’re Reading/Watching

The “What We’re Reading (& Watching) gang get comfy with aging movie stars, scary clowns, 1960s rock and rollers, a 1950s wild child, rag-ripping minidramas, and prize-winning story collections.

Englander, Lagercrantz, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2017

Denfeld, Rene. The Child Finder. Harper. Sept. 2017. 288p. ISBN 9780062659057. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062659071. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Naomi is a child finder, an investigator who’s especially good at locating lost children because once upon a time she was lost herself. Now she’s after Madison Culver, who vanished three years ago when her family […]

Fiction Beyond Our Borders | Barbara’s Picks, Jul./Aug. 2017

Adebayo, Ayobami. Stay with Me. Knopf. Aug. 2017. 272p. ISBN 9780451494603. $25.95; ebk. ISBN 9780451494610. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY In this debut from rising Nigerian star Adebayo, Yejide and Akin fall in love and get married but fail to conceive a child. The consequences are dire, as Yejide’s parents eventually saunter in with a young […]

Books Beyond Our Borders | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 4

Bassingthwaighte, Ian. Live from Cairo. Scribner. Jul. 2017. 336p. ISBN 9781501146879. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501146893. LITERARY FICTION A Hopwood Award winner and finalist for the Daniel Pearl Investigative Journalism Initiative, Fulbright grantee Bassingthwaighte worked in Egypt in 2009 to help refugees from Iraq, Sudan, and the Horn of Africa. Thus he brings both writing skills […]

Nobel Prize Winner Alexievich, Dublin Winner Sharma, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2017, Pt. 1

Alexievich, Svetlana. The Unwomanly Face of War: An Oral History of Women in World War II. Random. Jul. 2017. 384p. tr. from Russian by Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky. ISBN 9780399588723. $30; ekb. ISBN 9780399588730. Downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORY Winner of the Nobel Prize for her rich, incisive oral histories of the Soviet Union, Alexievich […]