Ann Hood, Jonathan & Jesse Kellerman, Hilary Mantel, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2014, Pt. 3

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Hood, Ann. An Italian Wife. Norton. Sept. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780393241662. $25.95. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Winner of the Paul Bowles Prize for Short Fiction and the Best American Spiritual Writing Award, among other honors, Hood seems primed to write a multigenerational saga with a quest at its heart. At the turn of the 20th century, Josephine Rimaldi […]

Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2014, Pt. 1: Chris Bohjalian, Deborah Harkness, Sam Kean, Liane Moriarty, & More

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Bohjalian, Chris. Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands. Doubleday. Jul. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780385534833. $25.95. CD: Penguin Random Audio. POP FICTION Emily Shepard is hiding out in a shelter made of ice and trash bags after a nightmarish meltdown at a nuclear plant in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom that left her parents dead. Since the meltdown might […]

Sporadic Reading | Wyatt’s World

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Nonfiction, poetry, and short story collections to focus your busiest days

Joseph Boyden, Rivka Galchen, Tom Rachman, Phyllis Rose, Colson Whitehead | Barbara’s Picks, May 2014, Pt. 5

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Boyden, Joseph. The Orenda. Knopf. May 2014. 448p. ISBN 9780385350730. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385350747. LITERARY/HISTORICAL FICTION Canadian Boyden has a shelf full of awards for his first two novels, and from what I’ve seen of this arrestingly written new work, soon he’ll have more. When his guides flee the rampaging Iroquois, Jesuit missionary Christophe finds […]

New Fiction from Award Winners Appelfeld, Mosley, Norman, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 5

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Appelfeld, Aharon. Suddenly, Love. Schocken. May 2014. 240p. ISBN 9780805242959. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780805243154. LITERARY Gruff and moody Ernst, a 70-year-old Red Army veteran born in the Ukraine, has lived in Israel since World War II; he lost his first wife and child to the German invaders and his second wife to divorce. He’s tended […]

Debuts with Buzz, from British Playwright Paull, 5 Under 35 Honoree Johnston, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2014, Pt. 4

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Gay, Roxane. An Untamed State. Black Cat: Grove Atlantic. May 2014. 368p. ISBN 9780802122513. pap. $16. LITERARY A multiple Pushcart nominee with work in Best American Short Stories 2012, Gay has a built-in readership anticipating this work. Mireille Duval Johnson, youngest daughter of one of Haiti’s richest men, lives contentedly with her husband and son […]

Maeve Binchy, Lydia Davis, Julia Glass, Mo Hayder, Laura Kasischke | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Binchy, Maeve. Chestnut Street. Knopf. Apr. 2014. 336p. ISBN 9780385351850. $26.95. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. POP FICTION Following Binchy’s untimely death in July 2012, this set of previously unpublished linked short stories will warm the hearts of fans everywhere. Binchy wrote these pieces intermittently while producing her big novels and Irish Times columns, hoping someday to […]

Doyle, Figes, McCracken, Simpson, Vaill, Wilson | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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Doyle, Brian. The Plover. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Apr. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250034779. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250034786. LITERARY FICTION Editor of Portland Magazine, Doyle has written 13 books of fiction, poetry, and essays but came to my attention only with the original and wittily lyrical 2010 novel Mink River—which actually caught the attention of plenty […]

Fiction from Fortier, Moore, & Mosse, a Memoir from Feldman, a Soldier’s Story | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2014, Pt. 2

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Feldman, Deborah. Exodus. Blue Rider. Mar. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780399162770. $26.95. MEMOIR As she recounted in her eye-opening memoir, Unorthodox, a New York Times best seller, Feldman was raised in a strict Satmar Hasidic community in Brooklyn but eventually abandoned her roots and a loveless marriage, attending Sarah Lawrence College and becoming a writer. Here […]

Commercial Fiction from Terry Brooks to Jeffery Deaver to Jane Green | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 2

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  Box, C.J. Stone Cold. Putnam. Mar. 2014. 384p. ISBN 9780399160769. $26.95. CRIME Joe Pickett investigates a mysterious Black Hills rancher whose two companions include a “stone cold” killer and, even worse, a bad-news guy from Pickett’s past. From the multi-award-winning Box, who’s given us 14 Joe Pickett novels and four stand-alones. Brooks, Terry. The […]

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