Best Seller Diffenbaugh, Nobel Prize Winner Modiano, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 4


Diffenbaugh, Vanessa. We Never Asked for Wings. Ballantine. Aug. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780553392319. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780553392326. CD: Random Audio. LITERARY/FAMILY LIFE Everyone who loves Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers—and that’s plenty of people, as it was a New York Times best seller—knows that she grapples forthrightly with social issues. Here, Letty Espinosa lives in […]

Susanna Kearsley, Meg Wolitzer, & Kate Atkinson | May 2015 Audio in Advance | Fiction


Achebe, Chinua. Arrow of God. (The African Trilogy, Bk. 3). Recorded Bks. ISBN 9781490655864. Read by Peter Jay Fernandez. In this new recording of Achebe’s 1964 classic that is set in the Ibo heartland of eastern Nigeria, the conflict between old and new plays out in the personal struggle between father and son. Atkinson, Kate. A God […]

Patrick deWitt, Lori Ostlund, Edward St. Aubyn, & More Award-Winning Writers | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 1


deWitt, Patrick. Undermajordomo Minor. Ecco. Sept. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062281203. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062281234. LITERARY FICTION If you liked DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers, an edgily funny remake of the classic Western that was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, you’ll probably like his new work, too. Weak and hapless Lucien (Lucy) Minor feels like a […]

Julianna Baggott, Alice Hoffman, Adam Johnson, John Scalzi, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2015, Pt. 1


Baggott, Julianna. Harriet Wolf’s Seventh Book of Wonders. Little, Brown. Aug. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780316375108. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780316375092. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316337694. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. WOMEN’S FICTION Author of the “Pure” trilogy, a bleak and gorgeously rendered dystopian tale, Baggott here does something arrestingly different. Reclusive author Harriet Wolf is long dead, but rumors […]

A Political Murder, a World War II Affair, & The Girl Who Slept with God | Debut Fiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 1


Bartsch, Jeff. Two Across. Grand Central. Aug. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781455554621. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455554607. lib. ebk. ISBN 9781455590070. COMING OF AGE Brilliant but socially maladroit teenagers Stanley and Vera meet when they tie for first place in the National Spelling Bee, then try to escape their too-controlling parents by entering into an in-name-only marriage. […]

Best-Selling Suspense from Higgins Clark, J.A. Jance, Brad Taylor, & More | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 2


Brown, Holly. A Necessary End. Morrow. Jul. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780062356376. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062356376. SUSPENSE Soon-to-be-40 Adrienne is so desperate for a baby that she allows a pregnant teenager whose child she will adopt to move into her and husband Gabe’s California home for the year after the baby’s birth. Does this sound like […]

Midwinter Reminders & Last-Minute Spring Finds from Blume, Gruen, & More


In just a few weeks, many of us will be blowing into cold Chicago for another action-packed ALA Midwinter. If you’re going, don’t miss two fun events: 2015’s Best in Debut Authors, sponsored by LibraryReads and the Association of American Publishers and taking place Saturday, January 31, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. at McCormick Place […]

From Deb Caletti to Rebecca Makkai to Lidia Yuknavitch | Six Essential Women Fiction Writers, Jul. 2015, Pt. 1


Caletti, Deb. The Secrets She Keeps. Bantam. Jul. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780345548108. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345548115. WOMEN’S FICTION A National Book Award finalist for her YA fiction whose first adult novel was 2013’s bone-rattling He’s Gone, Caletti returns with another adult work featuring three women who gather at their aunt’s now crumbling Nevada “divorce […]

Jonathan Galassi, Lisa Gornick, Suzanne Joinson, Kevin Kwan, Elmore Leonard | Barbara’s Picks, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3


Galassi, Jonathan. Muse. Knopf. Jun. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780385353342. $24.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385353359. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY FICTION We know Galassi as president and publisher of Farrar, Straus & Giroux, as the author of three collections of poetry, and as an icon in the publishing industry. Now we get to know him as a debut […]

Hot Book Club Reads for Summer | Fiction Previews, May 2015, Pt. 3


de Rosnay, Tatiana. A Paris Affair. St. Martin’s May 2015. 144p. tr. from French by Sam Taylor. ISBN 9781250068804. $22.99. SHORT STORIES Want a bit of sizzle? This new story collection from the author of the New York Times best-selling Sarah’s Key and, most recently, The Other Story, is reputedly hot, hot, hot. After all, […]