Carla Buckley, Sophie Hannah, Mai Jia, B.J. Novak, & More | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2014, Pt. 4

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Adrian, Lara. Crave the Night: A Midnight Breed Novel. Delacorte. Feb. 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345532633. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780345532640. Downloadable: Random Audio. PARANORMAL ROMANCE Edge of Dawn, latest in a hugely popular series that broke into hardcover last year, pushed up Adrian’s Midnight Breed story by 20 years. Continuing in that time frame, this volume […]

Fiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: 12 Crucial Titles, from Hot International Fiction (Drndic, Yu Hua) to Works by American Prize Winners (Greenway, Martin) to Upscale Thrillers (Billingham, Dolan)

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  Billingham, Mark. From the Dead. Atlantic Monthly. Jan. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780802122131. $25. THRILLER A top-selling UK crime writer (and, surprisingly, a former stand-up comic who proved how funny he can still be at Grove Atlantic’s ALA dinner), Billingham is making a name for himself here—with the help of his publisher, which has signed […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Fiction from Albom, Baldacci, Banks, Child/Preston, Griffith, Hammett, Lynch, Miles, & Smith

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Albom, Mitch. The First Phone Call from Heaven. Harper: HarperCollins. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780062294371. $24.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062294395. lrg. prnt. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Phones are ringing off the hook in little Coldwater, MI, but the callers are all deceased, stirring emotions from joyous relief to uncertain fear as they report being happy in […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 3: Basbanes, Boyle, Cahill, Drabble, Goleman, Holmes, Lepore, MacGregor, Venter, & Winterson

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Basbanes, Nicholas A. On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year History. Knopf. Oct. 2013. 448p. ISBN 9780307266422. $35. HISTORY Having given us a much-loved trilogy of books about books—A Gentle Madness, Patience and Fortitude, and A Splendor of Letters—Basbanes has written a thoroughgoing chronicle about the stuff books are traditionally made of: paper. He starts […]

Audio Reviews | February 15, 2013

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Reviews of the audiobooks of Emma Donoghue’s Astray, Dashiell Hammett’s Return of the Thin Man, and Tere Tereba’s Mickey Cohen, plus a full list of audiobook reviews from the Feb. 15 issue.

Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2013, Pt. 1: Short Stories from Barrett, New Fiction from Danticat, the Muslim Response to Fundamentalism, and Martin Luther King Jr.’s Legacy

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Barrett, Andrea. Archangel. Norton. Aug. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780393240009. $24.95. SHORT STORIES As Barrett demonstrated with books like Voyage of the Narwhal, she writes perceptively about science. And as she proved with her National Book Award winner, Ship Fever, she’s mastered the short form. With these short stories, focusing on science, she’s set to prove […]

Goodbye 2012: Terrific Story Collections and Small-Press Bests

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So many eye-popping short story collections, so many revelatory small-press literary novels, and such little space on those end-of-the-year Best lists. Fortunately, I have a venue for featuring Best Indie Novels and Best Stories Collections of 2012, which you’ll find presented below. In addition, since I get far too much good material throughout the year […]

Fiction Previews, Apr. 2013, Pt. 3: Jennifer Gilmore, James Salter, Jean Thompson, and More

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Campbell, Drusilla. When She Came Home. Grand Central. Apr. 2013. 336p. ISBN 9781455510351. pap. $14.99. POP FICTION The author of satisfying human dramas like Blood Orange and Little Girl Gone, Campbell returns with a deeply relevant story. Back from Iraq, Frankie Byrne must confront her daughter’s trouble with school bullies, her husband’s contentiousness, her career […]

Fiction Reviews | October 1, 2012

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Reviews of James Kimmel Jr.’s The Trial of Fallen Angels, Leah Stewart’s The History of Us, and Ron Hansen’s She Loves Me Not, plus a full list of fiction reviews from the Oct. 1 issue.

Barbara’s Picks, Feb. 2013, Pt. 4: Jim Crace, Ron Currie Jr., and Karen Russell

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Crace, Jim. Harvest. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Feb. 2013. 224p. ISBN 9780385520775. $24.95. LITERARY Multi-award-winner Crace (Being Dead) creates astonishing worlds, and he seems to have done so again in a work set in an isolated English village of indeterminate time and place but essential forcefulness. One frosty morning, smoke is seen drifting skyward, one […]

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