Shame, Stuffication, and Doing Good | Social Science Previews, Mar. 2015, Pt. 1

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Brown, Brené. Mapping Brave. Spiegel & Grau. Mar. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780812995824. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812995831. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. SELF-HELP A research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, Brown studies issues of vulnerability and shame—which leads her directly to this book’s subject, bravery, both what it is and how we […]

Cornwell, Greenberg, Harrison, Leovy, Simsion | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2015, Pt. 4

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Cornwell, Bernard. The Empty Throne. Harper. Jan. 2015. 336p. ISBN 9780062250711. $27.99. HISTORICAL FICTION It’s hard going for Uhtred in this eighth entry in the popular “Saxon Tales” series by New York Times best-selling author Cornwell. First, to heal from wounds he has received in battle, he must find the sword that did the damage. […]

The ALA Midwinter Galley Chase | The Final Analysis

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In galley or book form, hundreds of titles were there for the taking on the floor of the American Library Association’s Midwinter conference, and tracking what went fastest says a lot about what people are interested in reading today. The escapist pleasures of a good thriller still attract, and the hottest hotcakes of the genre […]

Barbree on Neil Armstrong, Memoirs from Travis Barker & Lee Grant, Germaine Greer on Trees | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2013. Pt. 2

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Barbree, Jay. Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Jul. 2014. 320p. ISBN 9781250040718. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466836341. BIOGRAPHY During 55 years at NBC News, Barbree covered all 166 American astronaut flights and moon landings—the only reporter to have done so—and he got an Emmy for his efforts. So he seems like […]

Max Brooks on the Harlem Hellfighters, Boston Marathon Victim Jeff Bauman on Hope, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2014, Pt. 3

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Bauman, Jeff with Bret Witter. Stronger: Fighting Back After the Boston Marathon Bombing. Grand Central. Apr. 2014. 250p. ISBN 9781455584376. $26. MEMOIR Bauman’s life changed dramatically when a bomb exploded at last spring’s Boston Marathon, severing both of his legs. A photograph of his initial agony came to embody the tragedy of the event, and […]

Top Literary Fiction from Tomorrow’s Household Names | Fiction Previews, Apr. 2014, Pt. 2

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Bacharach, Jacob. The Bend of the World. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2014. 304p. ISBN 9780871406828. $25.95. LITERARY No quite 30 and drifting amiably along in Pittsburgh, Peter Morrison suddenly finds himself drawn to the somewhat ominous couple Mark and Helen while also tolerating addicted friend Johnny’s obsession with conspiracy theories—except that people really are spotting UFOs. […]

Peter Ackroyd, Louis Bayard, Granta Best Nadifa Mohamed, & More | Fiction Previews, Mar. 2014, Pt. 1

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Ackroyd, Peter. Three Brothers. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Mar. 2014. 272p. ISBN 9780385538619. $25.95. LITERARY A Guardian and Whitbread winner for his fiction and renowned for his crusading biography and history as well, Ackroyd here revisits 1960s London with the help of brothers Harry, Daniel, and Sam Hanway, youngsters in a Camden Town council estate […]

Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: Dow, Grandin, Moore, & More

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Brewster, Joe & Michèle Stephenson. American Promise: Raising Black Boys To Succeed in School and in Life. Spiegel & Grau. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9780812994483. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780812994490. EDUCATION The black male achievement gap is a real problem even for successful parents like Harvard-trained psychiatrist Brewster and Columbia Law School graduate Stephenson, who became […]

Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 4: Cosmology, Technology, & the Brain

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American College of Veterinary Behaviorists. Decoding Your Dog: The Ultimate Experts Explain Common Dog Behaviors and Reveal How To Prevent or Change Unwanted Ones. Houghton Harcourt. Jan. 2014. ed. by Debra Horwitz & others. 384p. ISBN 9780547738918. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780547834450. PETS/DOGS Why decode your dog’s behaviors? Because, explains this first-ever book from the American […]

Fiction Previews, Jun. 2013, Pt. 2: Great Book Club Books from Upcoming Writers

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Brown, Eli. Cinnamon and Gunpowder. Farrar. Jun. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780374123666. $26. HISTORICAL Evocative title, and the plot sounds like a hoot. In 1819, the pirate Mad Hannah Mabbot kills the lord of a booming tea concern but will spare his chef, the famous Owen Wedgwood, as long as he manages to serve her an […]

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