From J.M.W. Turner to Al Capone | Biography Previews, Oct. 2016, Pt. 1

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Ackroyd, Peter. Alfred Hitchcock. Nan A. Talese: Doubleday. Oct. 2016. 288p. ISBN 9780385537414. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385537421. Downloadable: Random Audio BIOGRAPHY An award winner in both fiction and nonfiction (e.g., he claims the Whitbread Book Award for Biography), Ackroyd here explains how a fearful, chubby little boy became the masterly and iconic director Alfred Hitchcock. […]

Visiting Florida with Barry, the Internet with Levitin, & the Marches with Stewart | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 4

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Alexander, Jane. Wild Things, Wild Places: Adventurous Tales of Wildlife and Conservation on Planet Earth. Knopf. Sept. 2016. 336p. ISBN 9780385354363. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385354370. Downloadable: Random Audio. SCIENCE/MEMOIR A Tony Award–winning and two-time Emmy Award-winning actress, plus a four-time Academy Award nominee and former chair of the National Endowment of the Arts, Alexander is […]

Pearl Harbor, Stalin’s Last American Spy, & More | History Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 3

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Clark, Lloyd. Blitzkrieg: Myth, Reality, and Hitler’s Lightning War: France 1940. Atlantic Monthly. Sept. 2016. 384p. ISBN 978-0802125132. $27. HISTORY British historian Clark (The Battle of the Tanks: Kursk, 1943) examines the German army’s swift toppling of France and the Low Countries in spring 1940, arguing that it was not inevitable—the Germans needed the element […]

Fifteen Mystery/Thrillers | Fiction Previews, Sept. 2016, Pt. 2

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Ahnhem, Stefan. Victim Without a Face: A Fabian Risk Novel. Minotaur: St. Martin’s. Sept. 2016. 592p. tr. from Swedish by Rachel Willson-Broyles. ISBN 9781250103185. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250103192. THRILLER Screenwriter Ahnhem joins the Swedish crime brigade with a first novel whose initial victims were class bullies three decades ago. Alas, criminal investigator Fabian Risk, who’s […]

Irish Stars, New York Landscapes, & Colorado Chills | Debut Fiction Previews, Aug. 2016, Pt. 1

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Leo, Forrest. The Gentleman. Penguin Pr. Aug. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780399562631. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399562648. LITERARY Victorian poet Lionel Savage marries lovely Vivien Lancaster for her money and, in a fit of despondency over his sudden inability to write, accidentally conjures up the Devil, with whom he politely discusses literature. Later, when he realizes that […]

Delia Ephron, Laura McHugh, Cynthia Ozick, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3

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Bennett, Claire-Louise. Pond. Riverhead. Jul. 2016. 208p. ISBN 9780399575891. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780399575914. SHORT STORIES Originally published by the Dublin press Stinging Fly, which has given us the likes of Kevin Barry and Colin Barrett, Bennett’s story collection attracted enough attention to get a book deal in Britain, where the Guardian called it “stunning.” This […]

Top Pop from Carriger, Harbison, Iggulden, Steel, & More | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3

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Banner, Catherine. The House at the Edge of Night. Random. Jul. 2016. 416p. ISBN 9780812998795. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780812998801. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. HISTORICAL Having published the first in a YA trilogy when she was only 15, Banner goes adult at the veteran age of 25, offering a saga starring three generations of women striving to […]

The Idiot Brain, Fashion Photography, the Microbiome, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2016, Pt. 3

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Burnett, Dean. Idiot Brain: What Your Head Is Really Up To. Norton. Jul. 2016. 320p. ISBN 9780393253788. $26.95. COGNITIVE SCIENCE Ever popular, books about the brain typically extol its wonders, but Burnett lets us in on all the weird things it does, ranging from blackouts to insomnia, and all the mistakes we’ve made in trying […]

Literary Fiction To Grab, from Tahmima Anam, Thomas Christopher Greene, & More | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2016, Pt. 1

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Alam, Rumaan. Rich and Pretty. Ecco. Jun. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780062429933. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062429957. LITERARY Upper-crust Sarah works at a charity while plotting the perfect wedding. Wayward self-starter Lauren works in publishing (well, she would) and avoids all questions of marriage—and the future in general. Best friends for 20 years, they’ve been distanced by […]

Binelli, Buckhanon, McCrumb, & More | Fiction Previews, May 2016, Pt. 4

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Andrews, Mary Kay. The Weekenders. St. Martin’s. May 2016. 400p. ISBN 9781250065940. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781466872929. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. WOMEN’S Dousing us again in salt spray, the New York Times best-selling author of Beach Town takes us to Belle Isle, NC, where Riley Griggs awaits her husband’s arrival on the Friday afternoon ferry. But he […]