Fiction Previews, Dec. 2013, Pt. 2: Robards, Wagner, First Novelist Baxter, & More

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Andersen, Laura. The Boleyn Deceit. Ballantine. Dec. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345534118. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345534125. HISTORICAL Andersen recently launched a Tudor trilogy with The Boleyn King, which imagines that Anne Boleyn gave birth to a lusty baby boy who would become king of England. Here, Henry IX, called William by intimates, has passed through […]

Fiction Previews, December 2013, Pt. 1: Big Commercial Fiction from Connelly to Weldon

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Connelly, Michael. The Gods of Guilt. Little, Brown. Dec. 2013. 416p. ISBN 9780316069519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Defense attorney Mickey Haller is back with a new case—the murder of a prostitute whom he thought he had saved from a life on the streets. Now he learns that he may have instead endangered her and […]

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 […]

Fiction Previews, Nov. 2013, Pt. 2: Top Commercial Fiction, Including Cornwell, Cussler, & McCall Smith

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Bruen, Ken. Purgatory. Mysterious Pr: Grove/Atlantic. Nov. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780802126078. $24. CD: Highbridge Audio. MYSTERY Nine previous titles, a Shamus Award, multiple award nominations, two feature films, and now this: even as he struggles to maintain his hard-won stability, former cop Jack Taylor must face a vigilante killer wiping out the bad guys of […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 5: Wrapping Up a Huge Month with Malcolm Gladwell, Malala Yousafzai, & More

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Chen Guangcheng. Untitled Memoir. Times: Holt. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780805098051. $28. MEMOIR Chen has been named a 2012 Brave Thinker, 2012 Rebel of the Year, and 2012 Global Thinker by the Atlantic, GQ, and Foreign Policy, respectively. And no wonder. Blinded by illness in infancy and illiterate until his teens, Chen taught himself law […]

Fiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 5: Lots of Action from Lisa Scottoline, Anne Hillerman, & More

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Abrams, JJ & Doug Dorst. The Secret JJ Abrams Project. Mulholland: Little, Brown. Oct. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780316201643. $35. CD/downloadable: Hachette Audio. THRILLER Abrams has created, produced, written, and directed multiple Emmy– and Golden Globe Award–winning television series and films (yes, he’s helming the next Star Wars film), so it’s no surprise that he can […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Fiction from Daniel Alarcón, James Franco, Kathleen Kent, David Leavitt, & Valerie Plame

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Alarcón, Daniel. At Night We Walk in Circles. Riverhead: Penguin Group (USA). Oct. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9781594631719. $27.95. LITERARY A PEN/Hemingway finalist and one of The New Yorker’s 20 under 40, Alarcón is being primed for a breakout with this second novel. At age eight, as his country descends into civil war, Nelson hears a […]

Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2013, Pt. 1: David Finkel, Elizabeth Gilbert, Adam Mansbach, Donna Tartt, Scott Turow, Simon Winchester

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Finkel, David. Thank You for Your Service. Sarah Crichton Bks: Farrar. Oct. 2013. 272p. ISBN 9780374180669. $27. POLITICAL SCIENCE/INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Head of the Washington Post’s national reporting team and both a Pulitzer Prize winner and a MacArthur Fellow, Finkel did an extraordinary job of explaining the Iraq War to us in The Good Soldiers, a […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 6: Crime/Adventure/Mystery/Thriller Titles for the Early Fall

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Brandman, Michael. Robert B. Parker’s Damned If You Do. Putnam. Sept. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9780399159503. $26.95. CRIME An award-winning producer who collaborated with Robert B. Parker on the television movie adaptations of Parker’s Spenser titles (for A&E) and Jesse Stone titles (for CBS), three of which featured his original screenplays, Brandman seems like the right […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, Pt. 4: Four Commercial Blockbusters from Brown, Gruber, Lindsay, & Sparks

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Brown, Sandra. Deadline. Grand Central. Sept. 2013. 300p. ISBN 9781455501519. $28. CD: Hachette Audio. SUSPENSE War-weary journalist Dawson Scott needs the distraction of the case dropped into his lap by an FBI contact; former U.S. Marine Jeremy Wesson, son of terrorists who have been on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for decades, is missing and […]

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