Chevalier, Fishman, O’Brien, Oyeyemi, & Spiotta | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Mar. 2016, Pt. 1


Chevalier, Tracy. At the Edge of the Orchard. Viking. Mar. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9780525953005. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698404199. CD/downloadable: Penguin Audio. LITERARY/HISTORICAL Chevalier is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous audience favorites, notably Girl with a Pearl Earring, and with this book, as a way to introduce her to new readers, her new publisher […]

Last of the February 2016 Pop Fiction | Fiction Previews, Feb. 2016, Pt. 4


Bjørk, Samuel. I’m Traveling Alone. Viking. Feb. 2016. 400p. ISBN 9780525428961. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780698193802. Downloadable: Penguin Audio. THRILLER Already a well-known novelist, playwright, and singer/songwriter in his native Norway (under the name Frode Sander Øien), Bjørk leaps into the Scandinavian crime fiction game with this story of a special homicide unit in Oslo investigating […]

Today’s Issues, Tomorrow’s Business | Social Science Previews, Feb. 2016, Pt. 4


Bates, Laura. Everyday Sexism. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Feb. 2016. 384p. ISBN 9781250067937. $25. 99; ebk. ISBN 9781466876668. SOCIAL SCIENCE/FEMINISM On April 16, 2015, Bates’s blog, The Everyday Sexism Project, enjoyed its third anniversary and scored big as the No. 1 trending topic that day on Twitter. Bates started the blog in 2012 after she […]

Benjamin Black, Mark Bowden, Janice Lee, & an Afghan Romeo and Juliet | Barbara’s Picks, Jan. 2016, Pt. 3


Black, Benjamin. Even the Dead: A Quirke Novel. Holt. Jan. 2016. 304p. ISBN 9781627790666. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781627790673. CD/downloadable: Macmillan Audio. MYSTERY In this seventh in a series from Black, the alter ego of Man Booker Prize winner John Banville, Dublin-based pathologist Quirke gets quite a workout. Even as he’s worried that the blackouts and […]

Middle East Fighting and U.S. Government Blues | Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2016, Pt. 1


Chase, Simon & Ralph Pezzullo. Zero Footprint: Leave No Trace, Take No Prisoners: The True Story of a Private Military Contractor in Syria, Libya, And the World’s Most Dangerous Places. Muholland: Little, Brown. Jan. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780316342247. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316342223. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316342230. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. HISTORY/MILITARY/IRAQ Private military contractor Chase carries […]

From Night Vale to Elizabeth George, a Debut Worth $2 Million, & More | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Oct. 2015, Pt. 2


Fink, Joseph & Jeffrey Cranor. Welcome to Night Vale. HarperPerennial. Oct. 2015. 416p. ISBN 9780062351425. $19.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062351449. CD: HarperAudio. POP FICTION Surely you’ve heard of Night Vale, that funky little town in the eponymous (and bubbling-over popular) podcast and touring show created by Fink and cowritten by him and Cranor. The library figures […]

Geraldine Brooks, J.M. Coetzee, Salman Rushdie, & the Return of Lisbeth Salander | Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3


Brooks, Geraldine. The Secret Chord. Viking. Sept. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780670025770. $27.95. CD: Penguin Audio. HISTORICAL FICTION Brooks, who wins both prizes (e.g., the Pulitzer for March) and audiences (there are two million copies of her books out there), has always triumphed with historical subjects, and she’s back at it with this novel about King […]

Biography (e.g., J.M. Coetzee, Mary McGrory) & History (e.g., World War II) | Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2015, Pt. 3


Attwell, David. J.M. Coetzee and the Life of Writing: Face to Face with Time. Viking. Sept. 2015. 272p. ISBN 9780525429616. $27.95. LITERARY CRITICISM/BIOGRAPHY Currently a professor at the University of York, Attwell completed an MA in African literary theory and criticism at the University of Cape Town, where his supervisor was Nobel Prize–winning novelist J.M. […]

From Soviet Intelligence to Hurricane Katrina | History Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 2


Haslam, Jonathan. Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence. Farrar. Aug. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9780374219901. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374710408. HISTORY Professor of the history of international relations at Cambridge, Haslam offers an overview of Soviet intelligence from the October Revolution to the end of the Cold War that encompasses not just the […]

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. […]