Nonfiction Previews, Jan. 2014, Pt. 5: History from the Tudors to Ariel Sharon

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Chappell, David L. Waking from the Dream: The Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King, Jr. Random. Jan. 2014. 400p. ISBN 9781400065462. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780812994667. SOCIAL SCIENCE/AFRICAN AMERICAN STUDIES Published to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, this revisionist work has […]

Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: Nonfiction from Auster, Bloom, Brotton, Gardiner, Halperin/Heilemann, Klima, & Robb

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Auster, Paul. Report from the Interior. Holt. Nov. 2013. 352p. ISBN 9780805098570. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780805098594. CD: Macmillan Audio. MEMOIR At 63, celebrated novelist Auster wrote an account of his body and of physical sensation generally that was published last year as Winter Journal. In this work he charts the life of the mind, particularly […]

Nonfiction, Nov. 2013, Pt. 3: A Dozen Arts Titles, from Mozart to Norman Rockwell to the Spider-man Musical

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Berger, Glen. The Song of Spider-Man: The Inside Story of the Most Controversial Musical in Broadway History. S. & S. Nov. 2013. NAp. ISBN 9781451684568. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781451684582. MUSICALS Chosen by Julie Taymor to collaborate on the book of the Spider-man musical, Emmy Award–winning television and theater writer Berger saw the entire musical unfold […]

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 […]

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 […]

Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2013, Pt. 2: Kennedy & Lincoln

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Kennedy, Caroline. Rose Kennedy’s Family Album: From the Fitzgerald Kennedy Private Collection, 1878–1946. Grand Central. Oct. 2013. 304p. ISBN 9781455544806. $40. PHOTO ESSAY Dating from 1878 through 1946, the 400-plus photographs in this volume are never-before-seen images drawn from the private collection of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, showing her growing family in its most intimate moments […]

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 […]

Nonfiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup: From Mary Beard to Eileen Rockefeller

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Beard, Mary. Confronting the Classics: Traditions, Adventures, and Innovations. Liveright: Norton. Sept. 2013. 320p. ISBN 9780871407160. $28.95. HISTORY Described by the New York Times as “the closest thing, if it exists, to a celebrity classics professor” in a story about her having stood up to some naysayers who abused her on the Internet, Cambridge scholar […]

Fiction Previews, Sept. 2013, the Last Roundup; from Terry McMillan to Debut Novelists Allen, Crawford, Daly, & More

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Allen, Lisa Van. The Wishing Thread. Ballantine. Sept. 2013. 400p. ISBN 9780345538550. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345537829. WOMEN’S FICTION Owners of the Stitchery Yarn Shop in Tarrytown, NY, the Van Ripper women can reputedly grant wishes by stitching them into their knitted goods. But the Stitchery’s matriarch has just died, leaving a will that could […]

Barbara’s Picks, Sept. 2013, Pt. 3: Barnes, Carroll, Coetzee, Ford, George, Harding, Hastings, Kennedy, Lahiri

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Barnes, Julian. Levels of Life. Knopf. Sept. 2013. 144p. ISBN 9780385350778. $22.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385350785. MEMOIR Not a conventional memoir—did you really expect something so mundane from the multi-award-winning author of Flaubert’s Parrot and The Sense of an Ending?—this book aims to “put together two things that have not been put together before, and the […]

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