A Political Murder, a World War II Affair, & The Girl Who Slept with God | Debut Fiction Previews, Aug. 2015, Pt. 1

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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. […]

Quantum Biology, the Neuroscience of Anxiety, & Nobel Prize Winner Wilczek on Beauty | Science Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 4

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LeDoux, Joseph. Anxious: Using the Brain To Understand and Treat Fear and Anxiety. Viking. Jul. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780670015337. $27.95. PSYCHOLOGY Henry and Lucy Moses Professor of Science at New York University, where he is a member of the Center for Neural Science and Department of Psychology, LeDoux is on the cutting edge in the […]

Literary (Couto, Gladstone), Historical (Forsyth, Iggulden), & Women’s (Harbison, Hopkins) | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2015, Pt. 3

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Couto, Mia. Confession of the Lioness. Farrar. Jul. 2015. 208p. tr. from Portuguese by David Brookshaw. ISBN 9780374129231. $25; ebk. ISBN 9780374710958. LITERARY Winner of the 2014 Neustadt International Prize for Literature, among other awards, and one of the major writers of Portuguese-speaking Africa, Couto sets this dark and mysterious tale in the isolated village […]

Carolina De Robertis, Paula McLain, Adam Mansbach, William Vollmann | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2015, Pt. 1

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De Robertis, Carolina. The Gods of Tango. Knopf. Jul. 2015. 384p. ISBN 9781101874493. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101874509. LITERARY/HISTORICAL De Robertis, whose The Invisible Mountain was an international best seller with a lot of best book shout-outs in this country, echoes what she did in that novel and her following, much-praised Perla: she explores the fate […]

From Deb Caletti to Rebecca Makkai to Lidia Yuknavitch | Six Essential Women Fiction Writers, Jul. 2015, Pt. 1

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Caletti, Deb. The Secrets She Keeps. Bantam. Jul. 2015. 352p. ISBN 9780345548108. pap. $15; ebk. ISBN 9780345548115. WOMEN’S FICTION A National Book Award finalist for her YA fiction whose first adult novel was 2013’s bone-rattling He’s Gone, Caletti returns with another adult work featuring three women who gather at their aunt’s now crumbling Nevada “divorce […]

Dean Bakopoulos, Vendela Vida, & Nine More Authors You Must Read | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 3

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Bakopoulos, Dean. Summerlong. Ecco. Jun. 2015. 320p. ISBN 9780062321169. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062321183. LITERARY In Please Don’t Come Back from the Moon, Bakopoulos’s wondrous debut and a New York Times Notable Book, women and children are left scrambling after the men start disappearing from a blue-collar neighborhood. In this third novel (after My American Unhappiness), […]

The Music Scene, from Steve Earle’s Memoir to Pasquale Rotella’s Electric Daisy Carnival | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2015, Pt. 2

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Bach, Sebastian. 18 and Life on Skid Row. Dey Street: HarperCollins. Jun. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780062265395. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062265418. MUSIC Actually, Bach has been part of the metal music scene since he was 14, first joining Kid Wikkid and then flaunting his vocals and mass of blond hair with Skid Row, Madam X, The […]

David McCullough, Toni Morrison, Jo Nesbo, Jane Smiley, & More | Barbara’s Picks, May 2015, Pt. 3

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Hillerman, Anne. Rock with Wings. Harper. May 2015. 304p. ISBN 9780062270511. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062270535. MYSTERY With the 2013 publication of Spider Woman’s Daughter, award-winning journalist Hillerman took over the series starring famed tribal officers Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee that had won raves for her father, the late Tony Hillerman. Good move: the book […]

From the Vietnam War to LGBT Rights | History & Current Events Previews, Apr. 2015, Pt. 2

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Blehm, Eric. Legend: A Harrowing Story from the Vietnam War of One Green Beret’s Heroic Mission to Rescue a Special Forces Team Caught Behind Enemy Lines. Crown. Apr. 2015. 288p. ISBN 9780804139519. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780804139526. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. BIOGRAPHY/MILITARY In 2012’s Fearless, Blehm chronicled SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown’s moment of supreme sacrifice […]

Saul Bellow, Scott Ellsworth, Caryl Phillips, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Mar. 2015, Pt. 4

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Bellow, Saul. There Is Simply Too Much To Think About: Collected Nonfiction. Viking. Mar. 2015. 608p. ed. by Benjamin Taylor. ISBN 9780670016693. $35. LITERATURE Issued in time for the centenary of Bellow’s birth and the tenth anniversary of his death, this work collects the Nobel laureate’s nonfiction, including criticism, interviews, speeches, and other pieces ranging […]