Start of the Summer Chills | Thriller Previews, June 2018

Belle, Kimberly. Three Days Missing. Park Row: HarperCollins. Jun. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9780778307716. pap. $15.99. THRILLER Kat Jenkins’s son Ethan disappears on an overnight school trip, but another mother whose child is safe receives the ransom demand. Glamorous Stefanie Huntington, wife of Atlanta’s mayor, watches her carefully constructed life tumble as both mothers rush to […]

Mostly Domestic, but Not Bliss | Mystery Previews, Jun. 2018

Atherton, Nancy. Aunt Dimity and the King’s Ransom. Viking. Jun. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9780525522652. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780525522669. MYSTERY Lori Shepherd drops off husband Bill at a client in rural England, then heads into a storm that strands her at the creepy King’s Ransom inn, where mysterious footsteps echo. Adviser-from-another-world Aunt Dimity reminds her that […]

Literary Glitter | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2018

Faye, Gaël. Small Country. Hogarth: Crown. Jun. 2018. 224p. tr. from French. ISBN 9781524759872. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781524759896. Downloadable. LITERARY Ten-year-old Gabriel’s life in Burundi is completely upended when adjacent Rwanda erupts hideously in flames. Based on songwriter/rapper Faye’s own experiences, this debut novel captured numerous awards in France, including the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens, […]

Historical/Pop/Fantasy/Women’s | Fiction Previews, Jun. 2018

Historical Fiction Dallas, Sandra. The Patchwork Bride. St. Martin’s. Jun. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9781250174031. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250174055. HISTORICAL When granddaughter June calls off her wedding, even as Ellen finishes the wedding quilt she’s been making, Ellen tells June the story of a Kansas-born woman who seeks a husband in New Mexico Territory in 1898. […]

Historical Perspectives | Nonfiction Previews, Jun. 2018

Crouch, Gregory. The Bonanza King: John Mackay and the Battle over the Greatest Fortune in the American West. Scribner. Jun. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781501108198. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781501108211. HISTORY Like so many others, Irish immigrant John Mackay rushed to 1840s California in search of gold. It didn’t pan out, but in 1859, he walked 100 miles […]

Last of the Big May Titles | Fiction & Nonfiction Previews, May 2018

Fiction Brooks, Terry. The Skaar Invasion. Del Rey: Ballantine. May 2018. 384p. ISBN 9780553391510. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780553391527. Downloadable. FANTASY As the end of the Shannara books near—this is the second book in a four-part wrap-up that reads like a stand-alone series—Paranor is swarming with invaders who don’t seem too vindictive. Alas, they presage a […]

Worldwide Pearls: Ten Top Titles for Winter Reading

Drawing on personal experience, Bodrožic´ is remarkably adept; Franzosini’s English-language debut is irresistible biographical fiction; for sophisticated readers and lovers of smart, spooky tales; multi-award winner Ørstavik offers an unsettling read that most will enjoy; a darkly propulsive nail-biter overlain with a vivid and piercing study of class tensions

Politicians, Movie Stars, & Olympians | Memoir Previews, May 2018

Barak, Ehud. My Country, My Life: Fighting for Israel, Searching for Peace. St. Martin’s. May 2018. 432p. ISBN 9781250079367. ebk. ISBN 9781466892088. CD. MEMOIR/POLITICS Barak’s life is so deeply entwined with his homeland that any memoir he offers will also be a history of Israel. Here he focuses on his efforts in 2000 to find […]

Essential Arts Titles | Nonfiction Previews, May 2018

Harkness, Deborah (text) & Colleen Madden (illus.). The World of All Souls: The Complete Guide to A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night, and The Book of Life. Viking. May 2018. 608p. ISBN 9780735220744. $40; ebk. 9780735220751. Downloadable. LITERATURE Hilburn, Robert. Paul Simon: The Life. S. & S. May 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781501112126. $30. BIOGRAPHY/MUSIC […]

Greenblatt, Palahniuk, & Newcomer Gabel | Barbara’s Picks, May 2018

Gabel, Aja. The Ensemble. Riverhead. May 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780735214767. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780735214781. Downloadable. WOMEN’S FICTION Steely first violinist Jana. Beautiful second violinist Brit. Self-confident violist Henry, ever the prodigy. And cellist Daniel, prickly and horny and troublesome. They’ve come together as the Van Ness Quartet, and they go on to great success in […]