Barbara's Picks

Issues of Identity and Award-Winning Novelists | Barbara’s Picks, Aug. 2018

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. The Lies That Bind: Rethinking Identity. Liveright: Norton. Aug. 2018. 256p. ISBN 9781631493836. $27.95. PHILOSOPHY Whether based on nationality, class, culture, race, and/or religion, identity is seen today as a main source of various conflicts worldwide. But NYU philosophy and law professor Appiah, author of the prize-winning Cosmopolitanism and the “Ethicist” column […]

Three Novels & a Memoir | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2018

Guerrero, Jean. Crux: A Cross-Border Memoir. One World: Random. Jul. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780399592393. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399592409. Downloadable. MEMOIR A PEN/FUSION Emerging Writers Prize winner, Guerrero is the Fronteras reporter for San Diego’s NPR/PBS affiliate, focusing on cross-border issues. Here she writes more personally about her father, a Mexican immigrant who saw himself as […]

Critics & Authors | Barbara’s Picks, Jul. 2018

Jeppesen, Travis. See You Again in Pyongyang: A Journey into Kim Jong Un’s North Korea. Hachette. Jul. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780316509152. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316509138. lib. ebk. ISBN 9780316509169. Downloadable. TRAVEL/CURRENT EVENTS A perennially edgy novelist/poet (e.g., The Suiciders) and an artist whose work has popped up at the Whitney Biennial, Jeppesen has visited North […]

From Horowitz to Homes | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Jun. 2018

Backman, Fredrik. Us Against You. Atria. Jun. 2018. 336p. ISBN 9781501160790. $26.99. CD. LITERARY Sweden’s literary contribution to the New York Times best sellers list, Backman revisits Beartown, where the cherished hockey team is slated for the dust heap. The players join a rival team in Hed, a new team forms (with a surprise coach), […]

Assad to Cyberwarfare to Uncomfortable Conversations | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Jun. 2018

Auletta, Ken. Frenemies: The Epic Disruption of the Ad Business (and Everything Else). Penguin Pr. Jun. 2018. 368p. ISBN 9780735220867. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780525633310. Downloadable. MEDIA STUDIES Longtime “Annals of Communications” columnist for The New Yorker, NYPL Literary Lion Auletta examines the $2 trillion global advertising and marketing business, seriously under siege since the Digital […]

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 […]

Chabon, Comey, Gay, Hurston, Russo, Winchester, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, May 2018

Alinejad, Masih. The Wind in My Hair: My Fight for Freedom in Modern Iran. Little, Brown. May 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780316548915. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780316549073. Downloadable: Hachette Audio. MEMOIR Award-winning Iranian journalist Alinejad was arrested for her activism as a teenager; went to Tehran with a young husband who, later, shamefully divorced her; fought nine […]

Kushner, Ondaatje, Simsion, & More | May 2018

Alam, Rumaan. That Kind of Mother. Ecco. May 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780062667601. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062667625. LITERARY As he did in his celebrated debut, Rich and Pretty, Alam takes a women’s-eye view to give us a larger picture of the world. Panicked about raising her baby, first-time white mother Rebecca invites understanding African American hospital […]

Barnes, Ehrenreich, Powers, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Apr. 2018

Al Samawi, Mohammed. The Fox Hunt. Morrow. Apr. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780062678195. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062678218. lrg. prnt. MEMOIR Raised a devout Muslim in the Old City of Sana’a, Yemen, Al Samawi contemned Judaism until  he began reading a Bible someone sneaked him when he was 21. Reaching out to Jews on social media and […]

Ball, Forna, Frazier, Mayes, & Nesbø | Barbara’s Fiction Picks, Mar./Apr. 2018

Ball, Jesse. Census. Ecco. Mar. 2018. 272p. ISBN 9780062676139. $25.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062676153. LITERARY A Granta Best of Young American Novelists, NYPL Young Lion, and Plimpton Prize winner whose A Cure for Suicide was long-listed for the National Book Award, Ball gets a chance to break out with this affecting story, already getting in-house raves. […]