From John Boyne to Val McDermid | Barbara’s Picks, Nov./Dec. 2018

Boyne, John. A Ladder to the Sky. Hogarth: Crown. Nov. 2018. NAp. ISBN 9781984823014. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781984823038. Downloadable. LITERARY FICTION Aspiring writer Maurice Swift climbs that ladder to the sky by taking advantage of famed novelist Erich Ackermann, whom he encounters in a West Berlin hotel, and spinning Ackermann’s secrets to the world. Now […]

Franzen, Lethem, Oates, & More | Barbara’s Picks, Nov. 2018

Franzen, Jonathan. The End of the End of the Earth: Essays. Farrar. Nov. 2018. 224p. ISBN 9780374147938. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780374719289. CD. ESSAYS Legend-in-his-time Franzen veers from fiction, here collecting essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years that examine themes contained in his novels. From his young adulthood in New York to […]

Three Big Biographies | Nonfiction Previews, Nov. 2018

Dery, Mark. Born to Be Posthumous: The Eccentric Life and Mysterious Genius of Edward Gorey. Little, Brown. Nov. 2018. 496p. ISBN 9780316188548. $35; ebk. ISBN 9780316451079. BIOGRAPHY He had over 20,000 books and six cats, roomed with Frank O’Hara at Harvard, wore full-length fur coats and a full-length Edwardian beard, attended virtually every performance of […]

Murakami & Rice, Frederick Douglass & Valley Forge | Barbara’s Picks, Oct. 2018

Barry, Dave. Lessons from Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog. S. & S. Oct. 2018. 208p. ISBN 9781501161155. $26; ebk. ISBN 9781501161179. CD. HUMOR Barry, a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and one of America’s favorite humorists, gives us advice on aging gracefully by looking at the creature he knows who’s done it the […]

Top Biography & History / Nonfiction Previews, Oct. 2018

  Ackroyd, Peter. Dominion: The History of England from the Battle of Waterloo to Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. Thomas Dunne: St. Martin’s. Oct. 2018. 400p. ISBN 9781250003652. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250135537. HISTORY Ackroyd has won Whitbread and Somerset Maugham honors for fiction and James Tait Black honors for biography, but that wasn’t enough for him. In […]

Democracy & Fascism | Four Key September 2018 Titles

Fukuyama, Francis. Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment. Farrar. Sept. 2018. 240p. ISBN 9780374129293. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780374717483. POLITICAL SCIENCE Stanford political scientist Fukuyama, who came swiftly to prominence with The End of History and the Last Man, most recently critiqued the dangerous rise of interest groups in 2014’s prescient Political […]

Eliza Hamilton, Mohandas Gandhi, & Pirates | History & Biography Previews, Sept. 2018

Bunker, Nick. Young Benjamin Franklin: The Birth of Ingenuity. Knopf. Sept. 2018. 464p. ISBN 9781101874417. $30; ebk. ISBN 9781101874424. BIOGRAPHY Printer, journalist, scientist, Founding Father: that’s our near-mythic image of Benjamin Franklin. But what was he like when he was young? Bunker, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for An Empire on Edge: How Britain Came To […]

From Heiress to Novelist to Impostor | Biography/Memoir Previews, Aug. 2018

Bingham, Sallie. The Silver Swan: In Search of Doris Duke. Farrar. Aug. 2018. 352p. ISBN 9780374142599. $28; ebk. ISBN 9780374142599. CD. BIOGRAPHY Businesswoman, philanthropist, war correspondent, horticulturist, art collector: heiress Doris Duke was once tagged as the richest girl in the world, but obviously she was a whole lot more. Multithreat author/activist Bingham burrowed through […]

Women of the World: Well-Known and Untold Moments in History

A highly readable collective biography of four women who transformed American life; a fresh presentation of thoughtful political commentary from a historical and feminist perspective; a spirited and courageous young woman is honored with an enlightening biography of her life and troubled times

History, Current Events, & More | Last of the Nonfiction Previews, Jul. 2018

Ambinder, Marc. The Brink: President Reagan and the Nuclear War Scare of 1983. S. & S. Jul. 2018. 384p. ISBN 9781476760377. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781476760391. HISTORY Respected reporter and award-winning television producer Ambinder zeroes in on the nerve-wracking year when Soviet leaders so feared a nuclear strike from America that they put their intercontinental ballistic missiles […]