Pop Fiction from Robert Jackson Bennett to Koren Zailckas | Fiction Previews, Aug. 2018

Bennett, Robert Jackson. Foundryside. Crown. Aug. 2018. 496p. ISBN 9781524760366. $27; ebk. ISBN 9781524760373. Downloadable. FANTASY A winner of Edgar, Shirley Jackson, and Phillip K. Dick honors, Divine Cities author Bennett launches a new series set in a city run on industrialized magic. Crack thief Sancia Grado has been tasked with lifting an artifact from […]

Literary Glitter | Fiction Previews, Jul. 2018

Christensen, Kate. The Last Cruise. Doubleday. Jul. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780385536288. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385536295. Downloadable. LITERARY PEN/Faulkner Award winner Christensen takes us on the final voyage of the 1950s-era ocean liner Queen Isabella, as guests nostalgically enjoy fine dining, retro drinks, and luscious jazz, with both cell phones and children banned. Belowdecks, tensions simmer […]

Remarkable Women & Civil Rights Struggle | History Previews, Apr. 2018

Barnet, Andrea. Visionary Women: How Rachel Carson, Jane Jacobs, Jane Goodall, and Alice Waters Changed Our World. Ecco. Apr. 2018. 528p. ISBN 9780062310729. $29.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062310743. HISTORY Rachel Carson fought for the environment and Jane Jacobs for livable cities; Jane Goodall shows us the link between humans and animals and Alice Waters how to […]

Timely Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, Jan. 2018

Aliu, Xhenet. Brass. Random. Jan. 2018. 304p. ISBN 9780399590245. $27; ebk. ISBN 9780399590252. Downloadable: Random Audio. LITERARY Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize for her debut fiction collection, Domesticated Wild Things and Other Stories, Aliu draws on her own life to tell the story of teenage Luljeta, in identity crisis and insistent that her […]

Mendelsohn’s Odyssey, Ward/Burns on Vietnam, & More | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Sept. 2017

Blum, Ben. Ranger Games: A Story of Soldiers, Family and an Inexplicable Crime. Doubleday. Sept. 2017. 432p. ISBN 9780385538435. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9780385538442. CD/downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR Why would an upright young man, determined to become a U.S. Army Ranger, join with two fellow soldiers and two strangers the day before his deployment to Iraq […]

Biography, Freud, & Flood | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Aug. 2017

Atlas, James. The Shadow in the Garden: A Biographer’s Tale. Pantheon. Aug. 2017. 416p. ISBN 9781101871690. $28.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101871706. Downloadable: Random Audio. MEMOIR/LITERARY Atlas is a publishing-world fixture, having founded Atlas Books and the “Lipper/Viking Penguin Lives” series and been a staff writer, contributor, or editor for publications from Time to the New York […]

Kenyon, Wilson, & a War of the Worlds Sequel | Pop Fiction Previews, Aug. 2017

Baxter, Stephen. The Massacre of Mankind. Crown. Aug. 2017. 480p. ISBN 9781524760120. $27. SF Winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, Baxter does something daring: he offers a sequel to H.G. Wells’s iconic The War of the Worlds, featuring Wells’s narrator, Walter Jenkins. Fourteen years after the last invasion, humans complacently […]

Top Debut Novels | Fiction Previews, May 2017, Pt. 2

Alyan, Hala. Salt Houses. Houghton Harcourt. May 2017. 320p. ISBN 9780544912588. $26; ebk. ISBN 9780544912380. LITERARY/SAGA This embracing and salt-sharp tale by Palestinian American poet and clinical psychologist Alyan magnifies the problem of displacement in the Middle East by chronicling the fate of one family continually uprooted after the Six-Day War of 1967. After her […]

War, Islam, & Evangelicals | Barbara’s Nonfiction Picks, Apr. 2017, Pt. 2

Bellaigue, Christopher de. The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle Between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times. Liveright: Norton. Apr. 2017. 560p. ISBN 9780871403735. $35. HISTORY Many Westerners see Islam as behind the times, having failed to experience Europe’s Enlightenment. But Bellaigue, an authority on Islam and the Middle East who speaks Turkish, Persian, and Arabic […]

Building Better Bodies, Protecting Data, & More | Nonfiction Previews, Feb. 2017, Pt. 4

Buting, Jerome F. Illusion of Justice: Inside Making a Murderer and America’s Broken System. Harper. Feb. 2017. 352p. ISBN 9780062569318. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062569332. TRUE CRIME The criminal defense lawyer for Steven Avery in the Teresa Halbach murder trial, chronicled in the headlines-making Netflix original documentary series, Making a Murderer, Buting uses that case and […]