By Barbara Hoffert

2,349 Articles

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Say Say Say

First novelist’s Savage’s lesson in the complexity of caring is carefully detailed and graced with a quiet drama that will be appreciated by readers not looking for fireworks. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]

A Prayer for Travelers

A fine character study of a struggling young woman, set in an arid Southwest that comes alive; gorgeous if relentless and heart-ripping. [See Prepub Alert, 1/7/19.]

Beirut Hellfire Society

Hage’s dark, episodic tale of bomb-stunned Beirut bites down unrelentingly on the less pleasant aspects of human behavior, with Pavlov observing that “humans deserved their burials, their darkness and their extinction.” Not easy reading, but the important truths, untrammeled honesty, and fire-bright defiance keep one engrossed. [See Prepub Alert, 1/14/19.]

Marilou Is Everywhere

Unexpectedly hard-edged, this engrossing story from first novelist Smith feels lived-in and real. In the end, what happens to both Jude and Cindy comes as a surprise, teaching us what we can and can’t escape and what it means to remake ourselves despite the past. [See Prepub Alert 1/23/19.]

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

As Lefteri particularizes the terrible plight of refugees today, there’s no overloading the deck with drama; this story tells itself, absorbingly and heartrendingly. Highly recommended. [See Prepub Alert, 2/18/19.]

Barbara’s Picks Liu, Rothschild, & Debuters Morrey & Staples, Plus Women’s, Historicals, SF/Fantasy, & More: Pop Fiction Previews, Feb. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Barbara’s Picks Ali, Gornick, Greene, Hammer, & Hvistendahl, Plus Parenting, Sports, & More: General Nonfiction, Feb. 2020, Pt. 4 | Prepub Alert

Top Picks Including Pulitzer Prize Winners Edward J. Larson & David Zucchino, plus American History, African American History, Women’s History, & World War II: History Previews, Feb. 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

Top Picks Including Aboulela, Adiga, Tuck, & Yuknavitch, Plus Rising Stars: Literary Fiction Previews, Feb. 2020, Pt. 3 | Prepub Alert

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