PositiveKirkusIn educative chapters that describe the speculated origins and chronology of the resilient disease, Douthat maps out just how elusive accurate treatment can become and how the road to a definitive diagnosis can drag on through years of antibiotic trials. Consistently candid and often harrowing, Douthat’s eloquent prose injects shimmers of possibility into the seemingly hopeless situation he was forced to endure. As with many Lyme disease accounts, there is no happy ending nor a resounding diagnosis and effective treatment eradicating it from the lives of sufferers. The author’s persistence in conquering Lyme disease’s \'impenetrable-seeming wall of opposition and denial\' bleeds across each page. Douthat’s explorations of bioweaponized theories for Lyme’s origins are unconvincing, but they don’t ruin the impact of his message ... A palpable patient experience of a pervasive disease that continues to confound medical science.
Nathaniel Ian Miller
RaveKirkusThe arctic climes must breed self-reliance and toughness, which are evident even in Sven’s two dogs, memorable characters themselves ... Sven’s ugliness is only skin-deep, and readers will love the beauty and depth of his story.
Nathaniel Ian Miller
RavePublishers Weekly... captivating ... Miller offers a marvelously detailed look at a way of life and a profession practiced in an extreme environment, and though purportedly based on a historical figure, the character’s colorfully rendered experiences are the stuff of powerful dramatic fiction. This has Miller off to a promising start.
PositivePublishers Weekly... a fresh, character-driven look at the debate over America’s entry into WWI ... Lanctot smoothly toggles between his three main subjects and intriguing secondary characters including Hungarian suffragist and pacifist Rosika Schwimmer and American novelist James Norman Hall, who volunteered to fight with the British. The result is a rich and rewarding portrait of a crucial turning point in American history.
PositiveKirkus... meticulously researched ... Lanctot’s book is too long and his prose too wordy, but he delivers an interesting take on how Addams, Roosevelt, and Wilson interacted in alternately cooperative and competitive ways ... A rigorous, dense historical study that reveals how three individuals helped pave the way for the American century.
ed. by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
RaveKirkusA satisfyingly diverse collection of most welcome voices on a topic that still deserves attention
ed. by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
MixedPublishers WeeklyQueer people who came of age in the wake of the AIDS epidemic reflect on their experiences in this moving but inconsistent essay collection ... Unfortunately, the impact of the collection’s most powerful stories (some of which describe the challenges of finding acceptance in rural communities) are dulled by uneven writing and repetition (two different essays trace the divergent paths of two pairs of gay cousins), and the generational theme is blurred by wide age gaps between contributors. Still, LGBTQ readers will appreciate the frankness of these personal reflections on what it means to live in the shadow of AIDS.
RaveKirkusThere is rarely a minute when readers will not want to know what comes next, from prison to lawyering and fighting for not aspirational but equal justice, to how Adams handles each instance of anger, anxiety, guilt, and willpower in and out of prison. A consuming tale of a broken legal system, its trail of ruin, and the fortitude needed to overcome its scarring.
Kwon Yeo-Son, tr. Janet Hong
RavePublishers WeeklyKwon’s powerful English-language debut explores issues of jealousy, loss, and physical beauty ... Though the novel has the bones of an unsolved crime story, any objective solution is besides the point, even as Da-on’s conversations with others yield more information. Those ready to sink into a creepy and intense yet understated emotional experience will find that this story hits and sticks.
RavePublishers WeeklySearing ... Stine draws on her personal experience of today’s Appalachia to craft a harrowing vision of the future, and at its center is the tug-of-war between what is right and what is necessary to survive. This painful, thought-provoking apocalypse noir fires on all cylinders.
PositiveKirkusCoincidental meetings, a random act of violence, and unresolved plot points make the ending less satisfying than the rest of Stine\'s engrossing story ... A nicely balanced blend of dystopian tragedy, love, and hope.
RaveKirkusA new urban studies text offers a thorough, well-researched history of inner-city blight as the inevitable legacy of segregation and racism ... While extensively documented and amply footnoted, Cashin\'s survey remains compelling and accessible to a general readership. She clearly presents the effects of concentrated poverty on a populace ... A resonant, important argument that White supremacy and racial division poison life in our cities.
RavePublishers WeeklyCashin’s levelheaded reform suggestions draw from real-world success stories ... This is a well-researched and persuasive guide to a major source of inequity in the U.S.
RavePublishers WeeklyImmersive and vividly detailed ... Written in crisp, novelistic prose, this is an insightful study of the ins and outs of international spycraft.
RaveKirkusAn eye-opening account ... Tracking down the story was no easy matter, but his efforts have produced an entertaining political history of Poland since World War II ...Pomfret delivers a nail-biting account of the escape that Polish agents engineered ...A lively and insightful exploration of an overlooked international alliance.
RavePublishers WeeklyWheatcroft delivers a fresh take on Winston Churchill’s life and legacy in this invigorating biography ... Wheatcroft doesn’t shy away from Churchill’s racism and imperialism ... or his support for the merciless bombing offensive against German cities and civilians that culminated in the destruction of Dresden, while expressing sincere admiration for his eloquence and ability to inspire strength and action. The result is an exhilarating reassessment that will appeal to Churchill buffs and newcomers alike.
RaveKirkusAn authorative examination ... Wheatcroft brings superior scholarship, controlled, intermittently witty prose, and warts-and-all admiration to the acknowledged surfeit of writing about Churchill. With an evenhanded perspective, he explores how textuality and reputation simultaneously distort and amplify Churchill’s impact ... Wheatcroft adds materially to this well-known narrative ... The author achieves a strong balance between crisp, dramatic historical storytelling ... A lively and rigorous deep dive into the ambiguous, still-relevant geopolitical odyssey that Churchill represents.
RavePublishers WeeklyCumming returns with a series of revealing and witty reflections on coming to terms with his demons rather than conquering them ... Though confronting his father about his abusiveness was transformative, Cumming resists the narrative that everything was magically solved ... Engaging and often funny, this surprisingly deep work beguiles with its sharp observations and earnest life lessons.
PositiveKirkus... wise, pensive, sometimes chatty ... Thoughtful, candid revelations join with intimate confessions while Cumming’s witty repartee never falters. Regardless of his traumatic past, the memoir lifts the veil on a happier man who has \'transcended and bloomed.\' With heartfelt anecdotes and an honest perspective, Cumming shares the struggles and joys of a fulfilling life while making peace with the baggage of a troubled past ... Cathartic and revelatory, Cumming’s memoir will fascinate fans and those who relate to his internal struggle.
Carl de Souza trans. by Jeffrey Zuckerman
RaveKirkus[d]e Souza\'s incessantly swift prose translates the racial and religious kaleidoscope of the Mauritian experience into a deceptively compact novel. Also noteworthy are the faithful incorporation of Francophone Creole and moments of unexpected wonderment, as when rambunctious monkeys interrupt Santee and Ronaldo\'s Bollywood dance number. Long overlooked in the United States, de Souza and his compatriots deserve to be celebrated stateside. An electrifying portrait of a tiny island nation on fire.
Carl de Souza trans. by Jeffrey Zuckerman
RavePublishers Weekly... electric ... De Souza’s unpredictable, propulsive tale is a rip-roaring trip teeming with beauty, anger, possibility, and helplessness.
MixedKirkusDrawing from opposing criticism of scholars as well as his own observations, the author demonstrates revealing methods for viewing Roth and his body of work. Although Berlinerblau’s conclusions are plausible, the method in which he articulates them is not always straightforward. He frequently sidetracks his own discussions and repeatedly states the intentions of his book and the direction he will be taking before making his points. Intriguing new perspectives on a contentious writer.
MixedPublishers WeeklyBerlinerblau takes a \'reverse biography\' approach, investigating what may be revealed about the author’s life through his fiction ... However, he fails to adequately contextualize contemporary arguments about Roth’s racism and misogyny, referencing the possibility that contemporary critics could \'cancel\' Roth, but neglecting to explain whether and how such criticism could tarnish the legacy of a deceased, well-regarded author. While Berlinerblau’s method of reverse biography is fascinating, this one doesn’t quite satisfy.
RaveKirkus... glowing ... Though the text is somewhat short on criticism, Marton clearly knows her subject and writes smoothly, pulling back the curtain on an enigmatic, significant world figure ... A human portrait more than a political one that amply captures the essence of a moral, determined leader.
PositivePublishers Weekly... meticulous and even-handed ... Incisive analyses of Merkel’s relationships with other world leaders, including Vladimir Putin, shed light on her geopolitical views and tactics, though her private motivations remain somewhat mysterious. Still, this is a lucid and accessible introduction to \'the most powerful woman in the world.\'
RaveBooklist... enthralling ... Mahmoud explores the intricacies of Cairo’s social dynamics and how powerful family relations, societal judgment, and class can be despite physical and socioeconomic distance. His dynamic storytelling will keep readers engaged throughout.
MixedPublishers WeeklyMahmoud’s uneven debut explores the discrepancies of class and wealth in modern Cairo and the Egyptian diaspora through multiple strands of plot that jump back and forth in time and merge only tangentially ... Individually, his characters are well developed, and his grasp of recent history is firm and illuminating. But almost every dramatic situation fizzles out, as the action becomes decreasingly credible and the narrative connections increasingly strained. It’s an ambitious effort with many striking details of life, but it’s undermined by its convoluted structure.
MixedKirkusThere’s a lot to admire here, from the way Mahmoud moves the action forward and backward in time and parcels out information about the different characters. But the novel can be frustrating in places—watching Sheero wrestle with both his memories and an onslaught of media attention in the aftermath of Amir’s violent act makes for compelling reading, but a large chunk of his inner conflict is resolved in passing late in the novel. It doesn’t always click seamlessly, but when this book hits its stride, it does so with great power. This novel’s complex web of relationships makes for an ambitious literary debut.
RaveKirkusA concise, beautifully written history of the \'long\' 1960s, bringing the most important events and developments of that tumultuous decade to vivid life ... the author delivers a potent reminder of the unremitting, searing crises of those years ... Boyle is skilled at setting events in their particular context, although occasionally, as in the throat-clearing opening 60 pages on the years before 1960, he overdoes it. What makes the book particularly effective is the author’s inclusion of the lives and situations of ordinary Americans; Boyle’s memorable character sketches capture the hard realities and significant changes that occurred during that time. The author is also commendably balanced in his assessments; it’s difficult to discern his partialities. Ultimately, this is a standout example of narrative analytical history. A brilliantly achieved history of some unusually fraught years of American history.
RavePublishers Weekly... [an] insightful study ... Boyle’s elegantly written account weaves together evolving currents of activism, mainstream politics, and public opinion with vignettes of ordinary people’s lives and vivid profiles ... The result is a skillful encapsulation of an era that brought to a boil conflicts still tormenting American society today.
RavePublishers WeeklyQuiet but powerful ... Glück considers a primary human loneliness in humane, reflective poems that are deeply engaged with the idea of being alone with oneself ... With this magnificent collection, a great poet delivers a treatise on how to live and die.
RavePublishers WeeklySmith\'s concise, lyrical essays invite the reader to dwell on the text ... Half beautiful language and metaphors, half raw emotion, this book (which includes a handful of personal photos) will inspire and influence a new generation of logophiles as they read and reread this absorbing, meditative work.
PositiveKirkusA slim, poetic memoir ... Ardent Smith fans may be enamored with her recollections, which range from mourning the family dog’s death to nebulous lines ... The writing elucidates, to some degree, Smith’s artistic path, with themes of ritualizing time and space rippling throughout ... Ethereal spins of innocence and enchantment.
RavePublishers WeeklyStarling...captivates and horrifies by turn in this intricately plotted, deliciously bonkers secondary world gothic fantasy ... Gothic purists may initially balk at the secondary world setting, as it’s somewhat at odds with the genre’s emphasis on how women are imprisoned by real-world patriarchal structures, but Starling’s magic system is so spookily and fully realized, and the final twist so brilliantly turns the novel on its head, that even the most skeptical will be won over. This proves impossible to put down.
PositivePublishers WeeklyA slew of terms and theories are introduced that may be difficult to get through for readers without a neuroscience background. But those who stay the course will find much to consider.
PositiveKirkusAn accessible, unfailingly interesting look inside the workings of the human brain, celebrating its beguiling nature.
Jay Caspian Kang
RavePublishers WeeklyIn this searing treatise, Kang...is refreshingly candid in his analysis, addressing how immigrants who come from Asia lack the intrinsic solidarity that has been foisted upon them—either by American ignorance or well-intentioned, but often misguided, activist efforts. He adds texture to this sentiment by making the historical personal, detailing his experience as the son of two North Korean refugees who moved to the United States in 1979 ... This excellent commentary on the Asian American experience radiates with nuance and emotion.
PositiveKirkusA collection of speculative stories that play on Malaysian folklore and fantasy tropes with humor and compassion ... Stories...combine folklore with the mundane ... The stories are told with the precise and almost sparse voice of fairy tales, but they can sometimes veer toward the excessively fanciful. Some...rely too much on humor and speculative elements without quite landing. Nevertheless, the collection’s most moving stories harness seamless worldbuilding, intriguing character development, and thematic complexity ... A swath of delightful and intricate stories from a wildly inventive storyteller.
RavePublishers WeeklyCho showcases tongue-in-cheek wit, sensitive characterization, and wide literary range in this update to her 2014 Crawford Fantasy Award–winning collection, which includes nine new stories. The most breathtaking entries feature wry and perceptive marriages of Malaysian folklore, modern pressures, and the nuances of intergenerational relationships ... While lighter pieces...can end abruptly, all 19 stories tackle fantasy tropes with a fundamental sweetness and humor that never ignores the complexity of intercultural life. Powerful but subtle magic woven into the fabric of intricate worlds make Cho a sure favorite for readers of Kelly Link and Carmen Maria Machado.
PositivePublishers WeeklyMesmerizing ... While Blythe’s limited perspective on Gil makes the plot feel a bit too simplistic, Khoury describes Gil’s relationship to the Outer Banks with lyrical precision ... This should do the trick as elevated beach reading.
T. L. Toma
RavePublishers WeeklyRiveting ... Toma is excellent at looking intensely below the superficial and the unspoken...and his lucid style and cool tone add power to the story. The twists and turns of this contemporary morality play will have readers engrossed.
T. L. Toma
PanKirkusThe unlikability of the central couple is precisely the point, as the novel questions how much substance there is to their lives, yet the narrative fails to find any momentum in this question and is instead weighed down by numerous lengthy flashbacks to Martin’s and Lily’s lives prior to meeting as well as Martin’s musings during bouts of insomnia ... Sadly, none of these characters become fully realized, and neither does the impetus of the plot ... A story and a main character both in search of meaning.
Barrett Holmes Pitner
PositivePublishers WeeklyErudite if uneven ... Intriguing historical tidbits, such as how the spiritual \'Kum Bah Yah\' lost its original meaning as a call for God to rescue the Gullah people, buttress Pitner’s analysis, but his optimistic conclusion that ethnocide is \'unsustainable\' runs counter to his central argument that it is baked into American culture. Still, this is a well-intentioned and often incisive examination of the forces of inequality.
Barrett Holmes Pitner
PositiveKirkusCogent ... At its best, this heavily researched book shimmers with creativity and intelligence, expertly balancing realism, optimism, and honesty. At times, though, it can be difficult to keep track of the barrage of terminology, especially since a new word is introduced almost every chapter. Additionally, Pitner draws almost exclusively from White, male, European philosophers ... A mostly well-argued, deeply felt treatise on the links among language, racism, and redemption.
PositivePublishers WeeklyDespite some tedious pedantic dialogue, Freeman manages to convey the bonds and challenges of the women’s friendship. The author’s fans will appreciate this layered story.
PositiveKirkusDevelopments background Freeman’s extended explorations into the complexities of marriage, friendship, and art ... [A] long drive to Utah...showcases Freeman’s bravura descriptions of diverse American landscapes ... Readers may find it frustrating that warm, perceptive Verna has spent so much of her life adapting to the demands of two self-absorbed people, but Freeman asks us to understand that committed relationships necessarily involve conflict and compromise ... Intelligent, challenging fiction.
RavePublishers WeeklyFader...makes good use of her access to NBA superstar Giannis Antetokounmpo and his family in her debut, an inspiring rags-to-riches account ... This captivating portrait of a sincere, diligent, and humble talent serves as a refreshing antidote to the often-depressing stories of those who become corrupted by success.
PositiveKirkusInspiring ... Fader does a good job of relating this rags-to-riches story without cliché, and her commentary on the game is spot-on ... Just the thing for the Bucks fan in the household and an accomplished piece of sportswriting.
RavePublishers WeeklyStephen Crane...cuts a dashing figure in this beguiling literary biography ... Auster intertwines the engrossing picaresque with probing interpretations of Crane’s works ... Auster’s sprawling narrative combines punchy writing and shrewd analysis with an exuberant passion for his subject. The result is a definitive biography of a great writer.
MixedKirkusThroughout, Auster conveys a highly personal, idiosyncratic perspective on his subject and the biography form itself ... he exhaustively evaluates countless sources (primary and secondary) while probing and dissecting Crane’s writing. Auster’s in-depth exploration of major works like Red Badge is engrossing, as are most of his renderings of Crane’s life experiences ... However, when Auster applies his admittedly erudite methods to Crane’s lesser work and to tangential events, the narrative suffers from bloat. Running close to 800 pages, the book would have benefitted from streamlining. Essential for Crane scholars; less engaging for others.
PositiveKirkusWriting with both great humor and heart, Roper has a light touch that keeps the reader laughing even while he gently pulls on the heartstrings. Theo and Joel have hurt each other in the past, and their history of miscommunication and trauma feels incredibly real, but their longing for reconnection and nostalgia for what they once were also shines through. Even in hard moments, there is an element of farce, especially in scenes when Joel, Theo, and Joel’s girlfriend, Amber, play around with who knows what secret. Although the end might not land with everyone, the story of two friends finding each other again will resonate with most ... A funny and poignant portrait of friendship.
PositivePublishers Weekly... delightful ... This endearing outing becomes a heartfelt meditation on male companionship, forgiveness, and navigating life’s ups and downs. Roper’s story shimmers.
Ryan Van Loan
MixedPublishers WeeklyIt’s fun to see the rough-hewn, contrary Buc navigating the perils of high society and her changing feelings for her partner, but many readers will be frustrated to see such a smart character repeatedly making foolish decisions. This second visit to the Renaissance Italy–esque world still leaves much to be explored, lending a somewhat claustrophobic feeling. Still, the combination of strange magic, visceral action, and multilayered intrigue is sure to please series fans.
O Henry ed. Ben Yagoda
RaveKirkusA treasure vault of work by a master of the short story form ... Yagoda’s well-selected anthology follows Henry through all his phases ... Most of the stories, Red Chief foremost among them, read as if freshly written, although there are a few dated ethnic categorizations and outright slurs. Overall, though, the volume provides ample evidence for why one of American literature’s most eminent literary awards should be named for the author ... Essential for students of the short story and for fans of Henry’s work.
Charlie Jane Anders
MixedPublishers Weekly... earnest though overwrought ... these concise essays on writing \'as an act of self-preservation\' lucidly describe storycraft fundamentals (characters, plotting, worldbuilding) in welcoming, conversational prose, interspersed with anecdotes of the author’s growth ... Anders shows keen trauma awareness ... Unfortunately, the book’s lack of a cohesive through line undermines its authority: both intriguing and problematized elements—such as the genre’s overly Western idea of agency and sweeping statements on writers’ motives—are rarely explored deeply, and playful examples often get belabored, muddling the principles they illustrate. Budding genre writers questioning their voice’s value will appreciate this overview, but quickly need more.
PositivePublishers WeeklyStirring if shaggy ... While the many flashbacks can become tiresome, the probing examination of love and acceptance crackles with intensity. Schickel’s raw honesty makes this hard to put down.
MixedKirkusThe memoir is well written, and the two intertwining stories are well-structured. However, the author is repetitive about certain elements...and sparse on others ... Schickel is a fluid writer and can be funny, occasionally hilarious, but when she strains toward humor amid a painful recollection, the humor often falls flat. Still, her narrative timing is often spot-on ... The scenes in which Schickel digs the deepest leave the longest-lasting impact—if only there were more of them ... A flawed yet affecting portrait of a vicious, repetitive cycle.
Sarah Zachrich Jeng
MixedPublishers WeeklyEntertaining if lightweight ... A lack of plausible emotional reactions undercuts the suspension of disbelief. Those looking for a more sophisticated handling of parallel worlds should check out Blake Crouch.
Sarah Zachrich Jeng
PositiveKirkusConvincing alternate-universe mechanics and a subtle lesson in the perils of manipulating other people to get what we want raise the bar in this fun, well-paced story ... An enjoyable adventure with a likable heroine in search of the life she really wants.
Mark A. Altman and Edward Gross
PositiveKirkusAltman and Gross consult with some of the principal players, from first to last, and if the business side of the enterprise occupies too much space, the best parts of the book are when the actors and writers reflect on their work ... A trove for hardcore fans. If you’re obsessive about the films, there’s no end to the fun.
PositivePublishers WeeklyStuck puts an inventive spin on Black satire in his engaging debut collection ... Stuck brings uncompromising humor and judicious characterizations ... The author’s perfect balance of absurdism and realism makes these stories shine.
Catherine Ryan Howard
RaveKirkusEach new twist, dispensed with surgical precision, will keep you hooked, nostalgic for the days when Covid-19 was the worst threat.
Catherine Ryan Howard
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] captivating tale ... As the link between the couple’s outwardly simple yet complex romance and the murder becomes clearer through carefully doled out backstories, readers will find themselves rooting for these flawed characters no matter what their past indiscretions or crimes. Howard continues to impress.
Tracy K. Smith
RavePublishers Weekly[An] incisive collection of poems from her four books as well as 18 new poems that reproach ignorance and denial while championing a collective voice for women and the Black community ... Smith provides sensuous, lyrical narratives with oracular depth. Both timeless and urgent, this serves as a humbling and invigorating reawakening from sorrow and apathy.
Kyle Lucia Wu
RaveKirkusWu’s debut eschews many of the tropes of current fiction, particularly nanny fiction. Do not expect sexual or physical abuse, quirky characters, weird secrets, or biting tweet-ready wit; do not expect shocking plot twists or an exposé of evil parents or bosses ... Bijou is a heartbreakingly complex child with anxieties that adults, including Willa, don’t always notice. Ultimately, expect subtle surprises as Willa’s relationships evolve in a satisfying accumulation of carefully drawn small moments that build toward her understanding, even acceptance, of both an imperfect world and herself. No fireworks here, but everyday struggles rendered into a deeply poignant story.
Kyle Lucia Wu
RavePublishers WeeklyWu’s compassionate debut traces one woman’s search for belonging via her memories of growing up in two households ... Through the characters’ kinships—some familial, some chosen—Wu brilliantly lays out the complicated dynamics of love, belonging, and care that exist within all relationships. Fans of Kiley Reid’s Such a Fun Age will love this.
PositivePublishers WeeklyHealey captivates with a dark and sensual novel ... Imagery of drowning and of natural cycles of bloom and decay suffuses Maeve’s narrative and Ruth’s flashbacks—and can feel overdone—but Healey excels at probing her characters’ psyches ... In the end, this develops into a lush, seductive portrait of desire.
RavePublishers Weekly... superior ... an effortless blend of humor and fair play ... The often prickly relationship between the Watson-like Horowitz and the Holmes-like Hawthorne complements the intricate detective work worthy of a classic golden age whodunit. The author’s fans will hope this series has a long run.
PositiveKirkusFans of the author’s formidable brain teasers, certain that the devil is in the details, will be a lot more confident than he is ... The most conventional of Horowitz’s mysteries to date still reads like a golden-age whodunit on steroids.
Edward J Watts
PositiveKirkusHistory professor Watts accomplishes an impressive feat by effectively compressing the vast history of Rome and its empire into a relatively short book. For nonacademic readers, however, following the massive cast of characters...may sometimes prove difficult ... The author engagingly shows how, from the start, Roman leaders used that cyclical narrative of deterioration and restoration both to govern and to divide their people ... A fresh, complex story of how historical perceptions come into being and are used to persuade and rule.
Rachel Greenwald Smith
PositivePublishers WeeklyInsightful ... While some essays can meander, Greenwald Smith takes a commendably expansive view of the idea and practice of compromise, creating a nuanced look at a thorny subject. The result is a work of criticism as thoughtful as it is relevant.
Rachel Greenwald Smith
PositiveKirkusA thoughtful, defiant polemic that should provoke heated discussions.
MixedPublishers WeeklyUneven ... Sparkles with provocative ideas but has trouble keeping itself together ... Eggers spends much of his time in \'setup\' mode, with a self-referential style that lands some nice jabs ... More often, though, the work feels subsumed by anxiety over readers’ attention spans ... The climax involving Delaney’s plot is, like Eggers’s vision of the near future, plausible if predictable. This’ll be a bit too wooly for many readers’ tastes, but there’s plenty of sharp apocalyptic satire.
Douglas Abrams and Jane Goodall
RavePublishers Weekly... illuminating ... Her infectious optimism and stirring call to action make this necessary reading for those concerned about the planet’s future ... Goodall’s rousing testament will resonate widely.
Douglas Abrams and Jane Goodall
PositiveKirkusUltimately, this is less a self-help book than the personal testament of a traditional idealist with the belief that we are put on Earth for a purpose and that the universe must have a deep, guiding intelligence behind it—if not the traditional God, then something similar. As Goodall notes late in the book, she welcomes a \'convergence of science and religion and spirituality\' ... An estimable researcher and activist tells stories and delivers uplifting advice.
PositivePublishers WeeklyDolnick lucidly explains the complex steps taken to decipher the relic, and offers brisk and enlightening history lessons on the first appearances of written language, Roman emperor Constantine’s conversion to Christianity in the fourth century, the Scientific Revolution, and Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt. The result is an immersive and knowledgeable introduction to one of archaeology’s greatest breakthroughs.
MixedKirkus... offers a strong corrective, describing not only how the Rosetta Stone was found, but also how, over several long decades, it was deciphered. He creates an engaging portrait of the two men—Jean-François Champollion and Thomas Young—who were mainly responsible for cracking the code of Egyptian hieroglyphs ... Dolnick provides an exciting narrative of the journey to legibility, and he effectively describes why it was such an important—and excruciating—process. However, the author sometimes goes awry when he strains too hard for wittiness...Worse are the banalities that stud Dolnick’s analyses ... Accessibility is no crime, of course, but the author’s desire to make the book accessible to everyone leads him to oversimplify his subject with labored asides ... Despite these flaws, Dolnick makes complicated linguistic challenges not only comprehensible, but also especially vivid for readers new to the subject, and, as in his previous books, his enthusiasm is infectious ... A largely engaging yet sometimes pedestrian look at language and the limits of what we can understand.
Niall Williams and Christine Breen
RaveKirkusAlthough they acknowledge the peril of climate change and recognize the need to stop using fossil fuels ... These concerns [...] don’t diminish their delight in their garden, which they describe in graceful, evocative prose ... A warm homage to a piece of beloved Irish land.
S. Qiouyi Lu
RavePublishers WeeklyLu’s full-length debut [...] combines beautiful prose, a complex structure, and well-wrought Asian-influenced worldbuilding into a powerful, futurist work ... This masterful work positions Lu among the vanguard of contemporary futurism and speculative fiction.
RavePublishers Weekly... nimble ... Fans of Donald Westlake’s action-packed, screwball crime fiction will hope Martini will be back for an encore.
RavePublishers WeeklyShirley Jackson Award winner Gregory (We Are All Completely Fine) spins an addictive tale of historical horror ... as the narrative toggles between Stella’s childhood and her present day, and the truth about Stella’s family and their folk religion unfolds, Gregory ratches up the tension in stunning prose, and the book goes from frustratingly opaque to un-put-downable. Readers who stick with this are in for a thrilling ride.
RaveKirkus[A] fascinating account of a daring escape from a repressive regime as well as a vivid portrait of life in Berlin in the early days of the wall—and of the international impact of events in that city. Merriman effectively maintains the pace and suspense, giving readers a novelistic narrative with a solid foundation of fact. An entertaining real-life Cold War thriller following a group of students who escaped under \'the Wall of all walls.\'
MixedPublishers Weekly... intriguing yet uneven ... Unfortunately, the overwrought narrative style distracts [...] and the brief chapters, which shift viewpoints abruptly, sacrifice depth and clarity for the sake of action. This Cold War history doesn’t quite live up to its potential.
PositivePublishers WeeklyBy turns provocative and tedious ... While McGurl’s dense academic study often relies on sprawling, jargon-filled sentences, he nevertheless raises significant questions about the state of publishing. For those in the industry, this is worth a look.
Alex Von Tunzelmann
PositivePublishers WeeklyHistorian von Tunzelmann (Blood and Sand) takes a brisk and informative look at \'how societies around the world have put up, loved, hated and pulled down statues in order to make statements about themselves\' ... Enriched by accessible history lessons and trenchant analysis of contemporary politics and culture, this is a persuasive call for a \'much wider and more mature engagement with the past.\'
Anna Lembke, MD
PositiveKirkusMost readers will find it reasonable, and the author does not trumpet its success rate. Some of the most insightful passages involve lying, a malignant process in a cooperative society but essential to maintaining addictive behavior. Many people believe that honesty—unmasking our flaws—will drive people away, but it does the opposite. A good education on addiction, fascinating case histories, and a sensible formula for treatment.
Anna Lembke, MD
RavePublishers WeeklyReaders looking for balance will return to Lembke’s informative and fascinating guidance.
RavePublishers Weekly... revelatory ... He writes in an intimate, conversational style, leaping from past to present and pairing his reflections on growing up gay in the 1970s with living through the AIDS epidemic and the deep pain and fear of the Trump presidency and Covid-19 pandemic. Those who know Porter from his Grammy and Emmy award–winning roles in Kinky Boots and the TV show Pose will relish the insider look at those productions and marvel at the tribulations Porter overcame to get there ... Haunting and inspirational, this is both a powerful indictment of the lasting harms of bigotry and an immensely moving account of moving forward.
PositiveKirkusThroughout, the author intersperses italicized passages that explore present-day issues, including the pandemic, but these attempts at timeliness are upstaged by his remarkable life story. Porter’s passionate support for music and art programs in public schools, as well as gay rights activism, are clear, but his first duty has always been to his work ... Overcoming racism, homophobia, bullying, and abuse, a theatrical star is born.
PositivePublishers WeeklyRhoades does a good job illuminating the racial and ethnic tensions of the period. With any luck, this is the start of a series.
RaveKirkusDuncan displays impressive skill in keeping his Lafayette an admirable figure despite painful limitations. More energetic than intelligent, he was not ahead of his time. Popular histories extol his abolitionism, but this developed later; he had no objection to slavery while serving under Washington. His lack of personal ambition was unaccompanied by proficiency in France’s cutthroat politics, so his influence never matched his popularity. An outstanding account of an almost impossibly eventful life.
PositivePublishers WeeklyThough short on analysis, Duncan marshals a wealth of information into a crisp and readable narrative. This sympathetic portrait illuminates the complexities of Lafayette and his revolutionary era.
MixedPublishers Weekly...vibrant if uneven ... It’s a mixed bag, but the best pieces linger.
William Kent Krueger
PositivePublishers WeeklyKrueger makes the youthful version of his lead plausible, as well as his detective abilities. Longtime fans will relish Cork’s rich backstory.
Peter F. Hamilton and Gareth L. Powell
PositivePublishers WeeklyThough the pace is slow, the authors’ engagement with both hypothetical science and reincarnation will hold readers’ interest, and the worldbuilding hints at a vast, fascinating universe. This short but expansive narrative offers plenty to please sci-fi fans.
RaveKirkusThe last page of the book will leave you stunned. Solomon\'s decision about where to end her dinner party puts her in a lineage of modernist party hosts like Woolf and Proust ... What starts out a smoothly entertaining social satire turns out to expect a little work from you, dear reader.
RavePublishers Weekly... illuminating ... When Selena finally receives Liselle’s message, and as Liselle frets about Winn’s legal troubles, the outcome is unexpected and powerful. Solomon brings wit and incisive commentary to this pristine take on two characters’ fascinating and painful lives.
PositivePublishers WeeklyHaygood centers his narrative on punchy biographical sketches of Black filmmakers and piquant making-of tableaux while ably filling in historical context from the Harlem Renaissance to the George Floyd protests. The result is an engrossing account of a vital but often slighted cinematic tradition, full of fascinating lore.
PositiveKirkusA well-researched history of frustrations, defiance, and bold dreams—good for movie buffs and civil rights historians alike.
MixedPublishers WeeklyDavis is an accomplished but sometimes heavy-handed writer; the book\'s two final climaxes seem strained and overly dramatic rather than organically derived from the story.
PositiveKirkusLyrically intense ... Artifice and reality clash, then merge, in this strange and visionary novel.
PositivePublishers Weekly... eccentric ... The essays are short and amusing, with Leach’s lighthearted humor and charming brand of absurdism on full display ... The strength of Leach’s prose is in her turns of phrases, which are plentiful and playful ... She meanders from one subject to the next, and though this can sometimes betray a lack of focus, her profoundly empathetic perspective keeps things grounded. There’s much to savor in this quirky mix of sharp writing and quick wit.
PositiveKirkusNot every piece is a hit, but the misses are few, and many are good for sharing with children ... Nice work from a wise, welcoming observer of the beauteous nature all around us.
PositivePublishers WeeklyHeart-wrenching ... The authors vividly describe the suffering of infected patients ... The authors capture the ad hoc response of even the most skilled doctors to an unprecedented calamity ... Readers will gain a visceral appreciation for what it took to battle the first wave of the pandemic.
PositiveKirkusDramatic ... The testimonies are moving and heartbreaking, delivering a realistic portrait of a city hospital in crisis ... Touching evidence of compassion and sacrifice during the worst of the pandemic.
RavePublishers WeeklyRevealing and entertaining ... Through extensive research and interviews with key actors and production staff, Seal weaves his tale with enthralling portraits of The Godfather’s main architects ... Seal dishes up fascinating morsels for fans to savor ... Masterpiece yields masterpiece with this exuberant page-turner.
PositiveKirkusMuch of this material appears elsewhere, and Seal is sometimes too intellectual about the film ... But Godfather fans will enjoy the behind-the-scenes squabbles that threatened the picture, the dealings with real-life mobsters, and other details ... A lively film biography that amply shows how great films aren’t necessarily born great, but they can grow great.
PositivePublishers WeeklyRaw and intimate ... Combining searing, well-informed critiques of the U.S. criminal justice system with sympathetic character profiles and inspirational accounts of intellectual and emotional breakthroughs, this is a powerful look at how creative expression can provide \'a taste of freedom.\'
PositiveKirkusAn affecting book in which every page urges more humane treatment of prisoners.
PositiveKirkusIn graceful, often lyrical essays, the 26 contributors to Blauner’s thoughtful collection consider Thoreau’s meaning in their lives ... Candid, often insightful reflections testify to Thoreau’s enduring appeal.
PositivePublishers Weekly... dynamic ... Taken together, the pieces make a convincing case that Thoreau’s work is ever-relevant and deserving of continued wide readership ... Thoreau fans will be delighted.
Anne Elizabeth Moore
RavePublishers WeeklyWry ... Moore weaves incisive reflections on Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, sexism and classism in the arts and publishing worlds, urban gardening, and the \'media narrative surrounding Detroit.\' The result is a trenchant meditation on how communities come together, and the forces that drive them apart.
Anne Elizabeth Moore
PositiveKirkusA series of eye-opening vignettes ... A unique, lovely meditation on the power of community.
RavePublishers Weekly[An] ardent, sprawling debut ... Memorable characters ... This bighearted novel generously portrays the unforgettable set of characters through their determination to face oppression. It’s a stunner.
RaveKirkusDisquieting ... The novel ends where it must, and Pickhart doesn’t pull any punches; this is an unremittingly dark novel, but it’s never exploitative. Pickhart employs an unusual structure ... Innovative, emotionally resonant, and deeply affecting, this is a more-than-promising debut from a very talented writer ... An excellent debut from an author who\'s bursting with talent.
PositivePublishers WeeklyOrwell’s classic dystopian nightmare is lent new life in this atmospheric graphic adaptation ... While this adaption is rather text-heavy—perhaps necessarily so to fully impart Orwell’s complex ideas—Nesti’s accessible gray and orange drawings provide balance and light, giving Orwell’s oppressive vision a lyrical touch. His artistic style also lends a Depression-era vibe, one that would have read as retro even in 1949, when the novel was originally published. This artful reinterpretation reminds how Orwell’s warnings of the dangers of authoritarianism have remained frighteningly timeless.
MixedKirkus\"Lehrer stretches the bounds of his thesis to enfold the question of how we perceive and misperceive and are beguiled, incorporating bits and pieces of music lore...the advertising campaign that brought the Volkswagen to America; the merits of the Comic Sans typeface, and the rabbit-duck optical illusion. Lehrer makes a good village explainer—good, as Gertrude Stein said of Ezra Pound, if you’re a village—but the narrative soufflé often threatens to fall as he wanders from subject to subject. For those who like their science superficial and swaddled in pop culture.
PositivePublishers Weekly... fascinating ... The only false note comes from a section endorsing a study that claimed plot spoilers actually enhance the reading experiences, which doesn’t mesh with his thesis that the unexpected matters most. Despite that dissonant note, this is a thought-provoking look at an aspect of human psychology—and literature—often taken for granted.
PositivePublishers Weekly... satisfying if initially slow-moving ... Stage thrillingly describes the perils and the beauty of nature while providing sage advice for hikers. This works better as a tale of friendship and personal growth than a survival adventure.
Arnaldur Indridason, Tr. Victoria Cribb
PositiveKirkusIndridason methodically builds a portrait of Iceland with a large cast of nuanced characters unsettled by past events. In dredging up the past, Konrád must also confront his complex relationship with his own abusive father, whose murder was unsolved as well. The intricate plot poignantly depicts community crosscurrents, past and present.
Arnaldur Indridason, Tr. Victoria Cribb
RavePublishers Weekly... superb ... As in the old Icelandic sagas, the author strips bare such archetypal human concerns as revenge, honor, and family loyalty. Konrád, who still misses his beloved wife six years after she died of cancer, is an irresistible lead. Indridason is writing at the top of his game.
Mary L. Trump
PositiveKirkusShe’s at her best, and on the firmest of ground, when she lays into her uncle’s manifest shortcomings ... Of value to those pondering what happened for the past five years and whether we can truly heal.
Michel Bussi, Tr. Sam Taylor
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] brilliantly twisty mystery ... Fans of Fred Vargas’s bizarre yet logical plots and complicated leads will be eager to seek out more of Bussi’s work.
Michel Bussi, Tr. Sam Taylor
PositiveKirkusBussi piles on the twists with a sovereign indifference to plausibility, though savvy readers will see many of them coming. What they won’t see in advance is the nuanced compassion for almost everyone involved in the mind-boggling fraud at the heart of the mystery. Brainy, exciting, and humane.
Julián Fuks, Tr. Daniel Hahn
PositivePublishers WeeklyFuks’s accomplished work of autofiction...is a thoughtful, intimate exploration of how people literally and figuratively occupy their own stories and those of others ... Throughout, Fuks deals forthrightly with the traumas endured by the squatters and his own family members, and the inclusion of letters shared with his mentor Mia Cuoto add a personal touch. This offers much more than the average story of a writer looking for material.
RaveKirkusA lively investigation of the numerous connections among fascism, imagery, media, and politics. Books about fascism are rarely unpredictable, and social science nonfiction is rarely a wild thrill ride. But when Nathan applies the style and imagination he demonstrated in his debut novel, Some Hell (2018), that’s what we get. Though the author is upfront about his lack of expertise with the mechanics of fascism and photographs, his originality of thought drives this impressive nonfiction debut ... Not all his pronouncements hold up ... Nonetheless, readers will be fascinated as the author explains the importance of expressing ourselves visually through the origin of memes, the language of GIFs, and how it all fits together with the work of Homer and the power of representation. Nathan delivers deep thinking and clever turns of phrase in equally abundant amounts, making his history lesson and philosophical discussion a page-turning good time ... An unexpectedly entertaining scholarly warning about fascism’s spread through imagery.
James Lee Burke
PositivePublishers Weekly... captivating ... Sharp prose and distinctive characters help propel Aaron’s journey from earnest farmhand to tormented soul in a world of horrors. Suspense fans will be well satisfied.
James Lee Burke
MixedKirkusThe story is as eventful as ever ... As usual, Burke orchestrates a series of escalating encounters between Aaron and the Vickers father and son that promise a violent release, but this time the violence is mostly withheld (except for the obligatory backstories and some nameless prostitutes recently killed) until the ending, which has all the intensity of a fever dream and not much more explanatory power. The haunted hero is last spotted near Flagstaff, from which fans will surely look forward to hearing more. And more.
Mark Haskell Smith
RavePublishers WeeklySmith...takes an immersive and irreverent dip into ancient Greece to uncover the origins of transgressive humor. Mixing history, literary criticism, and dirty jokes, Smith pays tribute to a slew of forgotten Greek writers ... No matter how antiquity-specific Smith gets, he always keeps in mind the importance of pushing against the status quo and preserving democratic values. This erudite but refreshingly nonacademic work will feed the intellect as well as tickle the funny bone.
Mark Haskell Smith
PositiveKirkusA racy, raunchy, entertaining reimagining of ancient Greece.
RavePublishers Weekly... thrilling ... The excellent found family dynamic among the protagonists is pushed to the fore ... Along the way, a deeper exploration of the motives of the hostile alien Viators adds complexity and an unexpected reunion garners a new ally for the Sentinel’s limping mutiny against their Legion employers. Dewes expertly weaves character backstories into the action ... Well-crafted intrigue, tense battles, and a lot of heart make for a page-turning adventure on the way to a conclusion that will leave fans anxiously awaiting the next installment.
PositiveKirkusStrout’s habitual themes of loneliness and the impossibility of ever truly knowing another person are ubiquitous in this deeply sad tale, which takes its title from Lucy’s head-shaking acknowledgment that her ex will never change, cannot change the remoteness at the core of his personality. Another skillful, pensive exploration of Strout’s fundamental credo: \'We are all mysteries.\'
RavePublishers Weekly... [an] illuminating, character-driven saga ... The strength of Lucy’s voice carries the reader, and Strout’s characters teem with angst and emotion, all of which Strout handles with a mastery of restraint and often in spare, true sentences ... It’s not for nothing that Strout has been compared to Hemingway. In some ways, she betters him.
PositivePublishers WeeklyBlunt and well-reasoned ... Buttressed by Daniels’s personal reflections and lucid readings of American history and culture, this is a bracing yet actionable call for change.
RaveKirkusImmensely readable ... Daniels, who has clearly done the work of examining herself first, concludes by offering constructive ways White women can undo the damage of their privileged status by challenging and questioning as well as by cultivating alternate forms of family and kinship outside of the White nuclear family ... This significant study, both academic and personal, provides a well-lit path \'to swerve away from white supremacy.
Howard W French
MixedPublishers Weekly[An] eye-opening if tendentious history ... Though French elucidates much neglected history here, especially on relations between early modern Europe and the sophisticated—and pro-slavery—polities of Africa, his claim that without slave labor Europe might have remained a \'geographic and civilizational dead end\' lagging eternally behind Asia and the Islamic world goes too far, and he doesn’t fully explain why Western industries and societies kept flourishing even after slavery’s demise. Elsewhere, French assigns near-magical properties to slave-grown sugar, suggesting that it was essential to the Industrial Revolution, newspapers, and the birth of the \'modern public sphere.\' The result is an intriguing yet overwrought take on the global economy’s dire origins.
Howard W French
PositiveKirkusSweeping ... French dispels countless historical myths ... This meticulously researched book eloquently debunks conventional understanding of European conquest. While each page is so densely packed with facts that it sometimes feels more like a textbook than creative nonfiction, French’s underlying argument and accompanying cogent analysis make for essential reading for anyone looking to decolonize their understanding of the Western world ... A fascinating retelling of modern history that restores Africa to its rightful place.
PositivePublishers WeeklySpare and lyrical ... DeCapite has a poet’s eye for the city’s majestic details, and illustrates how his characters come to see the same things differently over the years. DaCapite ultimately shows how Mike and June can’t control the forces around them, but they can hold onto the memories that helped shape them, adding up to a worthwhile meditation.
PositiveKirkusThis slice of contemporary life in New York City could have ended poorly...but DeCapite clearly has the acumen to make this brittle, sweet fable both romantic and realistic at the same time. The narrator, Mike, is a bit of a nonentity beyond the way we experience the world through his eyes ... DeCapite doesn’t dwell on the maudlin, instead constructing a narrative composed of equal parts Mike\'s angst and self-doubt, June’s enigmatic behavior, and Mike\'s exchanges with the old fellas at the 14th Street Y ... It’s a completely confounding relationship, which makes it feel so very real ... A sad but sweet song about the uncertainty of middle age and how funny it is when time slips away.
PositivePublishers WeeklyGleefully profane ... Not all chapters are as tight as his onstage deliveries...but Sloss has great fun with the form ... Fans of his comedy and those with a soft spot for irreverent banter will find much to enjoy, and some insights, too.
MixedKirkusRecycling his material into book form, Sloss creates an awkward mix of virulent complaints and predictable relationship advice ... Less shocking than sophomoric, the book is likely to grate on the nerves of those who don\'t identify as \'Lads, Lads, Lads.\' The author’s attempts to shoehorn more serious emotional material into the narrative...feel misplaced ... Readers may wonder whom he’s trying to impress with his naughty ways ... Comedy for fans of Tucker Max and early Howard Stern.
RavePublishers WeeklyIntriguing ... Refut[es] traditonal narratives ... Quilligan lucidly explains the era’s complex familial, religious, and political dynamics, and draws incisive character sketches. Renaissance buffs will treasure this sparkling revisionist history.
PositiveKirkusAt times, it is difficult to separate the rulers’ political exigency from their familial loyalty, but the book is a useful addition to the literature on European royalty ... An authoritative and sympathetic collective biography.
PositivePublishers WeeklyIlluminating ... Though the accounts of bloodlines and varied relationships can be confusing, the story brims with bewitching encounters and suspenseful conflicts revolving around good magic versus bad magic. Hoffman brings satisfying closure to the Owens saga.
RaveKirkus... a beautifully heartfelt, plainspoken account ... Now, Dogon is able to advocate for the plight of all who suffer the terrors of civil war. Throughout, he delivers effectively vivid details of his life and culture, and it’s clear that he is dedicated to helping others in similar terrible circumstances ... An eloquent and necessary plea for compassion for war refugees everywhere.
RavePublishers Weekly... searing ... There is shocking suffering here, and Dogon conveys its psychological impact with limpid, subdued prose ... The result is an immensely moving memorial to the Rwandan tragedy.
RavePublishers Weekly... exceptional ... The reveal about the meaning of the note comes as a genuine gut-punch. Knowing that the story line is building toward the fatal conflagration keeps the tension high. Rickstad has raised his game to a new level.
Khadija Abdalla Bajaber
PositiveKirkusThis is a novel of tradition, ritual, and mystical adventure ... Even if you’re not a fan of magical realism, this window into Hadrami culture should at least stoke your curiosity. An adventure tale rife with creatures and immersed in the Hadrami culture of Kenya.
Khadija Abdalla Bajaber
PositivePublishers Weekly... [a] striking if slightly cluttered debut ... While the loose plot threads and continuous introduction of folkloric creatures don’t all cohere, Bajaber’s depictions of Aisha’s daring episodes and her feminist personality consistently shimmer. Fans of modern fairy tales will find much to appreciate.
PositiveKirkusIllustrated with Shopsin’s whimsical chapter icons and punctuated with animated—and admittedly silly—conversations between parts of computers and printers, the novel bounces through the history of digital technology, the fey atmosphere of geekdom, and Claire’s shrewd, serene observations. Fresh and charmingly quirky.
RavePublishers Weekly... unconventional and captivating ... Shopsin cleverly evokes the era with a mix of historical and fictionalized references ... This singular project brilliantly captures the spirit of individuality, innovation, and change.
PositivePublishers WeeklyVeselka\'s prose is chiseled and laced with arsenic observations, and though she unleashes some savage social satire, her focus is more on the hypocrisy, heartache, and confusion that drive Della and those around her. But don\'t be distracted by the chaos and disorder: Veselka makes a case for hope and meaning amid sheer madness.
RavePublishers Weekly... vivid and empathetic ... Stockman contextualizes developments in her protagonists’ lives with lucid discussions of globalization, immigration, and the rise of the service economy, and casts events against the backdrop of America’s recent political turmoils, noting that Donald Trump’s harsh criticism of Rexnord’s closure earned him supporters among the plant’s workers. Throughout, Stockman interrogates her own political and cultural assumptions, and draws vibrant profiles of her three main subjects and their colleagues. The result is an intimate and captivating study of the forces dividing America.
MixedKirkus... immersive ... Throughout, Stockman \'re-created\' scenes in ways some readers may sometimes find confusing or cringeworthy ... She appears to be trying to capture a subject’s point of view, but she doesn’t enclose them in quotation marks, and it’s hard to be sure whose thoughts they reflect. The stylistic awkwardness aside, this book gives a valuable account of the many things work means to Americans ... A worthy but at times stilted portrait of the lasting effects of job losses on factory workers.
RaveKirkusDrawing on more than 100 interviews as well as oral histories, court cases, and immigration records, Samaha creates a vivid sense of the reality immigrants encountered in a country they believed would offer \'dreams and stability\' ... An edifying, well-written narrative that provides an intimate perspective on the legacy of colonialism.
RavePublishers WeeklyIn this extraordinary memoir, the history of his Filipino forebears serves as an evocative window into global issues of immigration and American imperialism ... renders an extraordinary look at the freedoms and perils of making a new life in America.
RavePublishers WeeklyExtraordinary ... An evocative window into global issues of immigration and American imperialism ... The result renders an extraordinary look at the freedoms and perils of making a new life in America.
RaveKirkusAn expansive view of Filipino history and the experiences of Filipinx immigrants ... Samaha creates a vivid sense of the reality immigrants encountered in a country they believed would offer \'dreams and stability\' ... An edifying, well-written narrative that provides an intimate perspective on the legacy of colonialism.
RavePublishers WeeklySturgis delivers a comprehensive portrait of playwright and poet Oscar Wilde in this extraordinary account ... Sturgis meticulously tracks his subject’s turbulent life ... With meticulous attention to detail, Sturgis recounts the destruction the Victorian penal system inflicted on the playwright ... Sturgis offers plenty of history behind Wilde’s best-known works...and creates a rich and complex characterization of the author, who could be both exceedingly generous and profoundly callous. This splendid biography is not to be missed.
RavePublishers WeeklyWolk pulls off an extraordinary feat in this tour-de-force ... His infectious zeal for the Marvel universe shines in his insightful analysis of everything from the genre’s cultural impact and symbolism—examining, for instance, how the X-Men have served as proxies for those ostracized by society—to the saga of the Black Panther’s creation, which spanned years and writers. In Wolk’s thorough handling of his subject, no page is left unturned or character left behind—even the radical Squirrel Girl, who values compassion over violence, gets an honorable mention. Comic fans will be riveted.
PositiveKirkusThe author’s exhaustive and mostly uncritical approach will appeal to those who share his passion for this self-sustaining superhero culture, understanding that in a story as big as Marvel’s, everythingcan be a reference to the past\' ... A simultaneously wide-ranging and engagingly specific guide to the sprawling realm of comics culture.
PositiveKirkusOfferman entertainingly chronicles his travels in the Montana Rockies ... Offerman’s forays into social criticism are sometimes sharp but never elitist even as he professes disdain for the Jan. 6 crowd and its \'batshit mouthpiece,\' the pillow king ... A hoot and a half for fans of sometimes-hapless wandering.
PanPublishers Weekly... painfully woke and often misfiring memoir ... Unfortunately, his labored jokes are overshadowed by fulsome rants ... The result is a preachy, stridently unfunny travelogue.
Joy Sorman tr. Lara Vergnaud
PositiveKirkus... comes to us in a beautiful translation by Vergnaud, with an introduction by Catherine Lacey propounding a feminist interpretation, in case you might miss it. The pacing is rather French—i.e., slow—but the ending is worth getting to ... Will appeal to mystic intellectuals, Francophile feminists, and skeptics of both Western and Eastern medicine.
Joy Sorman tr. Lara Vergnaud
PositivePublishers Weekly... an arresting allegory ... Readers will feel empowered by this tale of taking control of one’s body.
RavePublishers WeeklyChang brings a poet’s lyricism to considering grief and memory in this powerful collection of letters. Mixing official documents, handwritten notes, photographs, and correspondence, she creates a moving consideration of ancestry and loss ... As Chang recounts the death of her mother and what it means to remember, her prose is sharp and strong and her creativity shines in her incorporation of the collage-like visual elements, which add depth. Fans of Chang’s poetry will be delighted.
RaveKirkusChang continues to find new ways to plumb her experiences on the page ... Depending on what one brings to this book, each reader may find their own moment of goosebumps or tears ... This book is moving in a way that transcends story and message; it captures a pure sense of another person\'s heart.
PositiveKirkusThe story is quite accessible to non-Trekkies while never being overexplainy in ways fans would find tedious. Because it’s all told in a campy, dime-store–noir voice, one can never be sure what’s true and what’s fiction. Because Spiner is the victim, not the detective, he doesn’t get to break down doors or solve the crime, which makes the book less satisfying than it might have been. Spiner also sticks with the noir penchant for defining female characters by their looks, which is unfortunate. Though the writing is pithy and humorous, the book feels like it\'s directed at the stereotypical middle-aged, cis, male fans of the show even though TNG itself appeals to a much wider audience ... Fans of Star Trek, dime-store detective novels, or behind-the-scenes Hollywood tales will enjoy this quick read.
PositivePublishers Weekly... diverting ... Spiner’s debut is an homage to fans: where would celebrities be without them? Trekkies and Hollywood history buffs will be delighted.
RavePublishers WeeklyUnflinching ... Lucid prose ... The light at the end of this painfully eloquent tunnel is the conclusion that no one should venture through the darkness alone. Readers looking to better understand the nuances of mental illness would do well start with this profoundly affecting account.
RaveKirkusUnflinchingly honest ... Fractured into vignettes of anguished memories, lists of medications, and ruminations, the narrative is defiantly nonlinear and brilliantly reflective of the author’s state of being: anxious, inert, unworthy. Unlike a flat line, Antrim’s talent for storytelling is more similar to Russian nesting dolls: moments within moments that build upon each other as recollections and revelations ... Slim yet formidable, a mind-bendingly good read.
RavePublishers WeeklyFoster dazzles with this deeply personal debut ... In prose both brutally honest and deeply empathetic, she writes of her struggle with panic attacks and of knitting, collaging, and baking as a way to ease anxiety about major life events—including a very public divorce—but also as a means to celebrate more joyous moments ... Those struggling with mental health or family problems will find this incredibly moving.
PositiveKirkusGrounded, heartfelt, and family-focused ... Throughout the narrative’s delicately described episodes, Foster dispenses sage advice ... Foster’s fans will delight in this inspiring story of the multitalented actor’s heights and pitfalls, while crafters will discover newfound purpose, embedded meaning, and shared serendipity in their universal pastime ... An intimate, moving mosaic of art and memoir.
PositivePublishers WeeklyWilliams returns with a collection showcasing her mastery of succinct and suggestive stories ... Williams’s prose evokes both strangeness and familiarity as she gets at the core of what it means to live into one’s later years. This is by no means for everyone, but it will surely satisfy fans of well-wrought fiction.
RaveKirkusWilliams is a magician of the miniature ... Don’t let their diminutive stature fool you: These pieces pack a punch. Brief, elliptical, steeped in longing—or is that lust?—they offer slices of life that rely on interior more than exterior details, which is to say they are small road maps of the soul ... All the pieces here...are rigorous in both language and emotion, using nuance and inference to explore the implications, the contradictions, that people rarely share aloud ... Williams’ small gems are as dense and beautiful as diamonds, compressed from the carbon of daily life.
Louise Penny and Hillary Rodham Clinton
MixedKirkusThere are two types of people likely to pick up this book: those who enjoy thrillers and those looking for fresh insight into one of the most powerful political figures of the last 30 years. Neither is likely to be entirely pleased by this slow-moving tale ... sticking with the narrative means accepting that this is fantasy, not a revealing glimpse behind the curtain from Clinton. Indeed, it’s not hard to read many scenes as wish fulfillment. As the story progresses, Adams dispenses entirely with subtlety and discretion to dish out some no-holds-barred diplomacy ... This cozy mystery element is just as fanciful as the rest, but there’s something satisfying about watching two middle-aged women save the world ... More of a novelty for political nerds than a compelling thriller.
RavePublishers WeeklyRaw, haunting ... In graceful prose peppered with terrifyingly vivid descriptions, Moreno gives a nod to 2001: A Space Odyssey to explore the perils of technology while probing the all-too-human complexities of grief. The devastating result marks Moreno as a horror writer to watch.
Maria Judite de Carvalho, tr. Margaret Jull Costa
RaveKirkusA still, luminous book whose precise characters evoke broad truths about the human experience.
Maria Judite de Carvalho, tr. Margaret Jull Costa
PositivePublishers Weekly... sharp ... The story concludes with a startling outcome that serves as a critique of a society that only values women for their youth and beauty. It’s a bit didactic, but de Carvalho (1921–1998) complicates things with Manuela’s unreliable narration and internalized misogyny. This unearthed story leaves readers with much to chew on.
RavePublishers WeeklyExcellent ... Huisman’s storytelling ability is immense: Violaine unfurls the wide-ranging narrative like a raconteur at a party, and develops a kaleidoscopic portrait of Catherine. This thoughtful exploration of familial trauma and love will have readers riveted.
RaveKirkusCamhi’s translation from the French of Huisman’s debut novel conveys Violaine\'s steady compulsion to understand and explain interspersed with gorgeous details such as the way Catherine’s cigarette-singed pillowcases resemble a target shot through by bullets. The names of Huisman’s characters will provoke discussion of the novel as autofiction, but the story here is bigger than that ... Love hurts; Huisman elegantly examines how and why.
PositivePublishers WeeklySiegrist shows a remarkable ability to evoke the missing pieces in his characters’ lives ... Even in the midst of the author’s piercing look into the human heart, however, there is humor, albeit dark ... With their universal themes, Siegrist’s folkloric stories have plenty of appeal.
PositiveKirkusTender and pensive ... Transformative loss and fragile hope permeate these stories, which are filled with gentle, stoic, and fractured masculinities, eroding memories, dead-enders and last-chancers, widowed fathers, lost children, and dead, dying, and otherwise departed mothers. Though all proceed at a fairly homogenous drift-down-the-river pace and are suffused with an alluring but rarely variable eccentric Appalachian melancholy, author Siegrist\'s atmospheric, fluid, and merciful prose proves irresistible ... Moody and bittersweet: Save it for a literal rainy day and read in one sitting.
Ron Howard and Clint Howard
PositivePublishers WeeklyFascinating ... In lighthearted prose, they fondly recall the years they spent in friendly competition ... Candid, humorous, and entertaining, this intimate account will be a hit with the brothers’ fans.
Ron Howard and Clint Howard
PositiveKirkusWritten in alternating segments, the brothers offer crisp, mostly interesting insights into their separate trajectories into the entertainment business ... For the most part, the binary autobiographical approach works, with the alternating commentaries and interpreted memories from each author offering divergent yet complementary perspectives. A treat for movie and TV buffs, this dual memoir is wholesome and satisfying ... Fans of the Howards will revel in the details of their young ascents into the Hollywood spotlight.
Max Seeck, tr. Kristian London
RavePublishers WeeklyOutstanding ... Seeck throws in a murder that definitely happened, human trafficking, frog toxin, and somnophilia into the mix, masterfully ratcheting up the tension.
Max Seeck, tr. Kristian London
PositiveKirkusA disturbing mystery whose complex heroine’s internal struggles only enhance the storyline.
RavePublishers Weekly... richly imagined ... Verble beautifully weaves period details with the cast’s histories, and enthralls with the supernatural elements, which are made as real for the reader as they are for the characters. This lands perfectly.
MixedKirkusVerble, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, has written an ambitious novel that’s impressive in its scope and concept: Glendale Park Zoo and the 101 are rife with narrative possibility and give the author a chance to examine a fascinating cross section of race and class and the uneasy relations between all manner of characters. The research lies heavily on the novel’s frame, though, and readers may find themselves wishing to sweep away some of the exposition to stick with Two and the life she attempts to carve out for herself against the weight of history ... An overflowing narrative about the ubiquitous presence of the past.
N West Moss
RaveKirkusA moving, well-rendered portrait of the seriously ailing artist ... an engaging, even charming memoir ... Throughout, it feels like Moss is taking our hands and allowing us to accompany her on this journey. Her careful, lovely sentences and good-humored and thoughtful observations seem to be as much a part of her healing as her 84-year-old mother, who came to care for her, her kind, hardworking husband, and the team of doctors she sees so often ... A healing balm, this inviting memoir lights a path through grief and illness.
N West Moss
PositivePublishers Weekly... powerful ... Moss doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to the physical and emotional ramifications of her three miscarriages—the first of which occurred when she was 41—each detailed as a devastating and distinctly gory affair ... In poetic language that’s by turns blunt and tender, Moss chronicles how she and her husband weathered their sorrow and surfaced from it, dignity still intact, their love \'made up of the things we couldn’t give to one another, but also full of how hard we tried.\' This is as an enriching addition to the canon of literature around infertility.
PositivePublishers WeeklyFull of intriguing anecdotes and trenchant commentary on the relationship between conventional beauty standards and misogyny, classism, and racism, this is an invigorating examination of the \'rules and assumptions that govern appearance.\'
Sylvain Tesson, Tr. Frank Wynne
PositivePublishers WeeklyThe narrative builds slowly—it is, after all, mostly about waiting—though the lyricism helps pass the time while waiting for the leopard to show up. Occasionally, the author\'s aphorisms strike as melodramatic ... Nevertheless, the promise of seeing the rare creature in the wild may be a strong enough hook for some. Patient nature-minded readers should check this out.
Michael Knox Beran
PositivePublishers WeeklyThis colorful survey...Beran stuffs the account with juicy details, though the constant name-dropping and tossed-off literary allusions can be aggravating. Still, this is a rewarding study of a vital yet slippery aspect of American history and culture.
PositiveKirkusThe author is clearly a deeply ethical American who risked everything to stand up to significant malfeasance in the White House. An important book from a true patriot whose oath to the Constitution could not allow him to look away.
Shiori Ito, Tr. Allison Markin Powell
RaveKirkusThis unflinching, heavily researched book shimmers with vulnerability, introspection, and purpose as the author skillfully lays the facts alongside the physical and emotional tolls they had on her. A memoir about sexual assault written with devastating moral and emotional clarity.
RaveKirkus... [a] sharp, shapely roman à clef ... Abeel affectionately ribs the political maneuverings of the feminists and the self-serving machinations of the writers while more harshly critiquing the proto-Trumpian businessmen, but her novel is at heart a romantic satire marked by apt literary quotations, Dickensian character names, and multiple references to Jane Austen ... almost all of Abeel’s characters show complexity—foolish yet brilliant, silly yet sad, insecure yet capable. As they fall in and out of affairs, commit minor treacheries, admit insecurities, and discover love, the reader starts caring deeply. A joyous literary romp with hidden depth.
Sylvain Cypel, Tr. William Rodarmor
PositiveKirkusMaking effective use of solid sources—newspaper articles, interviews, speeches, and others—the author regards the recent passage of the \'Basic Laws,\' defining who gets to be a citizen, as a chilling example of how the nation-state has grown more insular and \'hyperethnocentric\' ... In Israel, Cypel effectively argues, force has triumphed over international law.
Sylvain Cypel, Tr. William Rodarmor
PanPublishers Weekly... an impassioned if one-sided critique ... he barely mentions previous attempts by the Israeli government to trade land for peace, and downplays anti-Israeli rhetoric and actions by Iran and other countries in the Middle East. Readers looking for a more balanced and incisive treatment of this subject would be better served by Daniel Gordis’s We Stand Divided: The Rift Between American Jews and Israel.
PositiveKirkusWhile this is a book to settle into, the narrative feels almost breathless at times, in part due to the lack of quotation marks around the dialogue, which makes it feel as if the unknown narrator is relating a long story deep into the night. An unexpected treatise on the many forms love and beauty can take, set against the backdrop of Florence.
PositivePublishers WeeklyWinman covers much ground, including the devastating 1966 flood of the Arno, a cameo appearance by E.M. Forster, and many rich sections about art, relationships and the transcendent beauty of Tuscany, and while it occasionally feels like two novels stitched into one, for the most part it hangs together. Readers will enjoy this paean to the power of love and art.
RavePublishers WeeklyAn astute and revealing portrait of Sicily as a vibrant, historically \'autonomous\' island with a singular culture fashioned by its proximity to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East ... Skillfully segueing from one period to the next, Mackay packs the narrative with insights into how historical events impacted Sicilian culture ... The author’s keen eye for telling details and lucid prose make this an accessible introduction to a complex and fascinating culture.
PositivePublishers WeeklyInventive ... Thompson builds intrigue through clever story structure and shifting perspectives ... Though the resolution is rushed, with some details of the mystery arising too late to be truly satisfying, Thompson’s appealing take on long-distance space travel, subversion of typical AI tropes, tender characterization, and cleverly constructed suspense makes this worthwhile fare. Readers looking for a smart sci-fi mystery should snap this up.
MixedKirkusAlthough the story bears some elements of a locked-room mystery, Agatha Christie fans will be disappointed: The author doesn’t provide readers with sufficient clues to solve the crime, instead preferring to provide the majority of the revelations midway through the book. As such, the novel is less of a puzzle and more of a genuinely exciting race against time with some mystery elements, a thriller/horror-aboard-a-spaceship ... Thompson also has some sharp and relevant things to say about technocrats with less than savory sources for their wealth who engage in messy personal relationships, enjoy showy toys, and try to buy themselves out of trouble. Considerably less drenched in the hallucinatory than Thompson\'s Wormwood trilogy, the story does veer unexpectedly toward the supernatural at the end, giving it an open-ended feel. Other aspects of the plot could use more fleshing out. Given Thompson’s penchant for series, might subsequent books be expected? ... Gripping and bloody as a beating heart but with a strong need for follow up.
RavePublishers WeeklyYanique inventively juxtaposes the start of a new relationship with family histories in this sumptuous saga ... Each arc reads as an evocative short story and an episode in the two protagonists’ complex set of unraveled connections. This introspective exploration of first and lasting loves will hit the spot with fans of character-driven family dramas.
PositiveKirkusThe idea isn’t new, but the gifted Yanique...shapes it into something unique and memorable as she considers the effects of cultural disconnection on desire and love ... Look to your roots, Yanique urges us, and maybe you’ll see the outline of your future ... A rich and honest examination of family histories, cultural disconnection, and the way people fall in love.
PanPublishers WeeklyDiffuse ... Unfortunately, Khanna’s frequent use of anecdotal evidence...and technocratic optimism...fail to convince, and the book’s choppy structure makes it difficult to follow his central argument. This fitful road map to the future gets lost in speculation.
RaveKirkusA nuanced discussion of the increasing importance of free movement across the planet ... Khanna’s book is rich in implication ... Nativists will hate it, but no matter. Khanna makes an urgent, powerful argument for more open international borders.
A F Carter
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] well-paced crime novel ... The suspense builds as the trail points in Git’s direction and the plot takes some unexpected turns. This is another impressive effort from Carter.
A F Carter
PositiveKirkusA breathless suspenser that’s also a painfully acute evocation of the wrong side of the tracks.
MixedPublishers Weekly... provocative ... For better and worse, the glamour of Claudia’s lifestyle, including a palatial Martha’s Vineyard seaside estate as potential hideaway, make this psychological thriller pleasurable to read, but it also somewhat blunts the trauma of what is an all-too-real scenario. Though Dahl doesn’t hit a home run, credit her with ambitiously tackling a broad canvas.
John M Ford
PositivePublishers WeeklyWhipping modern war games and Renaissance skullduggery into a frothy blend, this long out-of-print 1988 spy novel is part of the rediscovery of World Fantasy Award winner Ford’s legacy ... Ford (1957–2006) injects historical speculation about Marlowe and a plot to kill Queen Elizabeth into the deadly high-tech espionage and naval warfare, making a mélange that should catch the interest of readers of alternate histories and spy novels alike.
PositivePublishers Weekly... well-crafted ... Though Matthew’s inflexible personality mutes the narrative at times, the intricate plotting, complex characters, and rich atmosphere more than compensate. Both new and existing fans will be pleased.
RaveKirkus... a complex mystery full of surprises ... This character-driven exploration of people’s darkest flaws is a sterling example of Cleeves’ formidable talents.
PositiveEvening Standard (UK)12 Bytes is fascinating and scary, but also often very funny, with Winterson’s wry observations and clear love of a good sci-fi movie keeping things moving. It is also released at a time when the future of AI, and humanity, could go in any direction. Hopefully the people building these new brains will take a look at it, too.
PositivePublishers Weekly... [a] fascinating survey ... Through well-paced and articulate prose, Winterson makes granular tech know-how remarkably accessible—though she often ends sections with a series of questions that have a tendency to overwhelm. Still, Winterson achieves her goal of provoking critical thought and reflection. This is full of insight.
RaveKirkusA vigorous, sharp mind probes the world of computer science and more ... Tucked into the corners of these erudite essays are multitudes of fascinating facts and thoughtful what-if speculations.
MixedPublishers Weekly... [an] appealing but predictable sophomore effort ... while the threads occasionally captivate, no single plot line prevails, and the many asides fizzle out with almost no consequence. Unfortunately, the narrative’s emotional flatness (as well as that of the characters) makes this feel somewhat schematic, and the plot is too intricate for its own good. Despite some moments of charm, this feels like it’s missing a sense of purpose.
MixedKirkus\"Ball’s mixture of satire and domestic drama turns contemporary suburban life into a frightening dystopia of \'material leisure and emotional poverty\' ... Once readers are drawn into these stories, Ball leaps into a broad rhetorical section, describing from a third-person plural viewpoint all the ways suburban men and women, as well as their children, are miserable ... Despite Ball’s mordant humor, the pain here feels all too real.
RaveLibrary Journal... a satisfying, menacing, character-centered slow burn where every detail matters. Part nefarious ghost story, part academic thriller, with a Fast & Furious vibe, this compelling tale of mortal danger and dark supernatural power also thoughtfully grapples with notions of masculinity ... A great choice for readers who enjoy thought-provoking and engaging horror that asks its protagonists to come to terms with the monsters—both literal and metaphorical—in their past ... Also a good option for fans of dark academic thrillers, like Donna Tartt\'s The Secret History.
PositivePublishers WeeklyMandelo brings a queer goth aesthetic to the Southern gothic in their slow-building, brooding contemporary fantasy debut—with drag-racing, drug-use, and plenty of ghosts to boot ... Despite the high-speed car races that wind through the novel, the first half drags at a snail’s pace. Things pick up considerably in the second half, gaining urgency and narrative complexity, but the central mystery provides few interesting twists. Instead, the novel shines in the tortured love triangle between Andrew, an intriguing stranger, and the ghost that haunts him. Full of angst and lingering spirits, Mandelo’s debut is like Tennessee molasses—dense, dark, slow-moving, and with a distinct Southern flavor.
Tove Alsterdal, Tr. Alice Menzies
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] taut, fraught U.S. debut ... Strong local color, convincing characters, and a twisty plot make this a standout. This is Swedish noir at its murky best
Alix E Harrow
MixedPublishers Weekly... overly complicated ... Though intended to be tongue-in-cheek, Primrose’s high fantasy dialogue is cringeworthy at points and Harrow devotes more pages to pop culture references—with nods to both classic literature and contemporary memes—than to secondary character development, leaving some of the alternate Sleeping Beauties little more than flat caricatures. Though Harrow’s ambition isn’t realized, the concept is delightful and the queer romance that arises between Charm and Primrose is, well, charming. This deeply researched fairy tale version of Into the Spiderverse is sure to please Harrow’s fans.
PositivePublishers Weekly... insightful ... Though the story’s narrative course proves occasionally circuitous and tricky to follow, the peripheral stories generally serve to unearth the characters’ innermost feelings, shining a light on anxieties that are not so easily articulated. Marked by Corin’s limber voice, this brims with genuine depth and humor, particularly when unacquainted characters discover previously-unseen commonalities, as is the case with Em and her gruff coworker, Frank, a former manager whose own relationship with his lover Jack is marked by instability. Delightfully askew, Corin’s work offers a memorable exploration of how a loved one’s mental illness can impact an individual’s outlook.
RaveKirkusThe author depicts a culture of truffle finding, trading, and eating that is as complex as the aromatic stew of ingredients that goes into one, and he commits to paper lovely images that combine both intrigue and a certain level of surrealism ... Fans of pungent flavors—and pungent prose—will enjoy this mouthwatering grand tour of a culinary treasure.
Janine Di Giovanni
PositiveKirkus... poignant ... Melodramatically bookended by the author’s shelter experience during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, these four lengthy chapters provide relevant historical background, cover recent events, and delve into the personal stories of dozens of individual believers ... Beyond economic fear, di Giovanni uncovers an existential crisis as centuries-old communities, rocked by trauma, sense the coming of extinction. She exposes a tremendous pathos and shared sense of grief across the region. But she is also impressed by the overriding faith of these communities, the members of which are uncertain about their earthly fates but focused on the promises religion has provided. The author presents a distinctly personal and subjective account full of empathy and humanity amid upheaval ... Heart-rending stories of dying communities buoyed by the hope of their faith.
Janine Di Giovanni
PositivePublishers WeeklyDi Giovanni’s insightful reporting traces the histories of these groups and emphasizes the cultural legacies they represent ... The propulsive account is marked by the author’s keen eye for detail and the stories of the people involved, such as an Egyptian Coptic Christian jeweler who refuses to give up proclaiming his faith despite constant fear and public humiliations. This is perfect for anyone interested in the Middle East, or in how humans live through war.
PositiveKirkusWith diligent research, captivating detail, and a little creative license to fill in the gaps, Prendergast chronicles the events that led to the intersection of these three lives ... The text reads like a dramatic novel fueled by sex, alcohol, and quests for fame and fortune ... A well-rendered, tragic tale that speaks to the struggles of women trying to find their places in society.
PositivePublishers WeeklyWhile Prendergast’s commentary is sharp, she fails to fill in the gaps of French’s life between her arrival at Carmel and her death, making things feel incomplete. Still, this punchy feminist tribute offers a fascinating look at two forgotten women of the Gilded Age.
PanPublishers WeeklySlow-moving ... The melodramatic ending doesn’t compensate for a story line too slight for the book’s length. Banville has been much better.
RaveKirkusA literary period piece featuring colorful characters and a mysterious crime ... Readers will savor the author’s imagery and playful language ... The plot is good, but the prose—ah, the prose ... Great fun from a masterful writer.
RaveKirkusA lively, heartfelt exploration of the many worlds of popular music ... though this is a big, capacious book, New Yorker staff writer Sanneh is not exhaustive ... Some of Sanneh’s genre-slotting is arguable ... Sanneh can be funny...snobbish, and even harsh, but it’s clear that he’s listened to just about everything with ears and mind wide open. A pleasure—and an education—for any music fan.
RavePublishers Weekly... thrilling ... fascinating are Sanneh’s insights into the way race has shaped music, particularly in the overlapping worlds of R&B and rock ’n’ roll. This remarkable achievement will be a joy to music lovers, no matter what they prefer to listen to.
L. Alison Heller
PositivePublishers WeeklyEntertaining ... Readers will relate to these appealing women, who toss off one-liners even as they wrestle with such issues as teen substance abuse, bullying, and workaholic spouses. This is perfect for Liane Moriarty fans—as well as potential book club catnip.
L. Alison Heller
MixedKirkusMuch of the book is overly familiar. The characters are hard to differentiate at first, and it\'s hard to care about them. The plot twists often seem arbitrary, if not unbelievable ... The big reveals at the end may leave readers a bit puzzled ... Not as entertaining or absorbing as it means to be.
PositiveKirkusWorking without authorization of the Sebald estate but without its opposition either, biographer Angier [...] delivers a careful portrait of Winfried Georg “Max” Sebald (1944-2001) replete with astute literary analysis. Its title echoing a favorite book of Sebald’s, Nabokov’s Speak, Memory, Angier’s life centers on her subject’s learning of the Holocaust as a young student and of his father’s willing service in the Wehrmacht ... Every serious reader of Sebald’s will find much of value here.
RavePublishers WeeklyAngier devotes a handful of chapters to analyzing Sebald’s work, especially its relationship to his own life, and although these chapters tend to interrupt the flow of the larger narrative, they do add complexity to the portrait of Sebald as a writer who \'lied\' about his life for the sake of his literature. Sebald fans will find much to consider in this detailed tome.
RavePublishers WeeklySixteen-time Grammy-winner Grohl cranks the story of his life to full volume in this exciting debut chronicling his rock ’n’ roll career ... Paired with his sparkling wit, this humility is what makes Grohl’s soulful story a cut above typical rock memoirs. There isn’t a dull moment here.
MixedKirkusGrohl’s memoir is thick with name-drops, but not for the sake of gossip or even revelatory detail ... Still, the author is upbeat even when talking about lean or tense moments ... Grohl is good company, but the gee-whiz tone as well as the clichés [...] make the book feel like a missed opportunity ... A high-spirited yet surface-level glimpse into the life of one of the planet’s last rock stars.
A.L. Snijders, tr. Lydia Davis
PositivePublishers WeeklyThroughout, there’s a good deal of attention paid to dikes and honeybees, adding up to a multidimensional evocation of rural life in Holland. One has a feeling, at the end of each sketch, most of which fit on one page, that Snijders has left nothing unsaid, summing up each with a perfect declaration.
A.L. Snijders, tr. Lydia Davis
PositiveKirkusSnijders’ stories focus on the quotidian: animals seen from his rural property, paragraphs and poems he reads that strike his fancy ... For all their brevity and mystery, these stories ultimately touch on the way that perception, language, connection, and an appreciation of the natural world give depth, even joy, to life. Deceptively simple, disarmingly charming.
PositiveKirkusFrancis Aggrey/Kofi Adjei is a fantastic, charismatic character, and every scene he\'s in crackles with energy ... An engagingly written journey of self-discovery.
Keisha N. Blain
RaveKirkusBlain backs up her trenchant analysis with extensive research and relevant quotes from her subject. The scholarly text brims with heart, and the author’s affection for Hamer infuses every line. Readers will walk away both informed and inspired ... A highly readable, poignant study of the life and influence of a civil rights legend.
PositivePublishers WeeklyKumar delivers a mostly engaging polemic about the role of fiction in a post-truth world ... Scattered throughout are engaging summaries of psychological experiments—of varying validity—which are supplied to him by his wife, Vaani, a psychologist studying alpha male rhesus macaques. There are some moments of grandiosity...but it sizzles when it gets to Satya’s attempts to deploy, or resist, the \'seductive language\' and \'hectic plots\' of fiction amid pervasive mistruths. Overall, this experiment pays off.
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
RavePublishers WeeklyMasterly ... The author’s riveting storytelling and skill at rendering complex characters yield rich social commentary on Monticello and Jefferson’s complex ideologies of freedom, justice, and liberty. This incandescent work speaks not just to the moment, but to history.
Jocelyn Nicole Johnson
RaveKirkusThe title novella that closes Johnson’s debut book is stellar and could easily stand on its own ... Not all of the remaining stories have the same force, but Johnson has a knack for irony and inventive conceits ... In a few taut pages, Johnson uses the setup to explore not just institutional racism, but fatherhood, fatalism, policing, and social engineering ... A sharp debut by a writer with wit and confidence.
RaveKirkusPurnell, a human rights lawyer and organizer, argues convincingly that police departments and prisons are irredeemably implicated in racist ideologies and the perpetuation of violence despite long-standing efforts at reform ... Purnell offers persuasive accounts of how racial biases produce \'daily injustice\' not just in policing and the courts, but in housing, labor, and education, and she links systemic discrimination in the present day, as well as specific instances of police violence against African Americans, to the legacy of slavery and colonialism. She also skillfully relates strategies employed by contemporary reform movements to \'a history of freedom and resistance,\' and this long-term view contextualizes her own conclusions about the need for a thorough reimagination of what might properly constitute law and order. One of the strengths of the book is the author’s illuminating reflections on her own experiences with the failures of policing, her tactics as a civil rights lawyer, and her philosophical evolution as an activist. Another is Purnell’s deft framing of the search for solutions to violence and various forms of exploitation as part of larger—in fact, global—attempts to advance \'decolonization, disability justice, Earth justice, and socialism\' ... An informed, provocative, astute consideration of salvific alternatives to contemporary policing and imprisonment.
PositivePublishers Weekly... idealistic and impassioned ... Purnell places abolition within a social justice framework that includes decolonization, environmental justice, and disability rights, and forcefully disputes the notion that more policing is necessary to stop \'senseless violence,\' arguing that drug decriminalization and programs to address health care, housing, and income disparities would \'undermine the conditions that lead to violence and police contact.\'Her vision of what abolition looks like features neighborhood councils, conflict mediation centers, and green teams to foster sustainability. Bold and utopian, yet grounded in Purnell’s experiences and copious evidence of how reform efforts have fallen short, this is an inspiring introduction to a hot-button topic.
RavePublishers Weekly... idiosyncratic and fascinating ... Full of edgy insights, this engrossing survey will delight art connoisseurs and general readers alike.
PositiveKirkusWhile her book is well researched and provides wonderful descriptions of the selected works to which she refers, at times, Higgie appears to struggle with a desire to find a stronger connection between the artists than exists. Frequently, she ponders if the artists may have met or known of each other’s work, followed by the reluctant answer that we do not know. This pattern feels stilted and detracts from the flow of the book. While the text initially feels dry and academic, perhaps due to limited information being available related to the early artists, Higgie finds her stride around the midpoint, creating an overall fascinating commentary about the identity of female artists. The book includes color photos of many of the works discussed ... A mostly engaging analysis of the resilience of female artists throughout modern history.
RavePublishers Weekly... passionate and persuasive ... Schuller’s enlightening method is to pair highly critical presentations of influential white feminists with profiles of lesser-known Black, Indigenous, Latina, and trans activists who were addressing the same issues through a different lens ... Schuller’s lucid and accessible analysis of her subjects’ lives and careers reveals that long before the concept of intersectionality was formally articulated, there were feminists fighting for it. The result is an essential reckoning with the shortcomings of mainstream feminism.
MixedKirkusEach woman in the book has made vital contributions, but some pairings come across as strained efforts to retrofit their subjects’ views to conform to 21st-century academic ideals ... This book may have high appeal for readers who share the author’s anti-capitalist sentiments; the unpersuaded are likely to remain so ... A hit-and-miss broadside against two centuries of missteps by mainstream feminists.
Helene Tursten tr. Marlaine Delargy
PositiveKirkusWhen she finally arrives at her destination in An Elderly Lady Takes a Trip to Africa, the longest and most deliberately plotted of these stories, she gets to display an unaccustomed generosity, even magnanimity, to an impoverished family brought even lower by a crime Maud is more than happy to avenge. Readers may want to think twice before sampling the appended naughty-and-nice cookie recipes ... A guidebook to growing old without a single regret for victims who deserved just what they got.
Helene Tursten tr. Marlaine Delargy
PositivePublishers Weekly... delightful ... Assured prose matches an irresistible heroine. Readers are sure to welcome a third entry in this beguiling series.
RavePublishers WeeklySpectacular ... His mastery of the details enables him to generate high levels of tension from just a description of a welding error, which cascades into something significant. This is an intelligent and surprising nail-biter.
MixedKirkusThis NASA-heavy thriller has everything, including perhaps a bit too many meticulously reported technical procedures ... Hadfield\'s use of real people brings historical authenticity to the novel, and there are many tidbits of NASA lore that only an insider could provide, but the devotion to technical facts has some drawbacks ... The first part of the novel [is] so technically focused that it seems the action will never get off the launchpad, though doubtless there are readers who will revel in these details ... There is a murder and other deaths as well as injuries, vomiting, and space brawls, all reported in close detail. Though the climax is somewhat over-the-top, the basic bones of a good thriller are here even if the beginning is a slow burn ... Space nerds will geek out, and everyone else eventually gets a pretty good ride.
RavePublishers WeeklyJacobsen captivates with this dual narrative, both an eloquent and sensuous treatise on truffles and the enthralling story of his obsessive quest to learn everything there is to know about them ... The real delicacy here, though, is the arresting prose used to convey his reverence and awe ... \'No words can do justice to the scent of a white truffle.\' While that may be true, Jacobsen definitely comes close.
RaveKirkusA Mark Kurlansky–esque romp through the science, history, and culture surrounding that most elusive of foodstuffs, the truffle ... The author depicts a culture of truffle finding, trading, and eating that is as complex as the aromatic stew of ingredients that goes into one, and he commits to paper lovely images that combine both intrigue and a certain level of surrealism ... It’s an altogether delightful narrative ... Fans of pungent flavors—and pungent prose—will enjoy this mouthwatering grand tour of a culinary treasure.
J M Thompson
PositivePublishers WeeklyStark ... This will beam a ray of hope to those dealing with addiction, as well as their loved ones.
J M Thompson
PositiveKirkusIn this book, the unconscious becomes conscious, the forgotten is recalled, and feelings become thoughts ... Much less a running book than a psychological self-interrogation ... A therapist might grant that revisiting the minute details of childhood serves as a healing process, but readers may be less patient with Thompson’s tireless self-examination, which sometimes crosses into self-indulgence. But if that is the price of the author’s keen insight into the psyche and the profound observations of which he is capable, so be it ... Like a long run, there are difficult stretches along the way, but in the end, they’re worth the reward.
RavePublishers WeeklyBold and winning ... Blending cultural analysis and memoir, Bowen explains why being a shoplifter able to code-switch \'in a way that could both impress and disarm white folks\' was an expression of power ... Throughout, Bowen uplifts \'the resilience, defiance, and attitudes of Black girls,\' while pointing out the \'racial microaggressions\' of mainstream, majority white feminist groups such as Planned Parenthood. This is a powerful call for a more inclusive and \'real\' feminism.
PositiveKirkusThis colloquial debut weaves memoir with cultural studies to illuminate genuine stories of surviving and thriving—and necessary lessons in between ... Frankness sets the tone for the book ... Bowen’s writing will appeal to readers undeterred by profanity who are interested in both contemporary hip-hop and feminist autobiographies ... Direct, driven, occasionally dirty, and undeniably fresh.
James Han Mattson
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] smart and harrowing story ... The tense, well-paced story...gradually reveals thematic connections as everyone grapples with understanding why Bryan was killed. It adds up to a canny use of horror as metaphor for themes of guilt, race, and sexuality.
James Han Mattson
MixedKirkusThis is a worthy attempt at a complex psychological thriller, but it fails to stick its landing. The characters’ motivations are often opaque, and their behavior sometimes defies logic, particularly when life-altering decisions are at stake. The plot developments building to the climax will occasion much head-scratching ... Despite some haunting scenes, a frustrating read.
RaveKirkusLim is deeply aware of the literary territory he’s working ... Lim’s ability to balance the fantastical with the heartfelt is what ultimately makes this book resonate. It does cover a lot of seemingly random ground, but as the full shape of the narrative takes hold, it becomes thoroughly compelling ... Lim brings together the mundane and the extraordinary to powerful effect.
RavePublishers Weekly... elliptical, swirly ... The resulting novel is profound and casually bonkers, featuring a drift of photographs, screen grabs, and an eclectic lexicon of quotations from W.G. Sebald, David Byrne, and more that reveal the shuffled heritage of Lim’s distillation. This brilliant sui generis takes storytelling to new heights.
RaveThe Wall Street Journal... sometimes new works arrive, such as Eugene Lim’s strange, sinuous, highly memorable novel Search History that seem to herald some dawning technological epoch—one that might be called early posthumanism ... The fragmentary, asynchronous nature of Search History has roots in the avant-garde but also calls to mind the uncanny processes of artificial intelligence, which forge inexplicable connections and operate through weird skips in logic. It’s hard to tell, therefore, whether Mr. Lim is trying to disrupt expected narrative formulas or is anticipating the kind of machine-driven formulas that are on the horizon. A feeling of mournfulness accompanies these ambiguities. Discontinuity, one character points out, is always a reminder of death. It is the plangent (and often ruefully humorous) sense of loss saturating the novel’s contraptions that raise it from an academic exercise to a work of eerie and lasting power.
Myriam J A Chancy
RaveKirkusSurvivors and victims tell their powerful, moving stories in this fictional account of the 2010 Haitian earthquake ... In her searing new novel, Chancy, who spent years talking to survivors, sifts through the wreckage of this inconceivable calamity. She has shaped the stories of the living and the dead into a mighty fictional tapestry that reflects the terror, despair, and sorrow of the moment as she examines questions of Haitian identity in a world that doesn’t seem to care ... The stories are not always easy to read, but they shouldn’t be. Chancy offers fleeting redemption for some characters, but she does not deal in false hopes ... A devastating, personal, and vital account.
Myriam J A Chancy
RavePublishers Weekly... extraordinary ... Multilayered, lyrical, and told by 10 people affected by the disaster, all connected by blood or friendship, Chancy’s dazzling take considers a myriad of topics including sexual violence, racism, a dysfunctional government, and capitalism ... There are many endings, with shifting fortunes and stories involving vodou, and it all coheres with a poignant mission involving Ma Lou and Anne four years after the earthquake. Each of the voices entrances, thanks to Chancy’s beautiful prose and rich themes. This is not to be missed.
RavePublishers Weekly... stunning ... In a series of insightful and witty essays, she provides an unvarnished look at coming to terms with a face that’s paralyzed on one side; the postpartum depression she dealt with after a complicated pregnancy; and a celiac disease diagnosis that made her give up her beloved bagels ... As she recounts learning to find joy in small things—such as regaining the ability to blink—Ruhl proves that even life at its most mundane can be fascinating. This incredibly inspiring story offers hope where it’s least expected.
RaveKirkus... a wise, intimate, and moving memoir ... Ruhl engagingly reports on her interactions with a host of therapists and medical practitioners—some brusque and dismissive, some caring and helpful; she even sought advice from a Tibetan lama ... A captivating, insightful memoir.
Daniel de Vise
RaveKirkus... de Visé deftly interweaves tales of American history, pop culture, racial relations, music theory, and much more to fully demonstrate King’s significance. Not only does the author show King at his highest moments—winning multiple Grammys and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, recording his most-acclaimed albums, opening the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in his hometown of Indianola, Mississippi—but also his lowest, including his final days, when he was bedridden and suffering from complications of his chronic diabetes. It’s a magnificent tale that de Visé reconstructs mostly in King’s own words, culled from his memoir and the hundreds of interviews he gave throughout his career. However, it is often when the author writes as an outsider about King’s life that the most poignant revelations come ... What de Visé does best, though, is assess the musical magic that King and his beloved guitar, Lucille, made and how their unique sound combination influenced blues and rock stars for generations ... The thrill is here, as B.B. King finally gets his due in this first meticulous account of his historic life.
Daniel de Vise
RavePublishers WeeklyPulitzer Prize–winning journalist De Vise (The Comeback) amply demonstrates his masterful storytelling and research skills in this definitive look at legendary blues musician B.B. King (1925–2015) ... De Vise provides an intimate portrait of a cultural luminary \'whose achievements transcended his genre\' ... Even readers who aren’t fans of the blues will be engrossed by this nuanced look at an American icon.
RavePublishers Weekly... riveting ... Pearl vividly evokes life on the Kentucky frontier ... Pearl illuminates shifting alliances and betrayals among Native tribes, British soldiers, and American colonists during the early years of the Revolutionary War, and notes that Blackfish advocated diplomacy over violence and tried to turn the frontier into an \'integrated shared space.\' Instead, the Kentucky settlements became \'a testing ground\' for manifest destiny, with catastrophic results for the tribes. This enthralling, meticulously researched tale sheds news light on Daniel Boone and early American culture.
MixedKirkusThough Bob Drury and Tom Clavin’s Blood and Treasure covers this ground better, Pearl spins an entertaining story. The capable, resourceful Jemima, occasionally forgotten in the narrative, turns up at just the right moments, plot points if this were a novel ... A readable though ancillary work of frontier history.
RavePublishers Weekly... bewitches from the very first page ... This magical joyride manages to feel both vibrantly current and timelessly mystical while avoiding the typical queer rom-com stereotypes. Combining John Tucker Must Die with a helping of an adult Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and a dash of Charmed, this addictive concoction begs for adaptation.
PositiveKirkusThe action of the Gauntlet takes a back seat to the characters’ personal dramas and the intense romance that develops between Emmy and Talia. But the author’s writing shines in the small moments, particularly in the lush language used to capture the enchanting, autumnal atmosphere of quaint Thistle Grove and its supernatural allure ... Readers are sure to fall under the magic spell of Thistle Grove and its inhabitants.
PositivePublishers Weekly... bold and humorous ... In chapters cleverly named after sections of the bookstore, she braids personal anecdotes, historical context, and day-to-day interactions with regulars (including the occasional disgruntled customer who tries to return a book purely because they didn’t like it). Occasionally, Wassef’s musings can feel disjointed as she toggles between these various modes, but her singular voice and witty observations make up for it. This is a book for book people, challenging the perspective of the traditional American and European publishing worlds with verve and style.
PositiveKirkus... uplifting ... This is much more than a bookseller’s story. Wassef discusses Egyptian history, politics, and culture ... Book lovers will thoroughly enjoy experiencing Wassef’s dream.
RaveKirkus\"Presented one after the other, and uninterrupted, their stories do more than provide a patchwork portrait of the country: They also help correct the notion that, whatever your personal experience of the pandemic might have been, it was the only one ... this is a vital historical document of a year-plus that none of us will ever forget. An excellent resource full of well-rendered, memorable portraits of ordinary people enduring extraordinary circumstances.
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] fascinating oral history ... The breadth of Saslow’s reporting astonishes, as does the directness and vulnerability of his interview subjects. This powerful, unputdownable account should be required reading.
Sofi Oksanen, Tr. Owen Frederick Witesman
PositiveKirkusThe thriller aspect sneaks up on the reader as information is tortuously eked out about Olenka’s at-first unwitting ties to a clan of ruthless oligarchs. Oksanen subtly but viscerally depicts jeopardy and romance without resorting to graphic descriptions. As suspense mounts, occasionally at the expense of coherence, we learn much about the precarious state of post-Soviet Ukraine and its chaotic economy, in which gangsterism rules, violence is celebrated, and exploitation of women is big business. A dystopian novel that seems all too real.
Sofi Oksanen, Tr. Owen Frederick Witesman
PositivePublishers Weekly... bleak ... The Soviet Union’s collapse looms large over Oksanen’s intricate plot, which rivets despite leaden pacing. Fans of slow-burning suspense will find much to enjoy.
MixedPublishers WeeklyA surfeit of background exposition and multiple tangential story lines slow the momentum of the murder plot. This rich character-driven tale works best as a social portrait of a community and an era.
RaveKirkusThrough the eyes of these very different characters, Cash creates an exquisitely detailed world that feels real and lived in. Sheriff Barnes is an easy character to root for as a man trying to do his best while living in a town that’s fighting against him. Although the plot alone is compelling enough to keep readers turning the pages, this is also a quietly moving look at how realistically flawed characters deal with the tragedies life throws at them. A gripping mystery with characters that will linger in readers’ minds long after they turn the last page.
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] trenchant survey ... This disquieting look is a must-read for anyone looking to understand the present moment.
PositiveKirkus\"The author...writes charmingly and instructively about the many \'bonding stepmother-stepdaughter moments\' she has shared with her gender-nonconforming stepdaughter, and she shares an entertaining anecdote about inadvertently getting on Janet Jackson’s bad side ... As these essays ably show, Union is a dynamic role model for young Black women in all walks of life.
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] sterling series launch ... The mutual attraction between Allie and Clarion editor Rona Dunsyre provides some romantic heat. McDermid does an excellent job capturing a time in Scotland’s history fraught with political unrest, IRA terrorism, and labor strikes that nearly paralyze the country. Fans will look forward to seeing more of the highly capable Allie.
RaveKirkusThe plot is engrossing, the period atmosphere brilliant, and who can ever get enough of the way Scottish people talk?
PositivePublishers Weekly... lucid ... She examines personal mobility and wage inequality through the lenses of place, class, race, and gender, and makes a forceful argument for investing in education to lower the barriers to opportunity ... Readers will come for the insider details about Trump, but stay for the keen analysis.
RaveKirkusIn this ambitious, immensely compelling memoir, Hill interweaves her interesting life story with events and issues she has continued to observe during her career ... The author persuasively argues that America may be heading in a similar direction to Russia unless we address the crucial challenges facing much of the country ... A shrewd, absorbing memoir that casts a sharp eye on America\'s future while offering feasible solutions for change.
Claire Vaye Watkins
MixedPublishers WeeklyVivid if overstuffed ... While Claire’s memories provide the narrative thrust, nearly a third is spent on her family’s history, including letters from Martha to her cousin from 1968 through the ’70s...and the material doesn’t quite illuminate Claire’s story or develop the plot. What makes this work is Claire’s raw sense of pain on the page, and the evenhanded honesty with which Watkins portrays her actions. Thought Watkins overreaches, her talent is abundant.
Claire Vaye Watkins
RaveKirkusReckless and defiantly intelligent, Watkins detonates the ties that bind ... An almost hallucinatory craft propels Watkins\' fiction ... Watkins’ reckoning with her mother is breathtaking ... Dark humor marbles these pages, and whether a reader finds it bracing or bratty may be a matter of temperament, or generation ... Along this jagged way, Watkins spins a remarkable set piece as she gives a literary reading at a Reno high school. Mostly, she sifts the remnants of her desert family of origin, making it impossible to look away. Less successful are long excerpts of Martha’s teenage letters to a cousin, a wanly parallel coming-of-age. Still, when Watkins thanks both dead parents in her acknowledgements, the sincerity is a measure of rare storytelling capable of lifting them all from the wreckage ... Incandescent writing illuminates one woman’s life in flames.
PositivePublishers WeeklyA comprehensive account ... Though reading about the flurry of legal filings grows tedious at times, details of Thompson’s financial and marriage troubles make his battle to secure a $35 million settlement for his clients seem all the more heroic. Readers will be appalled at how hard these communities had to fight for a modicum of justice.
PositiveKirkusEven though the text is dense with legal motions and depositions, the author maintains forward momentum and nicely balances case details ... A rigorous accounting of a remarkably hard-fought battle for clean water.
PositivePublishers WeeklyBrooks...offers an enticing new mystery while delivering enough familiar elements—in both tone and worldbuilding—to make his fans feel right at home ... Auris is a tough but enchanting protagonist, and the page-turning mystery of her magical origins form the novel’s heart. Brooks’s fans will be thrilled to have a new series to savor.
PositiveKirkusThe mystery of Auris’ past drives the plot forward, and secrets are revealed and new questions uncovered at an appealingly steady pace. Formal language, and the characters’ tendency to constantly and explicitly state how they feel...keeps the reader at arm’s length. But Auris’ quest to understand herself and be accepted into a community is a compelling one ... A fast-paced plot packed with secrets makes this an enjoyable read in a slightly old-fashioned high-fantasy style.
PositivePublishers WeeklyClever ... The essays are well researched and showcase a keen journalistic eye ... Orlean’s prose dazzles when she uses human metaphors to describe the natural world, conjuring up hilariously vivid images ... While not all the essays land...they’re nonetheless packed with spirit. Animal lovers will find much to savor.
RaveKirkusDelightful ... The variety on display is especially pleasing ... The author handles dogs like a virtuoso, with 10 hilarious pages on the wacky, expensive, but sometimes profitable life of a champion show dog ... Another winner featuring the author’s trademark blend of meticulous research and scintillating writing.
PositivePublishers Weekly... charming ... Refreshingly, Rachel’s illness is not one of the barriers to their happy ending; instead, the pair weather the typical misunderstandings of a contemporary rom-com. Rachel is a fully formed character whose illness has shaped her choices, but doesn’t define all of who she is. Meanwhile, Jacob’s bubbe, who serves rugalach for every occasion, and Rachel’s best friend, Mickey, are scene-stealers—and deserve happily ever afters of their own. This heartfelt rom-com should be unwrapped by people of all faiths this holiday season.
PositiveKirkusMeltzer\'s debut romance is a reminder of the genre\'s ability to tell a wide variety of stories from different perspectives—it presents Rachel\'s lived experience with religion and chronic illness while being wrapped in the most comforting of familiar tropes. Every subject is handled with care, from the main characters\' Judaism to the heroine\'s chronic (and often seemingly invisible) illness, and the end result is a very satisfying addition to the holiday romance subgenre that will be enjoyed at any time of year ... A sparkling holiday romance told with both honesty and heart.
PositiveKirkusThe book’s analysis is both layered and nuanced, and the language is precise, passionate, and clear. While the author provides detailed explorations of the effects of race and class on sexual assault claims, she offers little acknowledgment of the impacts of disability or queerness on credibility. Particularly glaring is the absence of examples involving trans women, who suffer much higher rates of sexual assault and violence than their cisgendered peers. Still, this book is an important addition to an ongoing conversation. A trenchant analysis of how flawed notions about credibility fuel a wide variety of societal inequalities.
RavePublishers Weekly... a persuasive analysis ... She also unearths startling statistics (by some estimates, 65% of Black girls experience sexual abuse before age 14) and sheds light on high-profile cases against Bill Cosby, Harvey Weinstein, and others. Packed with insight and empathy, this is an open-and-shut case for a more compassionate form of justice.
PanKirkus\"... what could be a compelling adventure story falls apart...as the novel relies on relentless bouts of infodumping to keep readers up to speed on where the Scholomance\'s monsters come from and what they can do to unsuspecting students. None of these paragraphs-long blasts of information recount the details of El\'s last excursion, however, and so readers who have forgotten Novik\'s previous novel, or who have never read it at all, will find no springboard ready to help them dive into the author\'s newest offering. Those who stumble upon this volume risk being unmoored, as the narrative picks up immediately following the events of its predecessor, without stopping to introduce anything, including the narrator ... A sequel that repeats the mistakes of its predecessor while failing to break new ground.
PositivePublishers Weekly... engrossing ... The propulsive plot and high stakes make for gripping reading, but readers hooked on the enemies-to-lovers dynamic established in book one will be frustrated that Orion has so little to do here and so few scenes with El. An extremely abrupt cliffhanger comes on the last page, which will have readers chomping at the bit for the next installment but leave many frustrated, especially as it threatens to undercut the book’s themes of breaking damaging cycles and finding a solution to systemic inequality in collective action. Readers will hope for answers in the finale.
John Le Carré
PositivePublishers WeeklyFirst-rate prose and a fascinating plot distinguish the final novel from MWA Grand Master le Carré ... Many readers will think the book is unfinished—it ends abruptly—but few will find it unsatisfying. This is a fitting coda to a remarkable career.
John Le Carré
RaveKirkusLe Carré, who died last December, offers his many fans one final gift ... Le Carré plays out revelations about Edward slowly and teasingly, and, in the end, they’re as damning as you could wish. The real drama, however, is in the present, where all the characters are hopelessly intertwined and compromised by their loves and loyalties, none of them innocent ... The author’s last few novels have been increasingly valedictory, but this one is truly haunted by intimations of mortality.
William Evans and Omar Holmon
RavePublishers WeeklyEvans and Holmon, cofounders of the website Black Nerd Problems, bring their pop culture criticism to this wide-ranging, compulsively readable debut collection ... Evans and Holman are often hilarious...and always original. In addition to straightforward essays, some entries come in the form of high-octane, joyful dialogue between the authors ... The most gripping essays use cultural events as an entry point to discuss larger topics ... This hugely entertaining, eminently thoughtful collection is a master class in how powerful—and fun—cultural criticism can be.
William Evans and Omar Holmon
RaveKirkus\" The book’s format, switching between the two authors and including essays that work as dialogues, offers the sense of hearing conversations between best friends. The authors provide lighthearted material, such as an excellent essay that describes how Mario Kart shows you exactly the kind of person you really are, as well as serious inquiry ... Throughout, the authors reach far and wide across fan culture and use a pleasing blend of humor and pathos to connect readers to the material. An exercise in pop-culture criticism that is simultaneously funny, thoughtful, and provocative.
RavePublishers WeeklyStunning ... With compassion and curiosity, [Elliott] uses the story of Dasani to make visible the cycles of poverty, inequity, and resilience that plague families across the United States. Elliott skillfully portrays Dasani’s experiences ... Woven into Dasani’s tale is her scrupulously reported ancestral lineage, which allows Elliott to unveil the story of a country grappling with an enduring legacy of slavery, racism, and destitution ... Though the narrative centers on the inevitability of these cycles, Elliott manages to incorporate moments of profound hope and togetherness throughout. This is a remarkable achievement that speaks to the heart and conscience of a nation.
MixedKirkusAn immersive portrait ... In this moving but occasionally flat narrative, Elliott follows Dasani for eight years ... Elliott’s account of the tumult resembles a series of stitched-together newspaper articles; it’s heroically researched but tends to give each incident a similar emotional weight, whether involving a murder or a harmless gender-reveal party. The book is at least 100 pages too long ... A more selective chronicle might have given this important book a better chance to find the audience its urgent message deserves ... A poignant but overlong story of an impoverished girl’s efforts to survive a turbulent childhood.
PositivePublishers WeeklyThe celebrated humorist returns with more offhand observations on the weird and tiresome in these sparkling diary excerpts ... The proceedings are saturated with Sedaris’s trademark irony, wherein the search for energizing squalor ends only in the purgatory of the banal ... They may not stick to your ribs, but Sedaris’s memoiristic nuggets are always tasty.
PositiveKirkusThe flashpoints of the modern era...pop up throughout these entries, but mainly so the author can sail past them with his usual irreverence ... His bottomless capacity to make everything about him doesn’t read as selfishness or ignorance, though; as with all good comics, the particulars of his life are stand-ins for everybody’s foibles and frustrations ... The tone and form of the diaries shift; he’s sometimes glib, sometimes contemplative, sometimes content just to catalog funny stuff he overhears. So for better or worse, he’s a humorist who’ll go anywhere ... A rich trove for hardcore Sedaris fans, though no more personally revealing than his well-shaped essays.
RavePublishers WeeklyRevealing ... Pinker skewers all manner of misguided thinking, myths, and \'cockamamie conspiracy theories\' across the ideological spectrum ... He manages to be scrupulously rigorous yet steadily accessible and entertaining whether probing the rationality of Andrew Yang’s presidential platform, Dilbert cartoons, or Yiddish proverbs. The result is both a celebration of humans’ ability to make things better with careful thinking and a penetrating rebuke to muddleheadedness.
PositiveKirkusThe author can be heady and geeky, but seldom to the point that his discussions shade off into inaccessibility ... A reader-friendly primer in better thinking through the cultivation of that rarest of rarities: a sound argument.
PositivePublishers WeeklyIn this offbeat essay collection, novelist Ellmann...addresses complex systemic ills alongside petty grievances in an acerbic and hilarious litany of complaints ... Readers of Ducks, Newburyport will be familiar with her expansive writing style, which here manifests as a plethora of footnotes...and can occasionally be disorienting. Nevertheless, fans of feminist satire will delight in these rants and ruminations.
PositiveKirkus\"The rich and tragic history of an obscure part of the world ... Egremont seems to have read every Baltic German novelist, visited every notable town, and tracked down every living witness to its history. The narrative sometimes meanders, but the book contains a helpful gazetteer and chronology. The text requires serious concentration, but diligent readers are rewarded with a near-total immersion into a land, its people, and the harrowing arc of its history. An intricately layered account of the eastern Baltic, a land shaped by colonization, revolution, deportation, and murder.
PositiveKirkusUsed to rejection and hatred, Katrina can’t bring herself to trust the offer of private violin lessons from a striking stranger. But as her life gradually begins to intertwine with the lives of Shizuka, Lan, and other colorful, well-drawn characters, everyone receives unexpected gifts of tenderness. Musicians selling their souls to hell shouldn’t fit in the same story as alien doughnut makers building a stargate, but somehow all these elements combine to create something wild and beautiful ... Filled with mouthwatering descriptions of food and heart-swelling meditations on music, this novel is an unexpected gift.
PositivePublishers Weekly... dark but ultimately hopeful ... Aoki’s depiction of abuse and trauma is unflinching and intense, but at its core, the novel is a love letter to immigrant culture and the power people have to save each other. Readers prepared for the emotionally difficult scenes will find a beautiful, satisfying story of redemption and families of choice.
Benjamin Labatut tr. Adrian Nathan West
RavePublishers WeeklyReading like an episodic digest, Chilean writer Labatut’s stylish English-language debut offers an embellished, heretical, and thoroughly engrossing account of the personalities and creative madness that gave rise to some of the 20th century’s greatest scientific discoveries ... Hard to pin down and all the more enjoyable for it, this unique work is one to be savored.
Benjamin Labatut tr. Adrian Nathan West
MixedKirkusEach section of the novel centers on one of the scientists in question, and in the early going Labatut comes off as more of a scientific historian than a novelist; the first chapter, on Haber, reads like a biographical sketch. But by the time we get to Erwin Schrödinger, Labatut’s writing becomes more interior and complex as the physicist scrabbles for footing within the scientific community and Indian religious tradition, then descends into an obsession with an underage girl he meets at a sanatorium. Just as quantum physics threw the bedrock principles of the universe into question, the novel shifts further from fact, closing with a fully fictional coda. In structure and content, the novel is highly mannered, but Labatut’s high-concept approach makes room for an emotional impact; you can feel the center stop holding as scientific triumphs become Pyrrhic victories ... A somber counterweight to the usual lore about scientific genius.
MixedPublishers WeeklyThough Goulson makes a strong case, his haughty tone...and vague conjecturing...detract from his message’s urgency. Goulson’s enthusiasm for the insect world is evident, but it also unfortunately drowns out the science.
PositiveKirkusStriving to educate, he shows that while countless species are rapidly going extinct, there are glimmers of hope ... Although much of the information here will not be new or surprising to avid nature readers, the author’s enthusiasm and conversational tone drive home the need for change and create an inspiring reading experience ... A hopeful, scientifically lucid, and timely call to action.
RavePublishers WeeklyIlluminating ... Tinniswood draws memorable character sketches of financially troubled, prim-mannered peers ... Vividly evoking the glamour and ruin of postimperial England, this winning survey is well-stocked with intriguing historical tidbits.
Cynthia A Branigan
PositivePublishers Weekly... [a] moving love letter to rescued animals ... This heartfelt story will be catnip for animal lovers.
Cynthia A Branigan
MixedKirkusUnfortunately, the author’s narrative does not offer the same respect for the humans who have assisted the organization in caring for the rescued animals. When discussing the organization’s facility in Texas, Black Beauty Ranch, Branigan makes clichéd comments about the culture and accent of Texans, even though, at that point, she admittedly had not yet visited Texas or met a resident from the state. Regarding a business trip she later made to the ranch, she shares stories that focus more than necessary on the appearances of several individuals as well as innuendo regarding the actions of others. Though these details may be intended as local color to set the scene, their abundance detracts from Branigan’s message about her organization, which clearly does important work ... The history of an admirable organization that falls short in its delivery.
RavePublishers WeeklyEven when things look hopeless, it might still be possible to avoid disaster,\' writes physician Webb in this valiant debut that addresses climate change and health care head-on ... After a near-fatal sting by a box jellyfish in July 2011, Webb was forced to scale back her hands-on humanitarian efforts, but her devotion to fighting for the health of the world and its people remains unflagging, as evidenced in her galvanizing and hopeful story. Those looking for a jolt of inspiration would do well to pick this up.
RaveKirkus[Webb] candidly shares the personal and physical struggles she endured, including a box jellyfish sting that nearly killed her ... Webb’s vision is notable for its focus on truly listening to community members, not just leaders ... A unique perspective that offers immense hope and direction for humanity in the face of climate change.
RavePublishers Weekly... exciting ... Hanson introduces readers to an array of scientists documenting these changes and conducts his own often humorous experiments ... With contagious curiosity, Hanson nimbly avoids pedantic, moralistic admonishments. Nature-lovers will be thrilled to see science so vividly described, and will marvel at the incredible ingenuity of creatures across the globe.
RavePublishers WeeklyThubron evokes in this breathtaking account the beauty and harshness of the 1,100-mile-long Amur River ... He writes sensitively and cogently about the life along the river’s shores ... Thubron’s powers of observation and his dogged determination to complete this arduous journey—despite numerous injuries and a police interrogations—make this a top-notch travelogue.
RaveKirkusThe celebrated British travel writer takes us on a fascinating journey along the Amur River ... Though the region is shrouded with mistrust, Thubron effectively brings it to life. Throughout his trip, the author engaged in discussions with local residents, who openly shared their personal feelings and histories as if they were longtime friends ... Thubron also laments the demise of the region’s Indigenous cultures and languages. Readers will, too, as they savor this enthralling travel narrative ... A captivating portrait of a remote region of the world that many readers may know nothing about.
Rachel Howzell Hall
RavePublishers Weekly... exceptional ... This cleverly plotted, surprise-filled novel offers well-drawn and original characters, lively dialogue, and a refreshing take on the serial killer theme. Hall continues to impress.
Rachel Howzell Hall
RaveKirkusA mystery/thriller/coming-of-age story you won\'t be able to put down till the final revelation.
PositivePublishers WeeklyLattari (American Vaudeville) makes her thriller debut with a complex, deeply disturbing tale of vengeance ... After a slow start, the plot gains momentum and builds to a chilling conclusion. Those who are comfortable with a cast of morally ambiguous characters will best appreciate this one.
PositiveKirkusExploring the story through Max\'s, Audra\'s, and Juniper’s points of view, as well as descriptions of Audra’s thesis, lets the narrative unfold easily and keeps the momentum up. This is much more of a howdunit than a whodunit; a curious reader will easily put the pieces together as they read. However, despite it being rather clear why things are happening, the question of how things are going to happen drives the reader forward ... A dark tale of relationships, ambition, and revenge.
RavePublishers WeeklyNine of these 12 outstanding stories from international sci-fi superstar Lem (1921–2006) make their English-language debut in this treasure trove of a collection. Lem’s prose shines ... This collection shows off Lem’s range and further solidifies his place in the speculative firmament.
PositiveKirkusA cogent overview of the court’s crucial role, the application of which is sure to be discussed among scholars.
RavePublishers WeeklyU.C. Davis history professor Reséndez (The Other Slavery) delivers a riveting account ... Reséndez evocatively traces Urdaneta and Martín’s subsequent adventures ... Enlivened by lucid explanations of navigational techniques, larger-than-life characters, and colorful anecdotes from the age of exploration, this is a rip-roaring maritime adventure.
Allen C Guelzo
PositivePublishers WeeklyGuelzo demystifies Robert E. Lee in this evenhanded and insightful biography ... Deeply researched and elegantly written, this nuanced portrait captures Lee’s \'ambiguous place in American history.\'
Allen C Guelzo
PositiveKirkusA fine biography of a flawed American icon.
RavePublishers WeeklyClifford, founder of the Los Angeles Ballet, debuts with an enthralling look at his decades-long career and his time as the protégé of legendary ballet choreographer George Balanchine ... Even those not enraptured by ballet will find Clifford’s extraordinary career and bond with Balanchine, who died in 1983, affecting. For ballet devotees, this intimate account is required reading.
RaveKirkusA super-brainy high-concept dystopian tale guaranteed to reward anyone who’s in the mood.
Gordon S. Wood
RaveKirkusThe Pulitzer and Bancroft winner delivers another masterful book of Revolutionary War–era history ... This introduction to the formative half-century of American history maintains a taut focus on the nation’s early constitutional development ... while he may receive criticism for overlooking much of the social and cultural history produced by other historians, no one will be able to ignore the power of his arguments. A fresh, lucid distillation of Wood’s vast learning about the origins of American government.
Gordon S. Wood
PositivePublishers WeeklyPulitzer winner Wood (Friends Divided) surveys the \'politics and constitution-making\' of the Revolutionary era in this astute if somewhat familiar history based on a series of lectures he gave at Northwestern University in 2019 ... Wood has made these arguments before, but they’re restated lucidly and concisely here. The result is a welcome distillation of an influential career.
RavePublishers WeeklySurreal and elegiac ... [There are] many boldly transgressive and strangely successful moves in the fractured narrative ... This offers a cathartic sense of closure.
RaveKirkusAn elegy for a friend, lover, and muse that resists conventions of storytelling and expands the possibilities of the novel form with daring and vulnerability ... Though the book’s emotional register can seem, at times, to be stuck in a rut of despair, its fragmentary structure allows for a range of emotional valences, ranging between grief and celebration, anger and love. Cooper’s urgency to relate his friend’s story is felt in every word, image, and narrative move; even the most oddball structural decisions possess tremendous power ... Spare but powerfully wrought, this is a book that pushes the novel’s capacity to capture grief, love, and truth.
George F Will
PositivePublishers Weekly[An] erudite and eclectic collection of [Will\'s] published columns ... Will’s eulogies of conservative leaders...are particularly rich and insightful ... hough his dismissals of climate change and economic inequality feel out of touch, Will is a consistently provocative and articulate opinion-maker. Fans will delight in this expansive survey of his recent judgments.
George F Will
MixedKirkusAn overstuffed collection of the conservative columnist’s reviews and rarefied reflections from the Washington Post ... A gentleman scholar and scold, Will continues to wield his sharp, discerning prose.
PositivePublishers WeeklyMany of the recollections are retrospectively colored by Bourdain’s bleak end, and interviewees’ efforts to locate an inchoate darkness within him yield little insight. The book does, however, succeed as a revealing account of the making of a celebrity, following Bourdain as he crafted a mediagenic persona ... This fascinating mosaic doesn’t unearth Bourdain’s inner demons, but it does capture the inimitable legacy he left behind.
PositiveKirkusA chorus of candid voices creates an engaging biography.
PositivePublishers WeeklyA poignant evocation of impressionist master Édouard Manet’s final years ... Though the notebook’s brief, episodic texts never gather much in the way of momentum, Gibbon speaks eloquently of the human capacity to live fully amid devastating challenges. It’s well done, though for a novel about an innovative artist, it’s also remarkably tame.
RaveKirkus... funny, heartfelt, joyful ... Separately, Robinson’s hot takes on life mostly hold their own, but when taken together, they create a satisfying, hilarious tapestry. Featuring the author’s own style, replete with abbreviated language, which may not appeal to some readers—this steady-clip read provides us with an intimate setting that feels akin to a vibrant conversation with a friend, entertaining as it informs. Society’s pandemic helplessness and mishaps underlie several pieces, most of which will resonate with readers ... Throughout, the robust prose moves smoothly, making for a thoroughly enjoyable reading experience ... Longtime fans will recognize the hilarity, and newbies will appreciate the frank thoughtfulness.
PositivePublishers WeeklyRobinson serves up, in her characteristic laugh-out-loud voice, what it means to be a young, Black success story in this inimitable, comedic tell-all. Robinson gleefully dips into the cultural artifacts of the pandemic and beyond with earnest insights on America’s racial and political developments ... Her no-holds-barred essays are deliciously confessional—no topic is deprived of caps lock or gushing footnotes. Robinson’s legions of fans are in for a treat.
RavePublishers WeeklyWith superbly crafted poems that engage the past and the present, Young delivers another ambitious collection across seven lyrically powerful sections ... These elegant, measured poems offer insight into the troubled moment through an exhumation of the past, while giving the reader plenty of depth and beauty to carry into the future.
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] sobering and richly documented study ... Copiously documented and passionately argued, this is a powerful and persuasive call for change.
PositiveKirkusHenning serves up numerous (and sometimes repetitive) cases from her legal files, documenting this unequal administration of justice with statistics and anecdotes alike ... A powerful argument that the legal and social oppression of Black Americans begins at birth.
Benjamin T. Smith
PositiveKirkus\"Smith does a fine job of piecing all these elements together, showing how the American market led to the boom of border towns such as the once-sleepy hamlet of Tijuana and how hard-line anti-drug policies do not bring down consumption rates ... A well-researched, sobering view of the damage that Americans’ need to get high wreaks on our neighbors.
Benjamin T. Smith
RavePublishers Weekly... a sordid tale ... Staggering statistics...are reinforced by harrowing descriptions of assassinations and kidnappings. Smith also depicts atrocities committed by Mexico’s drug enforcement agencies, and the complicity of U.S. agents who failed to intervene. Forcefully arguing that the \'war on drugs\' has been a failure, Smith believes that little in Mexico will change as long as narcotics remain illegal ... Smith’s depth of knowledge astonishes, and his pointed critiques of U.S. drug policy hit home. This searing history leaves a mark.
RavePublishers Weekly... highly entertaining ... The brisk plot takes several clever twists before building to a shocking act of violence. Harding is sure to win new fans with this one.
Maryse Condé, Tr. Richard Philcox
RavePublishers Weekly... intense ... Condé puts forth the secrets and histories of a fascinating cast, producing a timeless exploration of the wounds that emerge—and linger—when people lose those who mean the most to them, be it their family, friends, or country. This faithful portrayal of grief and displacement is tough to forget.
MixedKirkus... a stand-alone whodunit with a most unusual setting ... A great premise generates some powerful episodes. Only the identification of the culprit is a letdown.
MixedPublishers Weekly... [a] gripping if flawed standalone ... Humor, uniquely eccentric characters, and a convincing portrayal of the mind of a complex lead elevate this thriller above the ordinary. Only the hurried, implausible ending disappoints. Hopefully, Billingham will return to form next time.
MixedPublishers Weekly... fluffy ... While a subplot involving an insider-trading scam feels contrived, Adkins’s characters are reliably quirky ... Though it’s not particularly memorable, it’ll keep readers turning the pages.
RaveKirkus... the list of contributors is enviable ... There’s something for everyone in this sumptuous collection.
RavePublishers WeeklyD’Aguiar...takes a powerful and intimate look at his experiences battling cancer during the Covid-19 pandemic ... lyrical, meditative passages ... Dashes of humor...offer brief respites from the grim subject matter, and, throughout, the author’s resilience inspires. This makes the fragility of life devastatingly palpable
PositiveKirkus... notable for its uncommon candor ... A visceral account of personal illness and social ills.
Stevie Van Zandt
RaveKirkus... suitably good-natured ... Van Zandt seldom has an unkind word, and when he does, it’s usually about inflated rock-star egotism. Otherwise, his spry autobiography reveals him to be a politically committed music lover who can’t get enough of the British Invasion and the blues ... A pleasure for music fans and one of the best entertainment memoirs in recent years.
Stevie Van Zandt
PositivePublishers WeeklyMusic and pop culture fans alike will relish this gonzo debut from Van Zandt ... He takes readers on a wild ride ... Throughout, his prose is delivered with a wink, making this enjoyable even for those less familiar with his work. This stands head and shoulders above the many celebrity memoirs out there.
PositivePublishers Weekly... promising ... As Tabitha rises at work, she emphasizes the importance of perspective in her reporting on issues that affect Black people, such as gentrification and encounters with police, and Allen smartly mirrors the theme of perspective with the story of Tabitha’s personal life, as Tabitha considers how her own point of view has shaped her feelings for others. Though the writing can sometimes be clunky, with overly descriptive sentences, Allen has the chops to become a terrific storyteller. There’s a lot of potential here.
PositiveKirkusAllen writes in a sharp, lively voice that is full of warmth and humor ... Tabitha and her friends are well-drawn, and it is the dynamic between the protagonist and the women in her life that propels the story. Touching on issues of professional womanhood, race, and family, the author crafts a novel that is both timely and enjoyable ... A charming tale about a reporter deciding what she wants from life.
PositiveKirkusIs the cry to defund the police mere rhetoric? No way, this book makes clear ... Though not fully taking into account inflation and other similar matters, Maher does make the inarguable point that American police have become increasingly militarized and that, quite clearly, if you’re a young male and a member of an ethnic minority, you stand a far greater chance of being jailed or killed by police than if you belong to the privileged majority ... A thesis sure to stir plenty of controversy but worthy of discussion.
PositivePublishers Weekly... [a] provocative and well-researched polemic ... Though some readers will take issue with Maher’s fiery language (\'policing is a cancer\'), his ample evidence and firm convictions make a persuasive case. This is an essential introduction to the case for abolishing the police.
RaveKirkusThis disturbing but gripping account by award-winning New York Times correspondent Philipps will appeal to a large audience but few SEAL admirers ... Brilliant journalism that offers a deeply disquieting commentary on America’s dysfunctional cultural divide.
RavePublishers Weekly... an enthralling, blow-by-blow account of the 2019 court-martial of U.S. Navy SEAL platoon chief Eddie Gallagher ... Philipps describes how President Trump and Fox News pundits came to Gallagher’s defense, and recounts the shocking events of the court-martial (which ended with Gallagher’s acquittal on all but one charge) in riveting detail. This is the definitive portrait of a saga that exposed deep fault lines within an elite fighting force
Harald Voetmann, Tr. Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen
PositiveKirkus... [a] strange novella ... The fluid prose owes much to translator Ottosen ... An interesting work and a good introduction to this unusual writer.
Harald Voetmann, Tr. Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen
PositivePublishers WeeklyVoetmann reimagines the absurd, grotesque, and at times, cruel world of Pliny the Elder in his peculiar English-language debut ... While this kind of brutality may have been the norm for Emperor Vespasian’s Roman Empire, the descriptions sometimes feel gratuitous in Voetmann’s account. Rather than a plot, this is stitched together with anecdotes and meditations, and it succeeds at rendering the ancient author’s moments of inspiration. For a slim volume, it packs a memorable punch.
PositiveKirkus... a lively, anecdote-filled chronicle of the two men’s lives as Hollywood movers and shakers ... Davis’ gossipy dual biography reveals the brothers’ starkly different personalities and enduring demons. A portrait of eventful lives in Hollywood’s golden age.
PanPublishers Weekly... an uneven parsing of the lives of the famous screenwriters separately responsible for two of the greatest films of all time ... What emerges is a depressing story of two gifted but deeply troubled men who gave their families short shrift and disparaged others on a regular basis ... there aren’t any new revelations here ... Davis’s omniscient perspective—liberally describing others’ inner thoughts—causes confusion about the authority of his narration ... those already familiar with the contours of the brothers’ stories may be disappointed.
PositivePublishers Weeklyintriguing ... The conceptual jumps can feel scattered and forced, but the author’s grasp on the ideas at play effectively and poignantly connects readers with the characters’ grief. For the most part, Ward’s weird experimental meld is effective.
PositiveKirkus\"Bowler debunks the hollow clichés that she has heard too often: to seize the day, live in the present, work on a bucket list ... Like others who have suffered traumatic loss or illness—especially during the pandemic—Bowler recognizes that \'so often the experiences that define us are the ones we didn’t pick.\' A sensitive memoir of survival.
RavePublishers Weekly... heartbreaking essays ... Bowler’s strong faith is present throughout, though the writing, refreshingly, never feels overtly religious ... Those in need of a wake-up call will find it in this breathtaking narrative.
RaveKirkusThe world McIlvanney and Rankin create—there’s no indication of who wrote what, and readers will be hard-pressed to tell—is deliciously fluid in its conflicts. Gangs fight gangs, bosses threaten their underlings, informants sell out their former intimates, husbands and wives squabble over their betrayals, and Laidlaw makes no secret of his withering contempt for DI Ernie Milligan, the incompetent who’s inexplicably been put in charge of the case. The solution is as readily foreseen, unless you’re Milligan, and as deeply satisfying as the final lines of a prayer. A precious chance to spend a few more hours with a franchise that ended much too soon.
PositivePublishers Weekly... smoothly written ... Of more appeal than the meandering plot and the predictable denouement is the portrayal of the mean streets of Glasgow ... Laidlaw...surprises the reader at every turn, showing himself to be literate, intelligent, and thoughtful. McIlvanney’s fans will relish this gritty early perspective on Laidlaw.
RaveKirkusA fresh perspective on the iconic writer ... It might seem contrived to build a biography around his passion [of gardening], but this is Solnit...so it succeeds ... A fine Orwell biography with equally fine diversions into his favorite leisure activity.
PositivePublishers WeeklyRiveting ... The twisty plot, knotty issues of relationships with life partners, and steadfast loyalty among the sleuths provide depth and poignancy. Those who prefer their mysteries with touches of spycraft, humor, and eccentricity will be well pleased.
RaveKirkusOsman follows The Thursday Murder Club (2020), his supremely entertaining debut, with an even better second installment ... A clever, funny mystery peopled with captivating characters that enhance the story at every quirky turn.
PositiveKirkus... a capacious examination of the phenomenon of dreaming ... Although some of the molecular, electrophysiological, biochemical, and morphological discussion is daunting, much of the book is accessible. Ribeiro urges readers to spend a few minutes after waking to recall their dreams and even to engage in lucid dreaming, in which the dreamer exerts control over the dream. A stimulating and informative overview.
MixedPublishers WeeklyNeuroscientist Ribeiro sheds light on the psychology, philosophy, and evolution behind dreams in his wide-ranging if far-fetched debut ... He provocatively, though not entirely convincingly, calls for a revival of Sigmund Freud’s ideas ... readers should be prepared to wade through thickets of jargon ... Still, there is much worth checking out for those with a deep interest in dreams.
PositivePublishers Weekly... a sharp-edged satire ... Soyinka injects suspense as well with a whodunit plot. Those with a solid grounding in current Nigerian politics are most likely to pick up on allusions to events and personalities that will elude the lay reader. Still, the imaginatively satirical treatment of serious issues makes this engaging on multiple levels.
RaveKirkusA richly satirical novel ... Soyinka’s sprawling tale abounds in sly references to current events in Nigeria, and his targets are many, not least of them politicians and self-styled holy men with bigger ambitions still ... Dazzling wordplay and subtle allusion mark this most welcome return to fiction.
RavePublishers Weekly... deeply affecting ... meant to target the neighboring real estate office. Doerr seamlessly shuffles each of these narratives in vignettes that keep the action in full flow and the reader turning the pages. The descriptions of Constantinople, Idaho, and the Argos are each distinct and fully realized, and the protagonists of each are united by a determination to survive and a hunger for stories, which in Doerr’s universe provide the greatest nourishment. This is a marvel.
RaveKirkusAs the pieces of this magical literary puzzle snap together, a flicker of hope is sparked for our benighted world.
RavePublishers WeeklyDespite the heavy subject matter, the story is often quite funny, and the themes at its core are those that will forever preoccupy humankind: purpose and death, but, mostly, love. Of Ferris’s work, this is the big kahuna.
RavePublishers Weekly... incisive and impassioned ... Hill’s inspiring personal history, eloquently constructed arguments, and dogged persistence in shining a light on the topic make this an essential look at the fight against misogyny.
PositiveKirkusA powerful argument that ending gender violence is an attainable goal, if only we apply ourselves to the work.
RavePublishers WeeklyA beguiling account ... Readers will be enthralled by this humanizing look at the tech world.
RaveKirkusA notable debut memoir about identity, immigration, and computer coding ... It’s not the extraordinary experiences of a wunderkind building moneymaking apps while still in high school that makes this coming-of-age story so compelling, but rather the ordinary ones ... ayman is a born storyteller, and he manages to narrate without falling into the romanticized traps that plague so many coming-of-age memoirs ... Sayman’s superpower is turning his specific Silicon Valley success story into something sweet, universal, and inspirational.
PositivePublishers Weekly[An] inventive Cinderella retelling ... Those in it purely for the love story may be frustrated by the distractions, but readers interested in a smart exploration of the intersection of romance and reality TV will be overjoyed.
PositivePublishers WeeklyStirring ... It’s a riveting and heartbreaking story strengthened by Kopacz’s superb ability to create a sense of place.
PositivePublishers WeeklyLewis offers advice for young activists in this wise and moving account written during the last months of his life ... The book’s conversational tone and brisk history lessons make it accessible to readers of all ages. The result is a winning introduction to the man and his philosophies of life.
RaveKirkusLewis expresses himself with clarity, authenticity, and humility, all of which can be applied in nearly every arena ... The author’s courage and conviction are crystal clear, and it’s also evident that he never feared death because he knew that his life had purpose. A bright, morally unwavering worldview from an exemplary human being.
RavePublishers WeeklyA scintillating story about a motley group of Native American booksellers haunted by the spirit of a customer ... More than a gripping ghost story, this offers profound insights into the effects of the global pandemic and the collateral damage of systemic racism. It adds up to one of Erdrich’s most sprawling and illuminating works to date.
RaveKirkus[Erdich] turns her eye to various kinds of hauntings, all of which feel quite real to the affected characters ... The novel’s humor is mordant ... Erdrich’s love for bookselling is clear, as is her complicated affection for Minneapolis and the people who fight to overcome institutional hatred and racism. A novel that reckons with ghosts—of both specific people and also the shadows resulting from America’s violent, dark habits.
RavePublishers WeeklyMagnificent ... Towles is a supreme storyteller, and this one-of-a-kind kind of novel isn’t to be missed.
RaveKirkusA modern picaresque with a host of characters, competing points of view, wandering narratives, and teasing chapter endings, Towles\' third novel is even more entertaining than his much-acclaimed A Gentleman in Moscow ... A remarkable blend of sweetness and doom, Towles\' novel is packed with revelations about the American myth, the art of storytelling, and the unrelenting pull of history. An exhilarating ride through Americana.
RavePublishers Weekly... show-stopping ... Schutt muses on various aspects of the heart, balancing scientific facts and light anecdotes ... The author successfully pairs accessible science with strong storytelling, describing how Greek, Egyptian, and medieval scholars helped advance human knowledge (and at times misled it). The result is informative, playful, and impossible to put down.
PositiveKirkusAlthough most readers give priority to their own heart, the author waits until the book’s halfway point to take it up. Nonetheless, few will object to his detours, including the especially enjoyable sections on the horseshoe crab and the blue whale. Ten chapters on the human heart deliver a scattershot but satisfying mixture of history, biology, and high-tech medicine ... This is not a self-help book, but readers will learn details of common heart diseases and their treatments. Schutt peppers his text with jokes, asides, and cute footnotes, but tolerant readers will learn a great deal. Wynne’s clean, black-and-white line drawings, especially the diagrams of complex biological systems, provide a helpful visual accompaniment to the text ... A fine overview of an essential organ.
PositiveKirkus... [a] revealing portrait ... Chafkin brings long experience in the tech world to his book debut, a savvy biography of billionaire venture capitalist and outspoken neo-reactionary Peter Thiel ... Drawing on interviews with Thiel and more than 150 others, many who insisted on anonymity because they feared Thiel’s retribution, Chafkin deftly portrays his subject as a \'calculating operator,\' \'nihilist,\' and predator who has constructed an image \'so compelling that it has come to obscure the man behind it\' ... A brisk, well-researched life of an enigmatic billionaire.
PositivePublishers Weekly... cutting ... Chafkin’s portrait of Thiel is punchy and caustic...His zeal to unmask Thiel’s allegedly subversive influence is sometimes overwrought: he calls Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s 2019 refusal to censor Trump’s campaign claims \'exactly what Thiel, and Trump, wanted,\' while downplaying the free-speech issues involved. Still, this is an engrossing look at one of Silicon Valley’s most eccentric and abrasive figures.
PositivePublishers WeeklyAffecting ... Chambers does an excellent job of recreating the austere texture of post-WWII England. In Jean, the author creates a character who strives admirably to escape her cloistered existence. Chambers plays fair with Gretchen’s mystery, tenderly illuminating the hidden yearnings of small lives.
PositiveKirkus[A] fresh spin on a classic theme: A wounded man rescues a wounded pet that in turn rescues him ... A celebrated Southern memoirist delivers a spirited book about a hell-raising dog and his effect on the author’s life.
Paul A. Offit
PositivePublishers Weekly...impressive ... The way Offit tells the story of each medical advance is fascinating, packed with case studies and characters, including groundbreaking scientists and near-death patients ... as entertaining as it is informative.
Paul A. Offit
PositiveKirkusCertainly, the maxim that no one should know how sausages are made applies here, but Offit is a fluid storyteller armed with decades of knowledge, and he provides an educative, though often distressing, reading experience. Unsettling but realistic medical histories.
PositivePublishers WeeklyA nuanced portrait ... While the two big reveals in the final section are strongly telegraphed, the more quotidien mysteries of Olga’s life will keep readers engaged. Readers who love rich character studies will want to pick this up.
MixedKirkusIn a story that sweeps across a century, a woman who stays home is more engaging that her lover who explores the world ... The novel covers more than a century, and its swathes of historical exposition take the reader away from Olga; it’s strongest when it pauses to explore the intimate texture of her life, but those pauses are too brief. She’s an intriguing character, but Herbert isn’t, making her devotion to him a puzzle. A couple of big reveals about Olga are telegraphed so early and so broadly that they lack punch when they come. A historical novel about a mismatched couple spends too little time with its most interesting character.
PositivePublishers WeeklyAn illuminating take on the Trump presidency ... Rubin’s portrait of the Democratic Party favors centrists while downplaying the contributions of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other progressives. Still, this is a cohesive and wide-ranging look at how women led the fight against the Trump administration.
RaveKirkusA thoughtful study of the critical role of women in containing and defeating Donald Trump ... An excellent contribution to the literature of contemporary electoral politics.
PositivePublishers WeeklyAs usual, Longmire, a Vietnam War vet, shrugs off some serious physical knocks, including falling into a canyon, on the way to a dramatic showdown with a killer and a bittersweet if hopeful ending. Fans will hope the sheriff has no plans to retire soon.
PositiveKirkusA mysterious adventure that spotlights the horrific experiences of Native women whose abuse is often unseen and unreported.
Volker Ullrich tr. Jefferson Chase
RavePublishers WeeklyThis vivid account by historian Ullrich renders the death throes of the Third Reich in riveting detail ... This immersive and often disturbing chronicle brilliantly evokes a surreal moment in history that gave \'the impression of apocalypse on the one hand and of a new beginning on the other.\'
Volker Ullrich tr. Jefferson Chase
PositiveKirkusThe author delivers a richly textured day-by-day account of that week in Germany and in parts of German-occupied Europe ... Throughout the book, Ullrich strains to encompass not just the political and military currents, but quotidian details, as well ... deeply researched without feeling weighed down. However, Ullrich’s descriptions of various political or military meetings sometimes feel onerous, as he lists the name and rank of every person present. These details might be crucial to a wider historical reckoning, but nonscholars may get bogged down. Ullrich can be uneven in his coverage, too, as when he describes the end of the war in the Netherlands but not in, say, England or France. Though his latest book is by no means comprehensive, it’s still a vital and often vibrant account of eight days when people all across Europe were suspended in confusion and chaos ... Strongly written and deeply researched, Ullrich’s account only suffers from an occasional surfeit of detail.
Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe
PositiveKirkusCooper turns up some family secrets, especially their connections to the Confederacy (which explains why there’s a Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee), and he explodes the long-held notion that Cornelius Vanderbilt was a wholly self-made man (he borrowed money from his mother to buy his first boat). Suicides, affairs, bad business deals, fierce rivalries, and occasionally an outburst of good sense (as when Billy Vanderbilt doubled his inheritance in just eight years, amassing $230 million) mark these pages along with moments of tragedy, such as the loss of one ancestor in the sinking of the Lusitania. A sturdy family history that also serves as a pointed lesson in how to lose a fortune.
Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe
PositivePublishers Weekly...juicy ... In the book’s most moving section, Cooper recounts his mother Gloria’s traumatic childhood, which involved a \'sort-of-kidnapping\' and a drawn-out custody battle, and her out-of-control spending and dysfunctional relationships as an adult. Marked by meticulous research and deep emotional insight, this is a memorable chronicle of American royalty.
RaveKirkusDrawing from histories, biographies, memoirs, and letters, Goldstone vividly depicts a resplendent, glittering milieu. Her fast-paced, populous narrative teems with gossip, court intrigue, and head-spinning political machinations ... Goldstone illuminates the military, political, economic, cultural, and social complexities that each woman faced as well as the personal challenges, including continual pregnancies (Maria Theresa had 16 in 20 years); children’s deaths; raging smallpox; and, for Maria Theresa, Charlotte, and Marie Antoinette, unhappy marriages. Goldstone is an empathetic biographer, highlighting the women’s considerable achievements as well as their shortcomings ... A colorful collection of dynamic, prodigiously researched portraits.
RavePublishers Weekly... fascinating ... Adding wry humor to her lucid narrative, Goldstone clarifies the era’s complex politics and pinpoints how these commanding women helped give shape to modern Europe. This mesmerizing history isn’t to be missed.
Karl Ove Knausgaard, tr. Martin Aitken
RavePublishers WeeklyKnausgaard’s first traditional novel since the 2008 translation of A Time for Everything offers a dark and enthralling story of the appearance of a new star ... Knausgaard wheels wildly and successfully through various forms. His focus on the beauty and terror of the mundane will resonate with fans of My Struggle as they traverse this marvelous, hectic terrain. For the author, it’s a marvelous new leap.
Karl Ove Knausgaard, tr. Martin Aitken
PositiveKirkusEach character is rendered with a detail-rich but cool, plainspoken register that’s Knausgaard’s trademark. And, much as he did in the final volume of his autofiction epic, My Struggle, he concludes with a philosophical longueur, here a contemplation about how myth, religion, and folklore address a porous boundary between life and death ... For Knausgaard fans, this mix of pointillistic domestic drama and New Age woo-woo will feel familiar, though the lack of a strong narrative arc feels more ungainly in an explicitly fictional setting ... A sui generis metaphysical yarn, engrossing in its particulars if broadly rambling.
Bob Woodward and Robert Costa
MixedPublishers Weekly... harrowing if familiar ... Unfortunately, none of these reveals match the drama of those pertaining to Milley, and readers hoping for new insights into the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol will be disappointed. This well-sourced recap feels more rote than revelatory.
RavePublishers Weekly[A] thorough and sweeping history of the climate crisis ... Bell makes a convincing case that in order to effectively deal with climate change, people must understand how the world got to this point ... Impressive in scope, this deserves wide readership.
MixedKirkusHer narrative zigzags among the Enlightenment and the present and points between, tracing how ideas about the climate as a world system came to be codified. Some of the narrative feels like a data dump, but the author’s account takes on greater force in her discussions of the near past and present, when inescapable evidence mounts to indicate how badly we’ve erred in overlooking the deleterious effects of fossil fuels ... A touch scattered but of interest to anyone concerned with climate change and our long, lamentable history of ignoring it.
RavePublishers WeeklyA virtuoso survey of scientific research on the causes of prejudice and programs that have \'successfully reduced everyday bias and discrimination\' ... Throughout, Nordell holds her own biases up to scrutiny, lucidly describes the methodology and findings of the copious psychological and sociological studies she cites, and draws vivid character sketches of her profile subjects. The result is a refreshingly optimistic and immersive look at how society can solve one of its thorniest problems.
PositiveKirkusNordell’s examples are revealing but lead to the same general set of conclusions, so there’s a certain sameness to the narrative that becomes more pronounced as it progresses. More useful are some of the recommended remedies ... A practical primer for those seeking to reduce the hegemony of bias in everyday life.
RaveKirkusThere is no shortage of excellent histories, but Markel, a Guggenheim fellow and professor of medicine at the University of Michigan, has written one of the best. After a quick review of the relevant advancements in the 19th century, the author delivers long, satisfying biographies of the leading figures as well as a large supporting cast ... Markel provides a meticulous account of DNA research by others, as well, and he emphasizes that Watson and Crick made their breakthrough by examining X-ray photographs of DNA crystals ... A brilliant addition to the literature on the history of biological discovery.
PositivePublishers WeeklyMarkel skillfully explains the knotty science behind the breakthrough and highlights the clash of outsize personalities ... His tone sometimes feels overblown, but his tart, sharp-eyed prose saves the day. This wonderfully evocative tale sings.
MixedPublishers Weekly[A] rewarding if scattershot literary history ... The overarching conversational tone and modern-day relevance give the book color, but the pace is uneven: while the arguments are well supported with plenty of examples pulled from all corners of literature, Tatar jumps between subjects in an enthusiastic flurry that can be difficult to follow. Literature buffs who can deal with the sometimes-dizzying effect will find much to consider.
RaveKirkusThe \'hero\'s journey\' gets a much-needed makeover ... Tatar incisively explores women\'s reinvention of heroism to embrace empathy, compassion, and care, often to pursue social justice ... [An] engaging study ... he text is illustrated with many reproductions of paintings and other artwork...that add much to the text ... This book is fascinating, fun, and consistently enlightening.
PositiveKirkusO’Sullivan, a London-based Irish neurologist, marches straight into this deep, strange pocket of experience. A pleasing storyteller, she puts to good use her neurological background while melding it with a closely observed appreciation of environmental, social, and cultural elements in the dissociative process ... O’Sullivan keenly explains illness templates that are coded in our brains by our sociocultural environment ... A fascinating view of mind that mingles culture with biology, creating a richly embroidered, albeit difficult, world.
PositivePublishers WeeklyDrawing on fascinating case studies, neurologist O’Sullivan delivers a razor-sharp study of illnesses that often cannot be explained in traditional medical terms ... O’Sullivan makes a convincing argument for changing how illnesses are discussed ... As O’Sullivan masterfully narrates the cases, she movingly allows the subjects to tell their own stories, too. Fans of Oliver Sacks, take note.
PositiveKirkusThe book is marred by small errors...but the author’s points are well taken, especially when he warns that China \'is fast becoming a fuller maritime power than the United States,\' with implications for political relations in years to come. Knowledgeable and wonky, largely of interest to policy planners.
RavePublishers Weekly[A] powerful debut ... In evocative prose, she reflects on the way her trauma fractured her sense of self...and is equally forthcoming about her moments of courage and uncertainty ... Most memorable is the intense love and respect that comes through in her recollections of the young people who have trusted her with their own painful stories. Intensely moving and unapologetically frank, Burke’s fearless memoir will uplift and inspire the next generation of survivors, advocates, and truth-tellers.
RaveKirkusA soul-baring memoir by one the most significant social activists of the past two decades ... Through searing prose and riveting storytelling, Burke lays her trauma bare alongside beautifully rendered moments ... Burke’s reckoning with her painful past becomes the blueprint for \'me too.\' Told with candor and deep vulnerability, this story is raw and sobering but also a source of healing and hope for other survivors. An unforgettable page-turner of a life story rendered with endless grace and grit.
Joseph J. Ellis
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] richly detailed, multivoiced history ... Profiles of lesser-known figures including Continental Army soldier Joseph Plumb Martin and Mohawk chief Joseph Brant add depth and nuance to a familiar story. This expert account highlights the \'improvisational\' nature of America’s founding.
Joseph J. Ellis
RaveKirkusWith his characteristically graceful prose, Ellis offers a short, straightforward history of a critical decade in the nation’s youth ... This is, quite simply, a well-known story told by a master storyteller known for perceptive detailing. As is always the case with Ellis, he is brilliant at short takes—events, decisions, individuals ... True to his own skills at bringing people alive, Ellis also includes sympathetic miniprofiles of normal, unsung participants in the period’s fraught events: loyalists, women, Native Americans, Joseph Plum Martin (“the Zelig of the American Revolution”), and, perhaps the most captivating, Washington’s personal slave, Billy Lee. The book’s only disappointment is its abrupt close. It’s hard to imagine a better-told brief history of the key years of the American Revolution.
MixedKirkusWoven through with incisive references to Wuthering Heights, Little Women, Oliver Twist, Enid Blyton, The Sound of Music, and, above all, the lyrics to \'Que Sera Sera,\' the novel often has a dreamlike quality (read: nightmarish) that heightens its sometimes-erratic quality of psychological suspense. The back-and-forth narrative between Paloma’s childhood at the orphanage and her fraught, haunted adulthood in San Francisco nearly two decades later is a page-turner, albeit one in which some surprises mesh better than others. An uneven debut that nevertheless offers twists a-plenty.
PositivePublishers Weekly... a dark, twisty psychological thriller ... Jaytissa expertly ratchets up the tension. Noir fans will find a lot to like.
PositivePublishers WeeklyAlong the way, there are informative explanations of the neurobiology of pain and pleasure, and plenty of personal reflection on the author’s own relationship to masochism. Queasy readers need not apply—graphic depictions of masochistic sex, bulimia, and self-mutilation are in no short supply. But for those already into the subject, Cowart’s raw study offers insight.
RaveKirkusPotent, thought-provoking ruminations on feminism as a political movement capable of eradicating the subordination of women ... This collection contains a staggering amount of research ... Featuring excellent criticism of subjects such as carceral solutions and sex education, this is a vital, compelling collection.
RavePublishers Weekly... a fascinating collection of essays ... Marked by lucid prose, innovative thinking, and a penchant for resisting easy answers, this is a must-read.
RavePublishers WeeklyHazelwood debuts with a charming, offbeat rom-com pairing a somewhat awkward doctoral candidate with a hotshot young professor ... With whip-smart and endearing characters, snappy prose, and a quirky take on a favorite trope, Hazelwood convincingly navigates the fraught shoals of academia ... This smart, sexy contemporary should delight a wide swath of romance lovers.
RavePublishers WeeklyBestseller Mina (The Less Dead) vividly recreates a gruesome episode from the Tudor era in this searing novella set mostly over the course of a single day ... This superior historical thriller reads like a real-life episode of Game of Thrones.
PositivePublishers WeeklyEverett’s sharp latest...spins a puckish revenge fantasy into dark social satire underpinned by a whodunit ... The novel unfolds over a hundred super-short chapters, allowing Everett to maintain a breakneck pace as the crime spree spreads north ... Everett delves into a miasma of racist stereotypes held toward and among multiple groups, sometimes with the same sophomoric humor applied to characters’ loopy names ... Still, this timely absurdist novel produces plenty of chills.
Dr. Wendy Suzuki
PositivePublishers WeeklySome of the coping mechanisms come across as simplistic—like finding a hobby or playing with pets—but the overall message shares research-backed methods to manage anxiety. While Suzuki primarily writes to readers without diagnosed clinical disorders, her techniques will be helpful to those trying to navigate low-level anxiety.
RavePublishers WeeklyThis radiant adult debut from Córdova (the Brooklyn Brujas YA series) follows the troubled Montoya family in the magical Midwestern town of Four Rivers ... The magic is vivid and yet familiar, and adds to the urgency of the plot. It adds up to an inspired and entertaining blend of magical realism and fantasy.
RavePublishers Weekly... an enthralling look at the impact of peaceful protest by sports figures at the high school, college, and professional levels ... With deeply moving firsthand accounts from players of all ages from across the country, Zirin underscores how Kaepernick’s ostracism has paralleled the treatment of others who have followed his lead ... he brings into focus the colossal influence athletes actually have in upending a historically oppressive institution. The result offers rousing evidence of the life-changing effects spurred by individual action.
PositiveKirkus... more in the way of vivid character sketches than anything driven by a governing thesis ... A thoughtful anecdotal study of protest in our time.
PositiveKirkus\"The author...writes charmingly and instructively about the many \'bonding stepmother-stepdaughter moments\' she has shared with her gender-nonconforming stepdaughter, and she shares an entertaining anecdote about inadvertently getting on Janet Jackson’s bad side ... As these essays ably show, Union is a dynamic role model for young Black women in all walks of life.
PositiveKirkusThe novel\'s comedy can be overbroad or scattershot, but Boyagoda keeps things moving quickly and imaginatively. He skewers hosts of sinners along the way, but the wit has a winsome empathy behind it. A rollicking, inventive, mostly successful satire—with a vein of seriousness and sadness underneath.
PanPublishers Weekly... playful if smug ... The thin plot gives Boyagoda a chance to indulge to the point of overload in crafting whimsical names and descriptions of theme park rides, and to paint a scathing portrait of an \'inland America\' populated by child abusers, opioid users, and clueless fundamentalist Christians who are trying to invent chastity pills. The satire may resonate with sympathetic readers, but the underdeveloped characters won’t. In the end, this is fluff with very little substance.
Kate Clifford Larson
RaveKirkusA civil rights activist from the Mississippi Delta earns a sympathetic, fully fleshed portrait ... Larson amply shows Hamer’s indomitable work ethic and strong sense of the injustices Blacks were forced to endure ... With diligent research featuring new sources, Larson brings her subject into a well-deserved spotlight. A social justice pioneer gets her due in this inspiring story of toil and spirit. A must-stock for libraries.
Kate Clifford Larson
PositivePublishers Weekly... moving and in-depth ... Larson details the backlash to the civil rights movement in Mississippi, including the withholding by county agents of federal commodities from Black families and nighttime attacks on Black homes, and in the book’s most harrowing chapter, she describes Hamer’s vicious beating by white police officers in 1963. Profiles of other women civil rights leaders, including Septima Clark and Ella Jo Baker, are interwoven throughout, and Larson sheds light on the conflicts within the movement, in particular the points of contention between middle-class leaders and grassroots organizers like Hamer. This comprehensive account gives a lesser-known activist her due.
RavePublishers Weekly... stunning ... McGregor portrays the tribulations of speech therapy with as much drama and depth as the depictions of men fighting for their lives on an Antarctic ice floe. Readers will be drawn into Robert and Anna’s heartbreaking struggle, all rendered in McGregor’s crystalline language. This gorgeous work leaves an indelible mark.
RaveKirkusThough its ending is only moderately successful (for some readers it may feel a bit too neat), this is nonetheless a quiet, beautiful novel that’s at once deeply sad and wryly funny. Lyrical and terse, funny and tragic—a marvelous addition to the McGregor canon.
RavePublishers Weekly... trenchant ... The book excels in portraying McCorvey ... Nuanced, fine-grained, and gripping, this is a masterful study of the human lives behind a landmark case.
RavePublishers Weekly[A] brisk, entertaining debut ... The plot moves fast and features well-wrought if expected worldbuilding details, including floating billboards, advanced drug and gene therapies, cybernetic rebuilds, obnoxious and über-wealthy CEOs, and ecological collapse. Readers won’t need to be baseball fans to enjoy this gripping ride.
PositiveKirkusIt’s a dizzying world but catnip for cyberpunk fans. How do you navigate a world in which everyone is altered? In this scenario, everyone and everything might be Chekhov’s gun. Everybody duck. A fun-to-read addition to the cyberpunk canon.
MixedPublishers WeeklyKhaw employs densely poetic prose to capture betrayal, rage, injury, and death, but is less invested in conjuring an image of the future, with abundant anachronisms and inconsistencies. For readers who don’t mind the fast-and-loose worldbuilding—and who can stomach a fair amount of body horror—the fury and lyricism make for an adventure that doubles as a cathartic scream.
RavePublishers Weekly[An] arresting debut ... Chakrabarti moves the reader seamlessly through the nonlinear narrative and brilliantly conveys Jaryk’s survivor’s guilt from WWII, which is doubled by the loss of Misha. This trenchant story will move readers.
MixedKirkusChakrabarti deftly explores the weight of history, a touching love story, and Jaryk’s heart-wrenching survivor’s guilt. Woven throughout is the play that teaches you not about life, but about dying ... The narrative struggles under the weight of its responsibility to these compelling themes and shortchanges a few, such as the Communist uprising, while Jaryk’s internal struggles and love for Lucy stretch on for too long. An impressive if occasionally labored debut.
RavePublishers WeeklyPart love letter, part indictment, this moving debut essay collection from Vadi captures the changing landscape of California ... deeply felt prose ... many of his references will land best for readers familiar with San Francisco and Los Angeles. But even those who have never stepped foot in California will recognize Vadi’s anguish and frustration in watching the place change. The provocative observations will please essay fans.
MixedKirkusAt a line level, the book is outstanding, filled with long, breathless sentences, innovative syntax, and precise diction. Vadi’s talent shines in his descriptions of characters like his beloved but abused father or when he is raging against economic and social injustices ... Unfortunately, these characters, whom the narrator has lovingly shaped, disappear for pages at a time, resulting in sections bogged down by detail and a lack of momentum. A stunningly written, unevenly paced series of essays about California.
RaveKirkusEven readers who predict the tale’s biggest twist before it arrives will still have the breath knocked out of them by the surprises that follow. And they’ll all cheer when fragile Lila finally gains the strength to stand up to the oppressors in her life and wrestle it back from them. A rousing legal thriller that’s also an acute study of female victimization and male privilege.
PositivePublishers WeeklyIn the end, readers may wish Gavin had proven to be a more formidable adversary than he turns out to be, but the plot provides satisfying twists and poses thought-provoking questions about gender. Eskens reliably entertains.
Antonio Michael Downing
RavePublishers Weekly... deeply moving ... lyrical ... Suffused with poetic prose that jumps off the page, this inspiring account sings.
Antonio Michael Downing
PositiveKirkus\"With its overly detailed reminiscences of boyhood and a storyline that delves into the many complex people, events, and situations that have comprised Downing’s life, the narrative suffers from pacing issues. However, the author compensates for these problems with an engaging narrative about the search for home, belonging, and identity ... Not without flaws, this book is nonetheless intriguing, passionate, and often moving.
PositivePublishers WeeklyAn epic and inventive saga that weaves together magic, mythology, and Portuguese colonial history ... The magical elements are difficult to get an initial purchase on, as they aren’t given much explanation, but Jones brings her established incisiveness and linguistic flair to the horrifyingly accurate portrayal of racial struggle. All in all, it’s a triumphant return.
RaveKirkusAn epic adventure of enchantment, enslavement, and the pursuit of knowledge in 17th-century Brazil ... As with the most ambitious and haunting of magical realist sagas, Jones’ novel recounts detail after detail with such fluidity that the reader is aware of time’s passage without knowing how many years have gone by ... There is also sheer wonder, insightful compassion, and droll wit to be found among the book’s riches. Jones seems to have come through a life as tumultuous as her heroine’s with her storytelling gifts not only intact, but enhanced and enriching. It is marvelous, in every sense, to have a new Gayl Jones novel to talk about.
PositivePublishers Weekly... fresh and often humorous ... The Dublin scenes don’t particularly stand out from myriad other campus novels, but the narrative acquires a burnishing glow once outside the confines of academe. When on the farm, this tale of two worlds vibrates on an otherworldly frequency.
PositiveKirkusAdlington poignantly delineates how closely clothing and dignity were linked, especially in the camps, where the women were denuded and deloused mercilessly. The author also clearly shows the sickening insouciance with which Nazi wives would plunder the camp warehouse, crammed with stolen clothes and possessions from the enslaved workers ... A fresh, moving Auschwitz survival story involving a remarkable group of women.
PositivePublishers WeeklyThe clothing workers’ experiences are vividly recreated through the author’s extensive research ... Even those who feel that they’ve read enough survivor accounts will find themselves surprised and affected.
PositivePublishers WeeklyIt’s a swashbuckling narrative, full of bold exploits against long odds, intrigues among rival conquistadors, and much brutality and bloodshed (though Cervantes contends that Bartolomé de las Casas’s contemporaneous and influential accounts of Spanish atrocities were exaggerated). Departing from the harshly condemnatory tone of modern treatments of the period, Cervantes highlights instead the Spaniards’ legal and religious self-justifications, the serious though inadequate attempts by the Spanish government to remedy abuses of conquered peoples, and the Spaniards’ success in creating a stable regime that accorded some security and autonomy to Indigenous communities. The result is an entertaining yet nuanced account of one of history’s most earth-shaking military adventures.
RaveKirkus... illuminating, significant ... The grandson and child of immigrants, the author is not a detached academic. He clearly demonstrates his emotional connection to the material: How extreme will xenophobia become, and \'who will stand to oppose it? \' ... A timely and thorough investigation of a cultural plague.
MixedPublishers Weekly... scattershot ... elegantly written, erudite, and often intriguing, but Makari’s concepts of otherness and alienation are so vast that he includes everything from Simone de Beauvoir’s take on sexism to Michel Foucault’s interpretation of madness as critiques of xenophobia. The result is a distended theory that clarifies little by explaining too much.
Farah Jasmine Griffin
RavePublishers Weekly... remarkable ... Throughout, Griffin writes with learned poignance ... Perfect for literature lovers, this survey and its moving insights will stick with readers well after the last page is turned.
Farah Jasmine Griffin
RaveKirkus... impassioned ... The power of reading provides the emotional engine driving this insightful, profound, and heartfelt book.
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] thoughtful debut ... While a somewhat pat ending feels unworthy of the novel’s provocative premise, Itami makes palpable Mizuki’s loneliness and her need to feel seen. Itami’s brave, frank portrayal of Japan’s societal expectations of women is worth a look.
RaveKirkus... expert ... An ingenious lesson in geopolitics.
MixedPublishers Weekly... informative if dry ... while Boccaletti covers a lot of ground, things never come together into a cohesive narrative. There’s loads of information on offer and plenty of intriguing history, but the meandering path doesn’t really lead anywhere.
PositivePublishers WeeklyFilled with memorable scenes and characters, this has plenty of pithy things to say about sex, love, and relationships. The result is as thought-provoking as it is entertaining.
MixedKirkusPassaro crafts a novel that’s very Manhattan in its particulars, with fine-grained descriptions of the World Trade Center and people lining up to buy the Village Voice to get a jump on apartment listings. But he’s also big-theme hunting, exploring the ways money shapes character, how sex binds or wrecks relationships, and how we endure and survive grief. (The mention of the twin towers on Page 1 all but sounds an airhorn to let us know that theme is surely coming.) Passaro writes exquisitely at every turn, narrating with an engaging worldly-wise tone. But the novel is also curiously centerless; its leads march through sexual abuse, breakups, bad jobs, and even 9/11 so implacably that the novel feels less about human beings than victims (or beneficiaries) of fickle fate. The novel’s epic sweep is ambitious, but the emotional intensity of the characters gets somewhat smothered amid it ... Passaro’s widescreen storytelling strives to cover everything, almost to a fault.
PositivePublishers WeeklyA middle path through America’s racial turmoil is mapped in these trenchant essays ... In a time of polarized racial politics, Kennedy’s closely reasoned and humanely argued takes offer an appealing alternative.
PositiveKirkusSometimes contrarian, sometimes controversial, Kennedy’s arguments merit consideration in a riven discourse.
PositivePublishers WeeklyAn earnest account of a Montana high school basketball team’s quest to repeat as state champions in 2018 ... Streep is in top form with the on-court action and insights into the discrimination faced by Native athletes, though he somewhat shortchanges the tribal history. Still, this is a rousing portrait of a long-shot team beating the odds.
PositiveKirkusAn action-packed yet reflective account of the quest for a high school basketball championship on and off a Montana Indian reservation ... Readers will applaud the boys’ accomplishments against the long odds while shaking their heads at the many institutional and social obstacles placed in their way, not least of them lack of support from higher education ... Excellent on-court set pieces ... A thoughtful call for social justice as much as a story of striving for athletic excellence.
RavePublishers Weekly[A] thrilling debut ... This well-written account is imbued with an aura of inevitable tragedy, and Shum’s searing indictment of \'a political system that mouthed Communist slogans while... officials gorged themselves at the trough of economic reforms\' is enthralling. Those interested in Xi Jinping’s China will be riveted.
RaveKirkusA deliberative, slow-building, suspenseful narrative that reveals numerous insights about the mechanics of power and greed ... Observers of contemporary Chinese affairs, consistently intriguing and murky territory, will find much to interest them here. A riveting look inside \'the roulette-like political environment of the New China.\'
Daniel Barban Levin
RavePublishers WeeklyChilling ... Writing in eloquent prose, he describes how such a thing can happen, and why ... It’s tragic, but it’s also a powerful portrayal of a young man’s ability to emerge whole from an experience intended to break him. As dark as it is, there’s real beauty in this story.
Daniel Barban Levin
PositiveKirkusUnsettling ... Levin vividly evokes the collegiate atmosphere of the early 2010s, focusing on the bizarre experiences he endured at Sarah Lawrence College ... Levin controls this unsavory tale by contrasting Ray’s bombast and deceptions with his own struggles with depression and identity alongside intense depictions of settings ranging from the bucolic campus to the group’s flashy Manhattan environs. He captures how intense adolescent friendships are vulnerable to manipulation. Sometimes the author’s exactitude becomes tiresome ... An unusual, affecting portrait of how post-adolescent power dynamics are susceptible to cultish abuse.
PositiveKirkus... an instructive history lesson ... Though some histories of the era treat slavery as an unfortunate footnote, Philbrick does not shy away from pointing out its evils. When he cuts back to the present, roads and accommodations improve, and he encounters monuments, museums, and local historians who describe details of Washington’s visit and, more often than not, disprove a popular myth. An agreeable historical travelogue.
PositivePublishers Weekly... [an] entertaining mix of history, travelogue, and memoir ... This poignant account strikes a hopeful chord.
RaveKirkusTracing the line between wildlife and the law, the acclaimed science writer examines how humans interact with the natural world ... Roach joyfully explores how human culture and wildlife, including plant life, have either found ways to coexist or are constantly at odds. Throughout, Roach highlights people who are genuinely passionate about the work, and she also includes suggestions for readers on how to deal ethically (and effectively) with their own wildlife issues, wherever they live. From the terrifying to the frustrating, a great starting point for understanding the animal world.
RavePublishers WeeklyBestseller Roach (Bonk) sheds light on nature’s malefactors in this often funny, always provocative survey of species ... Roach hopes that humans can come to embrace coexistence even with creatures seen as pests—as she does the rat living in her own home. Roach’s writing is wry, full of heart, and loaded with intriguing facts ... This eminently entertaining outing is another winner from Roach.
Wendy Guerra tr. Achy Obejas
PositiveKirkusWhat begins as one fictional Cuban woman’s examination of her personal life expands into a broader, deeper consideration of what it means to be Cuban, both for those who left since Castro took power and for those who stayed ... the similarities between author and character feel purposeful ... Guerra’s novel is a grand if bittersweet valentine to Cuba, and maybe her mother.
Wendy Guerra tr. Achy Obejas
PositivePublishers Weekly... revelatory ... Guerra switches from Nadia’s nonlinear account to Albis’s voice via letters describing her youth and close friendship with Celia. The former can be difficult to follow, but Guerra holds the reader’s attention by evoking Cuba’s political tempest in Havana’s humid, salty air. It adds up to an effectively moody, intimate story.
PositiveKirkusRauch spares neither right- nor left-leaning activists in his latest salvo in America’s information wars ... Even readers who disagree with his politics may be moved by his poignant argument from personal experience. A thoughtful, occasionally overreaching critique of \'emotional safetyism\' and other relevant trends.
PositiveKirkusRenkl vividly evokes the lush natural beauty of the rivers, old-growth forests ... As she shows, that land is in peril ... Nevertheless, Renkl finds hope for change ... A wide-ranging look at the realities of the South.
Laurent Bienet tr. Sam Taylor
PositivePublishers Weekly... daring and often delightful ... Though some parts are less successful than others, this ingeniously configures a new framework of colonialism, with Mexico dominating the new world. Binet delights with his imaginative powers.
RaveKirkusIn 15 thoughtful and impassioned essays, prizewinning Jamaican novelist, poet, and essayist Miller reflects on race, gender, family, language, and, most pointedly, the body ... Many of these powerful appraisals of the body come in the form of letters to James Baldwin and Kenyan writer Binyaranga Wainaina, but Miller also offers musings on his family’s secrets, portrayals of homeless gay and transgender boys, and questions of literary appropriation. A spirited collection from a significant voice of both fiction and nonfiction.
RavePublishers Weekly[An] entrancing collection ... he vividly depicts the ways colonialism, racism, homophobia, and privilege have shaped his life ... Miller brings into devastating clarity the dangers confronting Black people in visualizing the final moments of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd. Sharp as blades, Miller’s words cut to the core.
Pablo Neruda trans. by Hardie St. Martin and Adrian Nathan West
RaveKirkusThe fresh material is skillfully woven into the original memoir, which Neruda called his \'journey around myself,\' with evocations of his family and childhood, global travels, friends and foes, carnal desires, aspirations and achievements as a poet, and celebration of the natural world ... Overall, the selections round out Neruda’s image as a poet ... Emendations that contribute to a nuanced portrait of a complex man.
RavePublishers Weekly[A] provocative and lyrical debut ... This is a stunning achievement of compressed narrative and fearless articulation.
RaveKirkus[A] brilliant debut ... A slim, swiftly moving novel ... In just over a hundred pages, Brown tackles not only race, but class, wealth, and gender disparities, the lingering effects of colonialism, and the limits of language ... This is Brown’s first novel, and it has all the jagged clarity of a shard of broken glass. A piercing meditation on identity and race in contemporary Britain.
PositivePublishers WeeklyAn earnest, gossip-fueled history of the Miss America pageant ... Pageant fans will appreciate this good-natured portrait of an American institution that’s seen its fair share of criticism.
RavePublishers WeeklyA heartwarming and witty account of how [Shafrir] figured it out...on her own terms ... While Shafrir’s droll sarcasm is perfectly calibrated, it’s her vulnerability and writing about more difficult experiences—such as her struggle with infertility—that will keep readers rapt. This coming-of-age story raises the bar.
MixedKirkusReading through the first part of Shafrir’s memoir, it seems like she may have buried the lede. However, after motoring pleasantly along through the early chapters, it becomes apparent that it just wasn\'t very attention-getting ... The author\'s engaging writing style and persona can\'t quite make up for the ho-hum material.
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] disturbing and deeply reported account ... Packing a wealth of information into a crisp narrative, this is an impassioned and well-informed exposé.
RaveKirkusA scarifying dive into China’s pernicious spy state ... A prescient, alarming work on the overreach of technology and state power.
PositiveKirkusAn epistolary grab bag of memories, lyrics, jokes, and homespun philosophy from the legendary musician ... If you’ve never read a book by or about Nelson, this one—characteristically conversational, inspirational, wise, funny, and meandering—is a good place to start ... Many of the personal stories about family and friends can be found in Me and Sister Bobbie, but they are good stories from a rich life, one of abundance for which Nelson remains profoundly grateful ... Another amiable book that is just what you’d expect from Willie.
Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta
PositiveKirkus[Abutaleb and Paletta] offer a thoroughly damning picture of America’s response to the pandemic ... A well-informed accounting of the nation under siege.
RavePublishers WeeklyWhittall delivers a clear-eyed portrait of maternal ambivalence in her impressive latest ... Whittall is excellent at writing the small, intimate details and sharp dialogue, as well as the mostly propulsive plot, while making no bones about opinions on gender inequities. Whittall is a great storyteller, and her latest does not disappoint.
PositiveKirkusAs the book toggles among the first-person perspectives of the three women, the narrative voice deftly changes to reflect each woman’s distinct personality. In a narrative that is gritty, raw, and unapologetic, the author builds strong female protagonists who seem largely unconcerned with how others expect them to behave ... The author plays with time, weaving past and present in a way that sometimes works beautifully but at other times creates confusion. Even so, the characters and their unabashed determination to live life on their own terms are sufficiently compelling to keep readers turning the page. An entertaining story that is equal parts family saga and cultural indictment.
T. C. Boyle
MixedPublishers WeeklyDiverting ... Chapters from Sam’s perspective make him a captivating creation, but fans of Boyle will recognize a bit of retread from his previous novels and stories. It’s a fun ride, but it doesn’t exactly break new ground.
T. C. Boyle
MixedKirkusFarce meets tragedy and science meets show business in this romantic triangle ... There’s an antic energy to Boyle\'s latest which comes at the expense of character development ... As the characters in this novel respond to animal urges and instincts, Sam emerges as the most complex ... This can’t end well, and it doesn’t, as a comedy of manners takes a darker turn.
RavePublishers WeeklyNorton delicately covers themes of abandonment, death, and loss with sophistication and thoughtful empathy ... This gripping and compassionate outing is Norton’s best yet.
PositiveHarlequin JunkieIf you are looking for a super fun read that ticks the super hot guy boxes, then The Layover is definitely a great summer RomCom choice for you ... Overall, the simple plot, predictable action kernels and romance played well together and the happily ever after, whilst expected, was entirely enjoyable to the very end. And for those who love to dream of a balmy Central American getaway, I suggest you pack your bags and get on board with this one, as the easy summer vibe and location was a huge bonus to the sweet romance that unfolds.
PositivePublishers WeeklyWaldon debuts with a breezy enemies-to-lovers romp with just enough heart to keep it grounded ... Though the conclusion’s slightly rushed, the couple’s sparkling chemistry and flirtatious fighting make this sing. Readers craving an armchair getaway need look no further.
RaveKirkusAn astute, provocative contribution to information science and futurology.
RavePublishers WeeklyScharf’s provocative thesis is sure to shake things up for readers with an interest in humans’ relationship to data.
RavePublishers WeeklyDeisseroth, professor of psychiatry at Stanford University, melds the personal with the clinical in his masterful debut on how the human mind works and what can be learned when it goes awry ... Writing with abundant empathy, Deisseroth brings his patients’ struggles to life as he educates about both neuroscience and humanity. This is a must-read.
RaveKirkusThe cold fury and in-your-face phrasing of the title of acclaimed novelist Horn\'s essay collection sets the tone for this brilliantly readable yet purposefully disturbing book ... Readers will be enthralled throughout by the fierce logic of Horn\'s arguments, novelty of research, black humor, and sharp phrasing ... A riveting, radical, essential revision of the stories we all know—and some we don\'t.
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] searing essay collection ... Enlivened by Horn’s sharp sense of humor and fluid prose, this penetrating account will provoke soul-searching by Jews and non-Jews alike.
MixedPublishers Weekly... [an] evocative if slippery debut ... The fragmented chronology and shaggy subplots involving, for instance, Damla’s teenage sexual relationships, don’t really cohere, though the musical bursts of Turkish and blocks of poetry...impress. Still, in the end it’s all a bit too oblique.
RavePublishers WeeklyStefánsson...delivers a delightfully dishy look at a small Icelandic village in the 1990s ... There’s no overarching narrative, but it adds up to an immersive and funny portrait of a community whose members squabble and celebrate in equal measure. Readers will be hooked by the mishmash of neighborhood gossip.
RavePublishers Weekly... [an] exquisite piece of historical fiction ... Feldman does a good job tracking [Millie\'s] education of the gray area ... This will stay with readers long after the final page is turned.
MixedKirkusFeldman’s writing is mostly workmanlike, though her description of the shattered Berlin—a \'bombed out Wild West\'—is striking. The last section of the book disappoints. It turns out that Maj. Harry Sutton—Millie’s boss and love interest—has been harboring a secret too much like Millie’s. Millie also falls and bloodies herself—literally—once too often, with Harry always rescuing her. In general, loose ends get tied up too neatly. An often thoughtful and affecting page-turner, some clumsy plotting aside.
PositivePublishers WeeklyChun’s tender and skillful debut collection explores the power and shortcomings of language for a series of Chinese women in the U.S. and China over the past three centuries ... While some stories feel like exercises, serving mainly to provide connective tissue for the overarching theme, Chun consistently reveals via bold and spare prose how characters grasp onto language as a means of belonging. Not every entry is a winner, but the best of the bunch show a great deal of promise.
PositiveKirkusAncestral experiences echo throughout the dozen stories as Ye’s protagonists battle cyclical repressions and common losses ... all of these sensitive tales amplify voices that have often been silenced. These battles are fought with pens, stick figures, tender drawings on a child’s back; silent screams are in the background.
RavePublishers Weekly... a fascinating survey of recent discoveries in evolution ... Panciroli’s passion for her subject is palpable ... it provides a framework for understanding \'how life has responded to extinction events in the past, and most crucially, how it has recovered,\' which is especially relevant in the face of climate change. Her eye-opening study offers just the right level of detail and plenty of wit. This impressive study hits the mark.
PositiveBooklistPfeifer recounts the horrific day as he narrowly escapes the collapse of the North Tower. The terror and confusion is palpable as he writes of making it back to the station and attempting to account for his brethren. Noteworthy for its straightforwardness, Pfeifer’s memoir is painful, yet powerful.
PositiveKirkusA heartfelt, affecting book that sheds new light on one of the darkest moments in recent history.
Edward Glaeser and David Cutler
PositivePublishers Weekly... ambitious and timely ... Though the authors’ tendency to make sweeping generalizations about the role cities have historically played in turning \'poor children into richer adults\' grates, their central arguments are sound. This is a valuable resource on how to make America’s cities better.
Edward Glaeser and David Cutler
PositiveKirkusA sweeping investigation of threats to urban life ... A thoughtful and useful consideration of the fate of cities in the age of Covid-19.
PositivePublishers WeeklyLessons in cosmology and astrophysics abound in this enthusiastic primer ... With each chapter running a few pages long, readers can dip in and out for a quick moment of enlightenment. Accessible writing and a breezy appreciation for discovery make this a great introduction for readers new to physics.
MixedThe Economist (UK)At its best, Wildland has an appealing shaggy-dog quality, as Mr Osnos listens to people tell stories of their lives in the two decades since the cataclysm. But as chapter after chapter derides typical liberal bogeymen—guns, money in politics, fossil fuels—it becomes predictable ... oracular, more-in-sorrow-than-anger pronouncements about the country’s fall from grace say more about Mr Osnos’s views and perspective than about America’s trajectory in the 21st century ... lamenting that things would be great if only they went back to how they were before, when citizens cared for each other, is a form of misty-eyed left-wing Trumpism. Those who already agree with Mr Osnos will find confirmation for their beliefs in his book. But, character sketches aside, it will tell most readers very little that they did not already know.
PositiveKirkus... stellar reporting that blends a high-altitude view of national changes with close-ups of private citizens in three places he’s lived in the U.S. Osnos is at his best in his superb portrait of Greenwich, Connecticut, where he grew up ... Osnos is slightly less insightful about Chicago, where Black residents have felt stung by the gap between their Obama-era hopes and the persistence of bigotry, and West Virginia, where predatory tactics by so-called vulture investors and others have robbed mineworkers of precious benefits. Other recent books have dealt more astutely with some of his subjects...but as an overview of a fractious ideological landscape, this skillful treatment is hard to beat. An elegant survey of the causes and effects of polarization in America.
RavePublishers WeeklyOsnos vividly sketches hedge-fund managers, ex-cons, Barack Obama, and white nationalist Richard Spencer, among others, and encapsulates worldviews in elegant, pithy prose ... The result is an engrossing and revealing look at how deeply connected yet far apart Americans are.
RavePublishers WeeklyAs evidenced by the Samuel Beckett-inspired title, Sorrentino’s artistic influences run heady—many of them inherited from his father, the novelist Gilbert Sorrentino—and while the pagelong paragraphs can occasionally feel exhausting, they’re redeemed by the engrossing world he builds in lucid detail. Even at its darkest, this rich narrative shines.
PositiveKirkus... an unvarnished portrait of a family characterized by \'recrimination, sadness, jealousy, grief, despair\' ... Neither parent emerges as sympathetic in a well-written memoir that betrays enduring resentment. A sharp, sad tale of bitterness and regret.
RavePublishers WeeklyNail-biting ... Doiron builds tension by alternating between his lead’s battle to survive and the inquiry into Chamberlain’s death, which he effectively doles out in small segments. This entry stands as the best yet in a superior series.
PositiveKirkusA tour de force whose detective chapters pale beside its escape-from-certain-death chapters.
PositivePublishers Weekly... amusingly mischievous ... Isa’s keen perception lifts this comedy of manners above the surface she and Gala attempt to glide on for the summer’s duration ... This perfectly sums up a new age of innocence.
RaveKirkus... [a] glamorous, intelligent debut novel ... The book, Isa\'s putative diary, is chock-full of aperçus ... Like the many cocktails sipped by our discerning narrator: effervescent, tart, and intoxicating.
Zülfü Livaneli, tr. Brendan Freely
PositivePublishers WeeklyA keenly wrought story ... hough the translation often feels prosaic, the story’s urgency comes through in its tight grasp on the problems of religious violence, misogyny, and the failures of compassion. The result is a memorable illumination of the Ezidi people’s rich history.
Zülfü Livaneli, tr. Brendan Freely
RaveKirkusA somber, pensive novel, by one of Turkey’s greatest modern writers ... Livaneli’s slender narrative contains multitudes ... A brief but intensely emotional, memorable story that spans centuries and continents.
RavePublishers Weekly... [a] beautiful and meditative memoir ... Abbs took a deep dive into her own psyche, coming to terms with her unusual upbringing in the Welsh countryside and her identity, which she contemplates in lyrical prose ... This lush narrative serves as the perfect excuse to get moving.
Theodore R Johnson
PositivePublishers Weekly... passionate and persuasive ... Heartfelt and vividly written, this is a salient call for America to finally live up to its promise.
Theodore R Johnson
PositiveKirkusAn impassioned denunciation of structural racism that invites a search for lasting answers.
PositiveKirkusTrenchant observations from an influential journalist.
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] frank critique of America’s social and political culture ... Readers across the political spectrum will find themselves under fire. Fans of Sullivan’s work are sure to enjoy having his intellectual curiosity and impassioned prose collected in one place.
Sandra Cisneros tr. Liliana Valenzuela
RaveKirkusTightly written, unfolding in a controlled spool of memory, the story is told in a combination of correspondence and narrative vignettes; its length is closer to that of a long short story but it works as a stand-alone volume, especially as it\'s paired with its Spanish version ... A tale both beautiful and brief.
Sandra Cisneros tr. Liliana Valenzuela
PositivePublishers Weekly... exquisite ... Cisneros’s language and rhythm of her prose reverberate with Corina’s longing for her youth and unfulfilled promise. The author’s fans will treasure this.
RavePublishers Weekly[An] amiable and informed take on Shakespeare’s everlasting impact in this fascinating account ... He also makes entertaining connections between Shakespeare and contemporary pop culture ... Full of close readings and enlightening observations, this is a poignant immersion ... Readers looking for an unpretentious introduction to the Bard should check this out.
PositiveKirkusAn affectionate, personal homage to the Bard ... At the heart of his book—a mix of biography, literary history, and memoir—is a profound pondering: \'How was it…that he became, and still becomes, ‘\"Shakespearean’\"?\' Writing in lively, conversational prose, McCrum sets off to find an answer ... McCrum’s enthusiastic paean is a warm, welcoming place for Shakespeare novices and veterans alike.
RavePublishers Weekly... a powerful, unfiltered look at life growing up in Jim Crow Georgia ... Despite his incredible hardships, Rembert highlights the beauty he encountered, such as the kindness of strangers and his wife, Patsy, who encouraged him to \'turn my stories into art.\' This is a stunning portrait of hope in the face of evil, barbarity, and racism.
RaveKirkus... thoughtful and honest, and Patsy\'s chapter, told in her own words, is also frank and compelling. Readers should note that the N-word appears more than 70 times in the text, which is deliberate ... An ultimately uplifting journey from the ugliness of virulent racism to the beauty of art.
Qian Julie Wang
RavePublishers Weekly... extraordinary ... With immense skill, [Wang] parses how her family’s illegal status blighted nearly every aspect of their life, from pushing her parents’ marriage to the brink to compromising their health. While Wang’s story of pursuing the American dream is undoubtedly timeless, it’s her family’s triumph in the face of \'xenophobia and intolerance\' that makes it feel especially relevant today. Consider this remarkable memoir a new classic.
Qian Julie Wang
RaveKirkusEngaging readers through all five senses and the heart, Wang\'s debut memoir is a critical addition to the literature on immigration as well as the timeless category of childhood memoir. As saturated in cultural specificity as classics like Angela\'s Ashes and Persepolis, the narrative conveys the unique flavor and underlying beliefs of the author\'s Chinese heritage—and how they played out as both gifts and obstacles in the chaotic, dirty maelstrom of poverty ... A potent testament to the love, curiosity, grit, and hope of a courageous and resourceful immigrant child.
RavePublishers Weekly... mesmerizing ... With a novelistic eye for detail and a disarming sense of humor, Mills illuminates her extraordinary past while evoking the lost empire of mid-20th-century Hollywood ... a luminous work commensurate with the unforgettable movies that made Mills an icon.
RaveKirkusA fluid, consistently informative history of the long, inextricable link between Cuba and the U.S., well rendered by a veteran Cuban American historian ... Ferrer is an endlessly knowledgeable guide, and she is evenhanded in describing Fidel Castro’s revolution and the fervid nationalism and periods of economic hardship after the American embargo. She is especially good in delineating how a distinct Cuban identity was forged over the centuries ... A wonderfully nuanced history of the island nation and its often troubled dealings with its gigantic and voracious neighbor.
PositiveThe Economist (UK)The idea of putting the United States at the centre of Cuba’s history is not surprising. But Ms Ferrer reveals a relationship that is deeper and more troubled than it may appear to readers who remember the Maine, an American battleship that blew up in Havana harbour in 1898, triggering the Spanish-American war. Her book is timely, too. This summer the biggest protests in decades confronted Cuba’s repressive (and anti-American) regime. Ms Ferrer invites readers to consider the context in which the country’s next change of regime could happen ... her book is about these lesser-known fighters for independence and equality. Her tales are revealing and moving ... readers will close Ms Ferrer’s fascinating book with a sense of hope. The cold war is over. The yearning of many Cubans for political and economic freedom is one that any American government can endorse. If they finally achieve it, Cuba’s overbearing neighbour might at last prove a friend to the island’s progress.
RaveKirkus... full of telling details about life before, during, and after the Holocaust. While the central events are harrowing, the text has a gratifying ending. A gripping story of one family’s courage and resourcefulness under life-threatening conditions.
PositivePublishers Weekly... gut-wrenching yet inspirational ... Amid the grim details, including adults suffocating infants in order to prevent their cries from revealing hiding spots, Frankel weaves in moments of remarkable resilience and good fortune ... Readers will be on the edge of their seats.
Robert Olen Butler
PositivePublishers Weekly... moving ... The God character at first seems a superfluous narrative artifice, but Butler mines the device for an elegant pair of revelations about Colleen and Ryan. Readers with the patience for an old man’s stubbornness will appreciate the redemption herein.
Robert Olen Butler
PositiveKirkusThe novel’s conceit—Sam’s extreme age and debates with God during his long night of the soul—fits somewhat awkwardly over the more domestic details, and Butler telegraphs plot turns that make the story feel predictable. But the novel is affecting as Sam’s private reckoning with what Colleen calls his \' ‘be a man’ crusade,\' recalling the better work of the late Ward Just, who wrote similar novels about fathers, sons, and (often misguided) senses of duty ... Sage historical fiction that gets into the emotional grit behind major news events.
PositivePublishers WeeklyA comprehensive history of an unprecedented year, Tooze’s account describes how the pandemic played out politically across the globe, the interplay between climate change and the pandemic, and the myriad effects of the world economy nearly shutting down in a brief period that, as Tooze puts it, made \'History with a capital ‘H.’\' Readers will find this deeply informed parsing of the pandemic to be illuminating and thought-provoking.
MixedPublishers Weekly[A] wide-ranging if superficial appeal for humans to reconsider the ethics of their relationships with other species ... [Marris] fails to go deep in her advice, and some solutions seem unlikely ... Readers hoping for a more grounded discussion of environmental issues should look elsewhere.
A. J. Pearce
PositivePublishers Weekly[An] enjoyable second installment to The Emmy Lake Chronicles ... Pearce packs in lighthearted banter and depictions of the good-spirited citizens of London working together to survive the war, returning readers to the delightful milieu of the previous book. With big stakes and formidable opponents, this exciting saga is a fruitful exploration of the solidarity among women in times of grief, love, and hardship.
PositivePublishers WeeklyMezrich brings his characteristic cinematic flair to this breathless account ... A number of characters come to life ... It’s this angle, of new investors willing to lose their investments so long as they brought down the wealthy and powerful with them, that formulates the most page-turning part of the tale. Mezrich’s is a lively, thrilling, and comprehensive account.
PositiveKirkus... prose that harkens to the new journalism of old ... Mezrich’s story is a tangle, necessarily, since the author has to sort out many threads ... In the hands of Michael Lewis, the narrative might have been neater, and Mezrich lets a few key terms go by without adequate explication—for example, readers new to the notion of order flow trading may get lost. The takeaway, though, is that life is short and Wall Street complicated. In that world, the winners are few and the losers, legion ... A touch long and wobbly but just the thing for alt-finance geeks with background in trading language and practice.
PositivePublishers Weekly[An] affecting debut novel ... Swamy writes with keen perception ... Swamy confidently evokes the time and place with spare, precise prose. This writer continues to demonstrate an impressive command of her craft.
RaveKirkusSwamy’s prose is incantatory and often lovely, swirling in dancelike rhythms that sweep the story along. She builds a complex character in Vidya, whose urge toward autonomy brings results that range from ecstatic to tragic. A young woman seeks freedom through art in a mesmerizing coming-of-age story.
RavePublishers Weekly... immersive and often heartbreaking ... Turner sets the trio’s personal tragedies and triumphs against the backdrop of a post–civil rights era landscape that saw dreams of racial equality dashed. She vividly describes the community’s deteriorating conditions, including crowded schools, escalating drug and gang violence, and crumbling buildings, as well as more intimate matters, including her discovery of her journalistic vocation, Kim’s teenage pregnancy and descent into alcoholism, and Debra’s path into drug use, which resulted in her incarceration for murder. Throughout, Turner’s grandmother, mother, and aunt exhibit the resilience and strength of many Black women, a theme that takes its most affecting form in Debra’s rehabilitation. By turns beautiful, tragic, and inspiring, this is a powerful testament to the bonds of sisterhood and the importance of understanding the conditions that shape a person’s life choices.
PositiveKirkusDrawing on hundreds of hours of interviews, Turner reconstructs decades-old scenes and verbatim dialogue that build on stories she first told in the Tribune and on NPR. The high point of her narrative comes in an extended account of Debra’s successful reconciliation meeting in prison with relatives of the man she killed. Some of the potential impact of the book leaches away in repetitive or overwritten accounts of the author’s conversations with sources, which often include needless details or pleasantries such as, \'Thank you for making time for me.\' Nonetheless, this book offers hope to anyone who wonders whether, after a terrible crime, attempts at reconciliation are worth it. Turner doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulties, but she leaves no doubt that—when the process works—the gains are vast ... A sensitive tale of tragedy and redemption against formidable odds.
PositiveKirkusThe author locates some of origins of the comparatively sanitized wars of the present in abolitionist and pacifist movements of the 19th century, although more interesting are the seeming contradictions he identifies in writers such as Carl von Clausewitz ... Humane war may seem an oxymoron, but Moyn’s book will be of interest to war fighters and peacemakers alike.
MixedPublishers Weekly... provocative ... Unfortunately, [Moyn] doesn’t fully wrestle with the differences between wars of aggression and those of self-defense, which somewhat undermines his case. The result is a stimulating yet inconclusive rethink of what it means to regulate war.
RaveKirkus\"It says a lot that, at almost 600 pages, Franzen’s latest novel, set amid the waning years of the Vietnam War, leaves you wanting more ... Franzen’s intensely absorbing novel is amusing, excruciating, and at times unexpectedly uplifting—in a word, exquisite.\
PositivePublishers Weekly... evocative ... Vivid prose and Shackle’s skillful balancing of the personal and the political make this a worthy introduction to a complex metropolis.
PositiveKirkus... affecting portraits ... In addition to the eye-opening personal stories, Shackle weaves in Pakistani history, including the rise of the Taliban and the dizzying array of political parties, riots, natural disasters, and sectarian violence that have plagued the city for more than a decade ... Moving tales of ordinary people navigating an unimaginable degree of violence and strife.
PositiveKirkusWhile sticklers may take issue with plot choices that stray from the famous source materials, Heywood certainly achieves the feat of giving rich interiority to women who are often treated as little more than symbols. Feminist mythmaking.
David a Price
PositivePublishers WeeklyA solid history ... Price briskly relates the technical aspects of the story and includes plenty of gossip and droll anecdotes, noting, for instance, that the Germans refused to believe the British had broken the Enigma codes because they were so bad at encrypting their own messages. Much of this will be familiar to WWII history buffs, but those looking for an entertaining introduction to Bletchley Park and the era’s technological innovations would do well to start here.
David a Price
RaveKirkus[A] fresh account ... A page-turning study ... Price...tells a terrific story. An entertaining history of brilliant minds at work against the Nazi behemoth.
PositiveKirkusFans of the circuses of old, as well as students of popular culture, will enjoy this look back.
RavePublishers WeeklyHistorian Standiford (Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, and the Rise of America’s Xanadu) delivers a zippy history of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus ... Standiford packs the account with colorful circus lore, and ably sketches contemporaneous developments, such as the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Readers will relish this entertaining portrait of a bygone American institution.
MixedPublishers Weekly... suspenseful but largely unbelievable ... Assured pacing and the knockout punch of a surprise ending help compensate for unconvincing characters and plot clichés. Larsen’s storytelling potential suggests she’ll do better next time.
Brenda Lozano, trans. by Annie McDermott
RaveKirkusThe deceptively simple structure—intimate, charming, informal—allows for a great range of ideas and observations that loop and recur ... With a light, playful touch, Lozano richly layers scenes and details, connecting ideas and weaving her story like Penelope at her loom. An intimate book that starts small and expands steadily outward, with a cumulative effect both moving and hopeful.
Brenda Lozano, trans. by Annie McDermott
RavePublishers WeeklyLozano’s playful prose and imagery propel the book forward, despite its loose shape and lack of plot. It adds up to a delightful meditation on waiting, love, and the inevitability of change.
PositiveKirkus[T]he author skillfully examines a case full of cloak-and-dagger intrigue: passwords, death threats, secret codes, clandestine meetings in wooded areas after dark, and well-maintained suspense about whether the White Knights would discover the spy in their midst ... A true-crime tale that offers a rare insider’s perspective on the KKK in its heyday in Mississippi.
RaveKirkusAn entertaining and thoughtful book about a remarkable life that consistently embraced transformation.
Marina Jarre, tr. Ann Goldstein
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] kaleidescopic memoir ... While the fragmented structure requires close reading, Goldstein’s analysis of Jarre’s method, as provided in a translator’s note...will help readers appreciate her lyrical prowess. Those willing to embrace nonlinear storytelling will be taken with Jarre’s haunting prose.
Marina Jarre, tr. Ann Goldstein
PositiveKirkusThis book is more concerned with time and perspective than narrative storytelling, though Jarre is...like Ferrante in her lack of nostalgia and unflinching focus on the difficulties of relationships. Connoisseurs of literary memoir will enjoy Jarre\'s precise way of capturing emotional experiences.
RavePublishers Weekly[An] outstanding debut novel ... Nicieza delivers a wildly entertaining blend of high-octane snark and brass-knuckle social commentary ... Mystery fans looking for something different won’t want to miss this quirky crime novel.
RaveKirkusSatire is hard to establish and even harder to maintain, but Nicieza flawlessly critiques the pervasiveness of suburban racism, the challenge of stay-at-home motherhood, the toxic culture of White masculinity, and the self-aggrandizing role of the media, and he does it with a pair of completely flawed yet appealing characters and a diverse cast of voices. Delightfully irreverent and so very entertaining.
MixedKirkus\"Sedgwick’s narrative meanders in his discussion of Palmer’s extensive legal and financial maneuvers to protect his Rio Grande route to Leadville ... Sedgwick emphasizes the financial over the dramatic; readers may wish for more about the building of the railways: the day-to-day laying of track, the workers\' experiences, how they overcame geographical challenges, etc. Sturdy popular history, but numerous sidetracks covering business and money slow the race west.
PositivePublishers Weekly... a dense yet colorful history ... Sedgwick chronicles their race to lay claim to routes between Colorado and southern California in scrupulous detail ... Though generalists may have a tough time keeping track of all the technical details, railroad buffs will be riveted.
PositivePublishers Weekly... [a] quirky, chaotic debut ... While these slice-of-trans-life sequences are refreshing and honest, their myopic focus on Penfield undercuts the larger theme of queer interconnectedness. Nevertheless, Pen’s fairy tale ending hits the spot. Despite some disjointed plotting and frequent clumsiness around race, this coming-of-age journey through the surreality of gender will please readers seeking speculative queer fiction.
PositiveKirkusThe journey is akin to a queer millennial version of The Alchemist, complete with proverbs and personal growth. Pen’s raw reflections on his insecurities as a trans man...provide a realness to this dreamlike, allegorical narrative. The attempts to orient the story in the future, from subway cars that glow with Bio-meter readings to vague mentions of climate-related natural disasters, only serve to distract from a more powerful reality: For underrepresented communities, the everyday experience can be alien enough. This is a modern allegory with a unique voice—searching, questioning, vulnerable, witty.
Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys
RaveLakota TimesKathern Todrys really lays it on the line ... she doesn’t mince words. From the first page I was sorry I couldn’t read fast enough and it was hard to put it down as well. But I did because it’s hard to read and write through tears. As an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux this really hit me where it hurts ... I highly recommend this book.
Katherine Wiltenburg Todrys
PositiveKirkus... searching ... wide-ranging ... An important work of environmental and legal reportage on a contest that will likely continue for years.
RavePublishers WeeklyBly renders her characters in pliant and incisive prose; the sex scenes are sexy and the portrait of a woman embarking on the romance of her life while running on borrowed time feels authentic and poignantly drawn, and never mawkish. The nascent relationship between Lizzie and Etta, meanwhile, is especially moving. Bly handles a delicate subject with aplomb.
MixedKirkusBly makes an interesting narrative choice, telling the story from the points of view of Lizzie and Etta, Dante’s daughter. Etta is knowledgeable enough about literature to banter with Lizzie about Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha and gender roles in Shakespeare\'s plays, but she\'s still a child, and her perspective confines the reader’s experience of the book. An emotional journey that\'s stunted by the way it\'s told.
PositivePublishers Weekly\"Adaptations of beloved children’s books are difficult to pull off, but Starler’s debut—a romantic, modern-day riff on Anne of Green Gables—brings impressive heart and sensuality to a classic ... Starler manages to capture the original’s wholesomeness while adding a contemporary sexy edge. Unfortunately, the focus on the slow-burning relationship comes at the expense of other important characters—including menacing Dr. Lintford and Anne’s best friend, Diana Barry, whose plotlines are glossed over. Still, this is a sweet update to a classic story with an Anne Shirley fans will recognize and a Gilbert Blythe as dreamy as ever.
PositiveKirkusAn appropriately chilly and brainy history of the pioneering German electronic group ... What the book lacks in personal insight, though, it makes up for with the author’s well-researched understanding of the thinking behind their music ... A more intimate and thorough band biography would be welcome, but intimacy was never Kraftwerk’s long suit. A well-turned introduction to a band whose sleek surfaces belied complicated ideas.
Choi Eunyoung, Tr. Sung Ryu
RavePublishers Weekly... enaging ... Eunyoung’s lyrical prose and complex characters will captivate readers.
RaveHarlequin Junkie... a second chance romance laced with humor, miscommunication, and a carful of quirky Brits with some seriously bad luck. Beth O’Leary laid on the charm and the feels in this standalone novel ... There were a lot of layers to the story, with each character–not just Addie and Dylan–all making mistakes and dealing with their own situation. I’ll admit to wanting to yell at, well, just about each and every one of them at some point. (lol) But overall I laughed and shook my head more at their antics than anything. Addie’s sister Deb was an absolute hoot ... If you’re looking for the perfect beach read, look no further than Beth O’Leary’s latest madcap adventure.
RavePublishers Weekly... delightful ... O’Leary expertly balances humor and heart while introducing a zany cast of 20-somethings. Though some readers may balk at the grammar...the breezy, conversational tone fits the novel’s mood. Readers won’t want this crazy road trip to end.
PositivePublishers Weekly... sharp ... While some of the developments come across as implausible, Cooley has a sure hand in probing the intersection of artistic ambition and money. This hopeful take is sure to move readers.
Robert J. Harris
PositivePublishers WeeklyBesides providing the duo with a worthy challenge, Harris makes his Watson an intelligent and competent sidekick. Both the strong characterization and plot bode well for a sequel.
Orville Vernon Burton
RavePublishers Weekly... a comprehensive survey of the Supreme Court’s role in the battle for racial equality. Analyzing more than 200 rulings, the authors make clear that the court has more often been an impediment to progress than an ally of it ... Burton and Derfner offer copious evidence that justices have been influenced by the politics of their respective eras, and, in some cases...have ignored a statute’s wording in order to rollback minority rights. This meticulous deep dive into the court’s mixed record on civil rights is a must-read for legal scholars.
PositivePublishers Weekly... ambitious ... Embedded in a narrative frame about civilizational expansion and collapse, Rosenbaum’s story offers a complex meditation on fame, taboo, gender, and social control. Dense, inventive worldbuilding coupled with the use of neopronouns will present some readers with a steep learning curve, but it’s tempered by the competent plotting and deeply human emotional core. Readers of secondary-world science fiction and science fantasy will find this to be as mind-bending as it is satisfying.
PositiveKirkusBacevich covers all of these issues with an admirable amount of context for such a relatively short work ... Broad in its scope yet concise, this is an important nonconformist interpretation of American history.
PositivePublishers Weekly... excoriating ... Bacevich has covered much of this ground before, and the connections to Covid-19 sometimes seem tenuous, but his arguments are well-informed and stoked by a sense of moral outrage (his son was killed in Iraq in 2007). Readers will agree that U.S. foreign policy needs a massive rethink.
PositivePublishers WeeklyDefoe brings a light touch to this unique collection ... Defoe’s humor doesn’t always fit the material, ut on balance the author’s superior talent for vivid similes and punchy writing do justice to the tales of megalomaniacs and fools.
MixedKirkusAlthough Defoe offers a clever perspective, the satirical tone occasionally misses the mark ... The author’s irreverent, often biting style captures numerous unsettling elements of world history ... A droll, tongue-in-cheek view of history best taken in small doses and with a grain of salt.
Costica Bradatan and Ed Simon
RavePublishers Weekly... 26 superior recent essays ... The featured writers don’t shy away from personalizing thoughts, asking questions about faith and meaning in the context of current events, or displaying \'the full ambiguity and ambivalence of belief\' ... The high quality of the selections suggests that an annual volume would be welcome.
PositivePublishers Weekly... amiable ... Though the ending is a tad Hollywood, Ray has a light touch with her prose. Readers who can appreciate a comforting story about nice people will find much to like.
Mohamed Kheir tr. Robin Moger
PositivePublishers Weekly... enchanting ... Kheir demonstrates a marvelous imagination and harnesses the magic of storytelling. Readers are in for a treat.
Mohamed Kheir tr. Robin Moger
MixedKirkusSome of these fragmentary, dreamlike anecdotes are loosely connected, but those links are elusive at best. Then there are promising premises that are introduced, never to be revived. For a Western audience lacking Kheir’s cultural context, it’s likely that many of these episodes will prove more puzzling than resonant ... Despite a handful of evocative moments, a novel that fails to cohere into a meaningful whole.
Dolores Redondo tr. Michael Meigs
PositivePublishers Weekly... gripping ... Amaia’s distinctive backstory, which includes a traumatic childhood, adoption at age 12 by an elderly American couple, and an outstanding school career in the U.S. before returning to Spain to join the police, lends weight to the dramatic action. This crime thriller is a good starting place for readers new to Redondo.
MixedPublishers Weekly... earnest yet disappointing ... Matthews sketches some of his journalistic regrets, including his outspoken support for Barack Obama during the 2008 presidential election, and apologies for the sexist remarks that led to his departure from MSNBC in 2020, but he doesn’t fully reckon with today’s hot-button political issues or his contributions to the partisan media landscape. This breezy autobiography won’t win Matthews many new fans.
Dag Solstad tr. Sverre Lyngstad
PositiveThe Complete Review... seems straightforward enough, yet it moves in odd turns, leaving the reader off-balance, uncertain what Solstad is trying to do ... progresses oddly, shifting from one area of Bjørn Hansen\'s life to another. It does not feel incomplete, but there is an arbitrariness to much of it -- which also makes certain parts feel all the more forced. But ultimately this is a novel that wants to be perceived as such -- despite its realism, it is a thought experiment, it is artifice, it is art ... Strange, but successful in its own strange way.
Dag Solstad tr. Sverre Lyngstad
PositivePublishers Weekly... sly and emotionally rich ... Written with a sharp eye for detail and featuring a winning cast (Turid is particularly vivid, as is the way Bjørn’s love for her ebbs as she grows older and becomes less beautiful to him; his contempt for his unpopular son is also sharp), the narrative offers much to admire, even if the second half lacks the keen emotional observation of the first and leaves the repercussions of Bjørn’s choices underexplored. Still, Solstad consistently intrigues.
Dag Solstad tr. Sverre Lyngstad
MixedKirkus... a grim exercise in modern literary existentialism ... The philosophical implications are many, though it’s a bit of a slog through an essentially actionless plot to get at them ... If Ingmar Bergman’s films are too cheerful for you, this is just the antidote.
RaveKirkusThroughout, Deakin shares lyrical descriptions of the history and geography of the varied waterways he visited, and he smoothly weaves in literary references inspired by his experiences, including reflecting on other English writers who shared his affinity for the water ... A beautifully written, loving tribute to the wonders found swimming in the wild outdoors.
MixedPublishers Weekly... [an] emotional but uneven novella ... The plot is murky at times, but Cade’s strength shines in her beautiful descriptions, especially of the frequently appearing jellyfish that form an important motif in the story. This thoughtful work is a reminder of humanity’s connection and responsibility to the natural world.
María Amparo Escandón
RavePublishers Weekly[Escandón] returns with a rollicking and hilarious family drama of telenovela-esque proportions that doubles as a fiery love letter to Los Angeles ... Beyond the juicy plot, Escandón is a pro at capturing the socioeconomic geography of L.A. ... This is by far one of the most endearing L.A. novels in recent memory.
María Amparo Escandón
PositiveKirkusAs the Alvarados fight and unite repeatedly, the plot incorporates broader issues including climate change, gender politics, immigration, and a presidential election. A warmhearted domestic drama with political undercurrents makes for fun reading.
Rupa Marya and Rajeev Charles Patel
PositivePublishers Weekly... [a] thought-provoking treatise ... Though highly technical at times, this is a persuasive argument for the need to address the systemic problems that plague people’s minds and bodies.
Rupa Marya and Rajeev Charles Patel
PositiveKirkusA passionate exploration of world poverty, racism, injustice, and colonialism that draws a parallel to inflammation ... The authors...are rigorous scientists, so readers will learn a great deal as they describe human biological systems, focusing on the damage inflicted by inflammation but casting a wide thematic net ... The obligatory how-to-fix-it conclusion will leave some readers scratching their heads ... but the authors are persuasive in most of their arguments about the deleterious physical and mental effects of capitalism and colonialism. A valiant effort to link medicine and injustice: thought-provoking, knowledgeable, and ripe for debate and further study.
RavePublishers WeeklyAn unflinching and heartbreaking story ... Lish imbues the male characters’ varied pitches of toxic masculinity with great sadness, smoothing the edges off their macho posturing, and he writes with devastating empathy of Gloria’s highs and lows ... This is a tremendous achievement.
Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] convincing debut ... The profusion of themes and plotlines...can feel a bit unwieldy, but Åkerström powerfully conveys all of the women’s experiences with race ... All in all, it’s a worthy effort.
Lolá Ákínmádé Åkerström
MixedKirkusÅkerström paints an admirably rich portrait of a particular culture—its nuances, norms, and idiosyncrasies—raising important questions of prejudice, racial bias, agency, and belonging. Her characters, however, can feel predictable, and her writing, especially in romance scenes, often resorts to clichés ... A novel with thematic depth and complexity sometimes undercut by flat characters.
PositivePublishers WeeklyPlaywright and novelist Corthron combines a propulsive coming-of-age story with a fascinating history of the years before and after the Civil War ... Corthron smoothly weaves in historical developments as divisions flare in the Five Points ... Corthron’s ambition pays off with dividends.
MixedKirkusBoth multigenerational families feature intriguing, well-imagined characters ... The novel relies heavily on contemporaneous newspaper articles...while these and other recitations of historical fact...are unquestionably informative, characters who speak like Wikipedia entries don\'t necessarily make for engaging fiction. Theo has the outlines of a truly memorable character, but it feels as if Corthron chose the comprehensiveness of a textbook...over a narrative that would catalyze an absorbing novel. An ambitious, educational novel that tries to do too much.
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] steamy, heartfelt debut ... The narrative excels when it zooms in on the characters and their dynamic as they figure out how they fit together; the world outside of April’s and Dennis’s relationship can become blurry and bland when the perspective pulls out, but when it returns to the two of them, everything comes back into focus. Aimes beautifully accomplishes the feat of making the reader think while also making the reader feel in equal and abundant measure.
MixedPublishers Weekly[A] provocative collection ... Blackburn relies a bit too much on clever forms, such as crossword puzzles and lists, which tend to feel like exercises, but many entries present well-wrought narratives of young women coming to terms with their bodies and sexuality. It’s a mixed bag, but Blackburn clearly has plenty of talent.
PositiveKirkusThese are stories about the chaos of bodies, from menstruation to athletics, from sex to movie makeup. Rather than tell an overarching narrative, each story acts as a fragment of a wildly patterned mosaic, and through accumulation, patterns come clear, if not exactly a single picture. This structural inventiveness mirrors the formally inventive stories ... Boldly styled and deeply original.
RaveKirkusThe author’s own contributions include unraveling the mysteries of the early universe and advancing ideas relating to quantum gravity, and he deftly explains these and more in accessible and often personal prose. But it’s Alexander’s enthusiasm for seriously exploring theories on the frontier of physics that makes this more exciting than most similar books ... The author draws on research from a variety of disciplines—physics, cosmology, biology, philosophy—to bolster his compelling arguments. As he shows, the current models of our universe—and the theories scientists use to construct them—may be called into question, requiring creative, interdisciplinary thinking to resolve. This beautiful and surprising book will leave readers wanting to learn more about the author and his mind-bending ideas ... Lush with ideas and bold in its analysis of the status quo, this book reorients our view of science and the universe.
RavePublishers Weekly... refreshing ... both an excellent work of advocacy and a welcoming introduction to physics.
Rex Bowman and Carlos Santos
PositivePublishers WeeklyAdventurer and foreign correspondent Negley Farson (1890–1960) remains something of a mystery in the bustling debut biography ... Bowman and Santos acknowledge that aspects of Farson’s life remain murky...which unfortunately will leave readers wishing for answers as to what made him tick. But fans of the Lost Generation will be entertained by this rip-roaring account of a larger-than-life character mostly lost to history.
PositiveKirkusFor those who read the first book, this one will offer answers to questions that she raised there. Readers who have not read Unorthodox, however, won’t have all of the background that underlies this sequel even though Feldman combines some material from the first book into this one ... A satisfying story of self-discovery.
Andrew D. Kaufman
PositiveKirkusKaufman interprets Anna’s behavior toward her husband as shrewd and strategic, although he concedes that contemporary readers may see their relationship \'as an unhealthy codependency between a volatile artist and submissive peacekeeper.\' Certainly she showed considerable strength when she took control of the production and sale of her husband’s works ... A deeply researched, informative literary biography.
Andrew D. Kaufman
PositivePublishers Weekly... fascinating ... While Kaufman highlights just how important Snitkina was to Dostoyevsky’s success as a novelist, to his stability, and to preserving his legacy after he died in 1881, he also emphasizes Snitkina’s own business acumen in starting a publishing company to produce her husband’s work, in paying off his debts, and in selling and promoting his novels. With colorful details, Kaufman successfully corrects biographical accounts that have \'erased\' Snitkina’s flair. Highly readable, this page-turning narrative will appeal to Dostoyevsky fans and literature-lovers in general.
RavePublishers WeeklyTurnbull delves into the complexities of injustice and identity in this powerhouse contemporary fantasy ... The novel spins out into multiple story lines, switching between the perspectives of many well-developed characters and encompassing underground organizations, powerful gods, and beings thought to have been simply country lore stepping out into the public eye ... Turnbull plunges readers into a layered world of monsters and secrets and uses his supernatural conceit to prompt them to examine the demons that already plague society and endanger the disenfranchised. The expert combination of immersive prose, strong characters, sharp social commentary, and well-woven speculative elements makes for an unforgettable experience. Fantasy fans won’t want to miss this.
RaveKirkusThe otherworldly aspects of the story act as a lens that brings the characters’ richly depicted lives and complex relationships into sharp focus ... This is a deeply human story, beautifully and compellingly told.
PositivePublishers WeeklyStrong shows her serious side in this uneven if earnest memoir about the death of her cousin ... Strong’s writing is more vivid when she explores her own life ... While fans may be left wanting more of Strong’s personal story, her sincere tribute is nonetheless touching.
MixedKirkusHer prose is sincere yet largely flavorless. Without establishing a narrative arc, the author offers little in the way of revelation, for herself or readers, delivering a collection of non sequiturs, text messages, banal confessions, and scattershot notes typed on her phone. Fans hoping for details about her experiences at SNL will be disappointed—and also surprised by the lack of humor. The author repeatedly describes herself and this work as messy, which is an apt assessment ... Her affection for Owen, however, clearly comes through. There’s no lack of emotion in Strong’s voice, but the delivery mostly falls flat.
RavePublishers WeeklyZen Buddhist priest Ozeki’s illuminating postmodern latest explores themes of mourning, madness, and the powers of the imagination ... Sometimes this reads like a simple coming-of-age tale, but Ozeki playfully and successfully breaks the fourth wall...and she cultivates a striking blend of young adult fiction tropes with complex references to Walter Benjamin, Zen Buddhism, and Marxist philosophy. This is the rare work that will entertain teenagers, literary fiction readers, and academics alike.
MixedKirkusOzeki counterpoints faultless contemporary teenspeak with an adult third-person voice ... Ozeki’s insertion of Zen teachings into the narrative is slightly contrived, but she underscores the urgency of her spiritual message by ratcheting up the physical-world tension for her characters ... Overstuffed, but serious readers will appreciate Ozeki’s passionate engagement with important ideas.
PositivePublishers Weekly[An] engrossing psychological thriller ... Moriarty expertly delves into the innermost thoughts of each of the children, exposing secrets unbeknownst to each other; artfully balances the present-day plot with revealing backstory; and offers several different possibilities for what happened to Joy. Only the overlong conclusion disappoints. Moriarty’s superb storytelling continues to shine.
RaveKirkusMoriarty is a master of ambiguity and also of the small, telling detail ... The ultimate reveal is satisfying, if troubling. But Moriarty’s main focus, which she approaches from countless familiar and unexpected angles, is the mystery of family and what it means to be a parent, child, or sibling in the Delaney family—or in any family, for that matter. Funny, sad, astute, occasionally creepy, and slyly irresistible.
RavePublishers WeeklyIn a gorgeous and meditative work that blends poetry, philosophy, and nonlinear narrative, U.S. poet laureate Harjo delivers a lyrical homage to her Creek Nation family ... This mesmerizing story is a pleasure to get lost in.
RaveKirkus[Harjo] he masterfully holds both her past self and her abusers accountable while layering their characters with details that render them sympathetic in spite of their often horrifying behavior. On the line level, Harjo’s words blaze with honesty and lyricism, and nearly every sentence is a delight. A gorgeous, compassionate memoir from one of America’s greatest living writers.
RavePublishers WeeklyPulitzer finalist Williams returns with a dystopian saga of environmental cataclysm that is by turns triumphant, damning, and beguiling ... Rollicking with language that is at once biblical and casual, this builds like a sermon to a fever pitch. Williams’s well-known themes of social decline and children in danger are polished to a gorgeous luster in this prescient page-turner. The result serves as both an indictment of current culture and a blazing escape from it.
RaveKirkusA memorable return for renowned storyteller Williams after a lengthy absence from long-form fiction ... There’s no resolution in sight anywhere in Williams’ deliberately paced pre–post-apocalyptic novel ... As the clock ticks away, Williams seeds her story with allusions to Kafka, bits of Greek mythology, philosophical notes on the nature of tragedy, and gemlike description...and all along with subtly sardonic humor ... An enigmatic, elegant meditation on the end of civilization—if end it truly is.
RaveKirkus[An] impressively documented book ... By this authoritative account, the Afghanistan War has been a colossal failure that should have been ended years ago.
RavePublishers Weekly[A] searing chronicle ... Whitlock paints a devastating portrait of how public messaging about the conflict consistently belied the reality on the ground ... Rigorously detailed and relentlessly pessimistic, this is a heartbreaking look at how America’s leaders \'chose to bury their mistakes and let the war drift.\'
PositivePublishers WeeklyPulitzer winner Powers offers up a marvelous story of experimental neurotherapy and speculations about alien life ... The planetary descriptions grow a bit repetitive and don’t gain narrative traction, but in the end, Powers transforms the wrenching story into something sublime. Though it’s not his masterpiece, it shows the work of a master.
RaveKirkus[A] taut ecological parable borne by a small cast. It’s a darker tale ... Yet there are also shared moments of wonder and joy for a father and son attuned to science and nature and each other ... As always, there’s a danger of preachiness in such stories. Powers generally avoids this ... A touching novel that offers a vital message with uncommon sympathy and intelligence.
RaveKirkusSet in early medieval Europe, this book paints a rousing portrait of an abbess seizing and holding power ... The novel is at its best through Marie\'s early years of transforming the ruined, muddy convent, bit by bit, into a thriving estate, with a prosperous new scriptorium, brimming fields, and spilling flocks, protected by a forest labyrinth and spies abroad ... Marie has visions of the Virgin Mary, 19 in all, but these passages stay flat. Medieval mystics, unsurprisingly, write better about mysticism ... Groff’s trademarkworthy sentences bring vivid buoyancy to a magisterial story.
RavePublishers WeeklyGroff fashions a boldly original narrative based on the life and legend of 12th-century poet Marie de France ... Groff fills the novel with friendships among the nuns, inspirational apparitions, and writings empowered by divine inspiration. Transcendent prose and vividly described settings bring to life historic events, from the Crusades to the papal interdict of 1208. Groff has outdone herself with an accomplishment as radiant as Marie’s visions.
PositivePublishers Weekly... beautifully melancholy and meditative ... Hoang strikes a more somber tone in this outing, giving Anna daunting challenges to overcome, including some serious hang-ups around sex. Readers shouldn’t expect a typical rom-com, but many will still swoon for this sensitive love story.
MixedKirkusHoang unflinchingly describes the physically exhausting work of caretaking, which is coupled with Anna’s emotionally wrenching conviction that her father does not want to live this way. The primary themes in the second half are about filial piety and how Anna’s endless self-sacrifice without corresponding acceptance from her family pushes her to create limits and boundaries. Quan is a solid, steady presence but mostly relegated to the back burner. In the afterword, Hoang calls the book \'half memoir,\' which helps explain why it feels like half a romance. Genre readers will have to judge for themselves if the romance plot satisfies, but those desperate for fiction that explores the crushing weight of caregiving will find it here ... Grief and suffering make for an emotionally moving novel, but without fully exploring healing and recovery, is it a romance?
RaveKirkus... distinctive ... A prismatic portrait of British life and millennial angst emerges, with echoes of Zadie Smith and Sally Rooney ... Scintillating prose and sly social observation make this novel a tart pleasure.
PositivePublishers Weekly... cerebral ... In precise prose, Hamya captures the disillusionment and despair plaguing her protagonist. This perceptive debut will delight fans of Rachel Cusk
MixedKirkusThe novel lacks the deeper technical language and action of Tom Clancy or the literary bleakness of John le Carré, but there’s enough espionage to satisfy the casual reader of spy fiction, even down to some unexpected twists in the ending. Two strong, resilient women working together to save the world? Yes, please.
PositivePublishers WeeklyCleveland plunges the reader into a terrifying world of shifting alliances, action, and intrigue. Fans of strong, decisive female characters will find much to like.
RaveKirkusAuthor Sampson has created a gem of a book populated by vivid personalities and a story that weaves together heroes and villains, love and loss, mourning and growth as it follows June and the Chalcot community as they seek to save their library—which offers so much more than books. A delightful exploration of personal growth, inner strength, and the importance of family, friends, and love.
PositivePublishers Weekly[A] winsome debut ... While the simple prose is an initial roadblock, Sampson convincingly brings her characters to life, as well as the importance of their collective crusade to save the library. Readers will be touched by June’s transformation.
RavePublishers WeeklyFood writer Siegel debuts with a delightful and unusual look at the evolution of food ... he food-related trivia surprises throughout, such as the tumultuous history of the tomato, including a fruit-versus-vegetable debate that ended in the U.S. Supreme Court and its long suspected poisonous attributes thanks to its connection to its cousin, the lethal nightshade. An invigorating culinary romp through time, this is a cheeky treat for history buffs and foodies alike.
PositiveKirkusA cheeky look at food as \'an obsession, hobby, competitive sport, and profession\' ... Siegel seeks answers in these short and frequently hilarious essays on the origins of food ... Readers will find many memorable lines, as when he cites low points of culinary history ... Siegel’s fondness for long lists is overkill, but readers who enjoy passages that disgust as much as entertain will find much to like ... Little of the information is appetizing, but it’s never dull. Idiosyncratic essays that will give foodies much to digest.
Stephen Graham Jones
RavePublishers WeeklyJones expertly mixes the frightening and the funny in this no-holds-barred homage to classic horror tropes written under the heady influence of splatter films ... Jones weaves an astonishing amount of slasher film lore into his novel, punctuating the text with short term papers written by Jade on the history and functions of the genre. Meanwhile, the tension builds to a graphic finale perfectly appropriate for the novel’s cinematic scope. Horror fans won’t need to have seen all of the films referenced to be blown away by this audacious extravaganza.
RavePublishers WeeklyEach story in Lloyd’s crisp and layered debut collection is like a picture postcard from the Welsh countryside, belied by family secrets, dashed hopes, and the long shadows of history ... Throughout, the author shows a knack for stretching each germ of a story into a miniature epic. Lloyd’s singular talent is on full display.
PositivePublishers Weekly... atmospheric ... Plausible suspects and complex characters match the well-crafted plot. This is an entertaining as well as chilling tale of family secrets, lies, and primordial fears.
RavePublishers WeeklyThe short yet remarkable life of \'R&B princess\' Aaliyah is paid a moving tribute in this dazzling biography ... Weaving together exclusive interviews and in-depth research, Iandoli succeeds in vividly capturing the artist ... Iandoli writes how fans \'new and old... are keeping her legacy alive.\' In highlighting her influential career, this promises to do the same.
PositiveKirkus\"... this book amply displays the author’s impressive knowledge of her subject and ability to capture telling details. This unauthorized chronicle is richly detailed and thoroughly researched but also carefully edited to avoid tarnishing her subject’s reputation and enduring legacy ... Readers unfamiliar with the R&B industry—or Aaliyah’s impact on it—are in for an immersive read as the author covers all the insider particulars of her red-hot career. Iandoli dutifully honors the life and the indelible imprint and influence Aaliyah left on the music industry. A fond tribute to the enduring legacy of R&B’s greatly missed \'Queen of Urban Pop.\'
RavePublishers WeeklyPerkins... cleverly illustrates how pop culture has the power to shape, break, and illuminate the stories people tell about themselves and their intersecting identities ... Writing from a place of humility and humor, Perkins paints an exuberant portrait of a Black woman speaking to and from her power. Tender and bright, this intimate work piques nonstop.
PositiveKirkusA thoroughly enjoyable journey into the mind of a beloved pop-culture commentator ... The author is unafraid to lay herself bare, and she boldly recounts the ups and downs of her life as a Black girl and woman ... Perkins doesn’t deliver a standard happily-ever-after ending. Nobody is coming to save her from her circumstances, and that’s OK. She continues to strive and persevere by honing the ultimate secret weapons: self-acceptance and self-care. Fans will appreciate this closer look into Perkins\' life and adventures, and newcomers will get to know her well.
George R. Stewart
PositiveKirkus\"A new introduction by Nathaniel Rich provides historical context for Stewart\'s reissued classic, first published in 1941. Pure excitement for eco-fiction fans.
PositiveKirkusIt’s fitting that his book debut is so characteristically unclassifiable, blending memoir, music writing, fairy-tale fantasy, political manifesto, savage social satire, and even some parenting advice and tips on how to bring a landlord to his knees. The results are uneven, as perhaps they should be, but the book will find a home with other guitarists and iconoclastic artists of all stripes. Ribot offers lovely tributes ... Perhaps the most sustained highlight is the section entitled \'Film (Mis)Treatments,\' many of which illuminate life on the road of the midcareer, mildly successful sideman ... Ribot is an all-American original, and this collection provides plenty of insight into his fascinating mind.
RavePublishers WeeklyIn this rich and moving collection, Akbar...writes poems of contradiction and ambivalence centered on religious belief and ethnic and national identity. Evocative and polyphonic, surprising but never artificially shocking, Akbar’s poems flit from the divine to the corporeal in the same breath ... This impressive, thoughtful work shimmers with inventive syntax and spiritual profundity.
RaveKirkus\"Thirteen timeless stories ... After the crystalline title story zips us straight back to the mad housewife era and a second introduces the centrality of female desire in Wolitzer\'s work, there\'s a run of seven narrated by Paulette, or Paulie as her husband, Howard, calls her. Full of the pleasures of intimacy, these are unusually happy stories about a complicated marriage ... Completing the trajectory of her early triumphs with a pandemic masterpiece, Wolitzer takes our breath away.
PositivePublishers Weekly... [a] sage collection of stories ... Throughout, Wolitzer captures the feel of each moment with characters who charm with their honesty. The result is a set of engaging time capsules.
RavePublishers WeeklyToews continues her consideration of the theme of women’s self-determination in this indelible and darkly hilarious portrait of an unforgettable Toronto family ... Through these women’s letters and stories, readers glimpse histories of grief, loss, and abuse, making Grandma’s assertion that \'joy... is resistance\' even more powerful. The moving conclusion, which has its roots in a plan for Swiv and Elvira to visit family members in California, shuns sentimentality and celebrates survival. Fierce and funny, this gives undeniable testimony to the life force of family. It’s a knockout.
RaveKirkusA charming, open-hearted book ... Funny and sad and exquisitely tender.
RavePublishers Weekly... expansive ... The glory of music dominates much of the novel ... This vibrates with the strength of Mann’s visions and the sublimity of Tóibín’s mellifluous prose. Tóibín has surpassed himself.
MixedKirkusIt’s a busy, comprehensive narrative centered on a complex, conflicted husband, father, and writer facing family problems and crises and rarely failing to put in his four hours at the desk before lunch ... The personal and public history is compelling, but the book may disappoint some readers\' expectations. Fans of Mann may question the novel’s scant treatment of his writing ... The new novel does at times drag like a conventional biography with the weight of mundane details and repetition, and overall it feels overlong. But Tóibín succeeds in conveying his fascination ... An intriguing view of a writer who well deserves another turn on the literary stage.
Simone De Beauvoir, Tr. Sandra Smith
RavePublishers WeeklyThis bildungsroman...runs on verve, wit, and pathos mediated through the lens of an enigmatic friendship ... The trailblazing feminist writes bracingly of the complexity of female friendships. Beauvoir’s mastery of fiction further demonstrates her bravura.
Simone De Beauvoir, Tr. Sandra Smith
PositiveKirkusA lively introduction by Margaret Atwood gives the history of Beauvoir\'s friendship with Zaza Lacoin, the Andrée of the story ... A moving portrayal of intense female friendship, identity, and loss.
MixedPublishers Weekly... [a] twist-laden if unremarkable page-turner ... a satisfying whodunit, but its overreliance on coincidence makes it fall short of the high standard of Hawkins’s previous work.
PanKirkusHawkins\' third novel...gets off to a confusing start ... Overkill.
RaveKirkus... riveting ... Based on dozens of interviews with former employees, investors, doctors, and researchers, this well-rounded journalistic narrative is consistently informative and alarming ... Intensive, exemplary reportage on a controversial industry cloaked in scandal.
RavePublishers Weekly... brisk and thorough ... Ducharme presents an evenhanded retelling of the company’s scandals up to the point, in 2020, when Monsees and Bowen left. Fast-paced and impressively researched, this detailed account sings.
RavePublishers Weekly[A] bawdy memoir ... By turns comic, pissed off, and desolate, his raffish picaresque captures everything from showbiz highs...to malaise from living on the road ... The result is an energetic, raucous reprise of an adventurously offbeat life.
PositiveKirkusThe author’s self-aware humor makes the bone-picking bearable. Overlong and sometimes overbearing but will appeal to Lurie fans and students of the 1980s downtown NYC scene
PositiveKirkusSauer efficiently portrays the danger and routine hardships of the small party’s 1,500-mile trek along with other emigrants without ignoring the harsh beauty of the American wilderness ... Only occasionally lapsing into self-consciously literary prose, Sauer balances vivid scenes of violence and betrayal with glimpses of Joshua’s emotional turmoil as he’s drawn more deeply into Renard’s scheme, one that with each murderous theft transports him further from his dream of following his father into the medical profession ... Morality clashes with greed and savagery on the American frontier.
PositivePublishers Weekly... riveting ... While the prose’s biblical intonations can feel a bit mannered, Sauer’s imagistic style credibly affects an apocalyptic tone while describing the desolate landscape. This is an accomplished literary western.
PanPublishers Weekly[A] grim, disappointing epic fantasy ... Despite complex politics and conflicting cultures, the characters are simplistic and unmotivated, and their relationships to one another feel uninspired. Few surprises and little suspense along the way does nothing to make it easier to root for the protagonists ... This ambitious trio of adventures falls flat and lacks heart.
RavePublishers WeeklyA powerful account of a young woman’s efforts during WWII to teach Jews how to survive in the forests of Eastern Europe ... The narrative culminates in a terrifying climax. Along the way, the author impresses with descriptions of how Yona and the refugees survive. Harmel’s stirring adventure will captivate readers.
MixedPublishers Weekly[An] uneven survey ... Halpern provides an ample grounding in physics, astronomy, and quantum mechanics to allow general readers to grasp the complexities of the competing theories. But while he shows how each scientist held a crucial missing piece for the other...he’s less successful in bringing his principle subjects to life, and offers relatively little insight into their personalities or what made them tick ... Those looking for a colorful biography won’t find it here, but Halpern’s treatment of a critical period in science makes this worthwhile for readers interested in the history of physics.
RaveKirkusAn expert and entertaining account of the first great controversy in cosmology ... Halpern’s nuanced biographies give equal space to [his subject\'s] other accomplishments, which were not only important, but Nobel-worthy ... Two iconic scientists come together in an outstanding dual biography.
PanPublishers Weekly[An] ambitious if underwhelming debut ... Kasulke does a good job pulling together the signifiers of office culture ... But none of these or the other internal mini dramas...are particularly engaging or inspiring, and things take a series of odd turns ... However clever the setup is, the satire lacks bite and feels not unlike listening to a friend complain about their job. For a book about Slack, it’s largely that.
PositiveKirkusKasulke uses the line breaks and repetition of digital communication to stitch poetry out of textspeak, business lingo, adaptive chatbot phrases, and emojis ... Subplots...offer varyingly interesting sendups of business life ... A compulsively readable satire of modern corporate culture.
MixedPublishers Weekly... a searing critique ... Unfortunately, [Nichols] underplays sources of discontent, including income inequality and the effects of climate change and casts \'internet culture\' as an ill-defined yet all-powerful villain. This cranky manifesto is unlikely to change minds.
MixedPublishers WeeklyDespite the level of detail he offers in recounting Federer’s legendary Wimbledon matches, [Clarey\'s] handling of the Swiss’s life off the court is notably superficial. In one instance, Clarey describes how Federer’s wealth enabled him to arrange the best homeschooling for his twin daughters, but he fails to explore how that choice (made for Federer’s convenience) impacted his children. Meanwhile, Federer’s laudable decision to establish a foundation to help improve early childhood education in Africa is given short shrift in favor of extraneous trivia on other top tennis pros. Those seeking a deep dive into the personality of a sports star may need to keep looking.