RaveThe New York Times Book Review... perceptive and keenly observant ... In his thoroughly researched and reported book, replete with human detail and probing insight, DePalma...renders a Cuba few tourists will ever see. He burrows deep into one enclave of Havana ... Although his is an admirable feat of journalism, a remarkably revealing glimpse into the world of a muzzled yet irrepressibly ebullient neighbor, a reader looking for delightfully original turns of phrase is not likely to find them here ... All the same, you won’t forget these people soon, and you are bound to emerge from DePalma’s bighearted account with a deeper understanding of a storied island. Devoid of bias or facile judgments, The Cubans is filled with a simple human tenderness that is rare in these politically charged times.
Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb
RaveThe Washington Post[Malala] has a gift for stirring oratory ... riveting ... Co-written with Christina Lamb, a veteran British journalist who has an evident passion for Pakistan and can render its complicated history with pristine clarity, this is a book that should be read not only for its vivid drama but for its urgent message about the untapped power of girls.
PositiveThe Washington Post...so we come to The Buried Giant, a spectacular, rousing departure from anything Ishiguro has ever written, and yet a classic Ishiguro story. Set in the misty bogs and moors of England in A.D. 450, not long after the death of King Arthur, the novel is a daring venture into a medieval wilderness of monsters, pixies, dragons, wizards, aging knights and sword-swinging, sanguinary warriors ... has the clear ring of legend, as graceful, original and humane as anything Ishiguro has written. By the end of it, we are made to see that a dark grain can enter our collective bloodstream and poison it with a baffling hate ...Ishiguro seems to say, some things are best forgotten: Betrayals in a long-suffering marriage can be as devastating as the human impulse to war.
Jonathan Safran Foer
RaveThe Washington PostImagine a novel as verbally cunning as Clockwork Orange, as harrowing as Painted Bird, as exuberant and twee as Candide, and you have Everything is Illuminated … What follows is a marvelous, multilayered chronicle of three seemingly unrelated stories – a narrative of the fizzy, irrepressible life of a tiny Jewish village with all its rituals, prejudices and mythologies; the Ukrainian guide's epistolary account of his travels with Foer and a candid exposé of his own wretched family; and the intense American student's quest for the truth about his grandfather's past … By the end, we meet not one but a multitude of truths, since it is impossible to unearth places where a family once existed without unearthing a great deal more.
RaveThe Washington Post… a boisterous, highly entertaining, altogether original novel … Mistake follows mistake in this rambunctious comedy of errors, and Old Man Brown and his hard-riding horde head straight to the Kansas flatlands to rescue 11-year-old Henrietta from slavery … There is something deeply humane in this, something akin to the work of Homer or Mark Twain. We tend to forget that history is all too often made by fallible beings who make mistakes, calculate badly, love blindly and want too much. We forget, too, that real life presents utterly human heroes with far more contingency than history books can offer.