PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewNewman’s premise is terrific—so terrific, in fact, that it will divert you from thinking too much about the plot’s basic problems, like never understanding why Bill has been targeted, or the ridiculousness of the way that the terrorist gains access to Bill’s travel bag ... The action zips along at such a breakneck pace that you won’t have time to ponder such persnickety details ... The president gets involved. So do the New York Yankees. If it all sounds a bit absurd, it is, but the book’s high-octane thrills go a long way in mitigating its over-the-topness. When I finished, all I could think was, I’m so glad I didn’t read this before I got on my first post-lockdown flight last month.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewAlthough The Growing Season is a gutsy success story, it’s never over the top. Frey relates everything in the same matter-of-fact tone, even when she’s describing something that doesn’t reflect well on her ... It would have been so easy for Frey to sand off the rough edges, to buff this story into something shiny and sparkly. She refused — and I admire her for that.
RaveThe New York Times Book ReviewI’ll say this for Moore: She’s got issues, and she’s made mistakes — but in this book, she owns them. Fiercely ... You want juicy details? That’s what you expect in a celebrity memoir, and you certainly get them here ... But you also get something you almost never find in a celebrity memoir: candor.
RaveEntertainment WeeklyIn Steve Jobs, Walter Isaacson — the former editor of Time who has previously written biographies of Einstein and Franklin — has given us a nuanced portrait of the brilliant, mercurial, complicated genius who rethought and reimagined computers, movies, phones, music, and tablet computers ... If occasionally workmanlike, Isaacson’s thoughtful, broadly-sourced bio is thorough, filling in all the holes in Jobs’ life, especially the years after he returned to Apple ... This is a biography as big as Steve Jobs.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewThere are two threads here—the supernatural one and the police-procedural one2—and North does a fine job knitting them together. He switches narrators with each chapter, a technique that can be irritating when done badly but that works beautifully here; it keeps you off-balance and grasping for some footing as you hurtle from Amanda’s squad car to Jake’s lonely bedroom to the Whisper Man’s prison cell ... What North does best, though, is ratchet up the tension, imperceptibly at first, then with increasing urgency. If you like being terrified, The Whisper Man has your name on it. But if you get jumpy when you’re home alone, if you’re attuned to every floorboard creak and window-rattling gust, you might want to give this one a skip.
RaveEntertainment Weekly... sprawling and stunning ... an indelible and compulsively readable portrait of race, class, and politics in 20th-century America. History is rarely distilled so finely.
Min Jin Lee
PositiveEntertainment Weekly... different from any book I’ve ever read — a big, juicy, commercial Korean-American coming-of-age novel, one that could spawn a satisfying miniseries, and one that definitely belongs in this summer’s beach bag ... Lee’s writing can be clunky...Even so, Casey’s story is a fabulous one, taking her — and the reader — to some unexpected places.
PositiveThe New York Times Book ReviewHer quest to find him [Eddie] doesn’t border on obsession, it is obsession. Now, if you think as I do that perhaps Eddie has an extremely good reason for never contacting the stalkerish Sarah again, then you do not want to pick up Ghosted. But if you’re a nicer, more romantic soul, you might enjoy this book. Walsh has a good ear for dialogue, and the mystery behind Eddie’s disappearance is a particularly satisfying one.
RaveEntertainment WeeklyAlthough the 13 stories stand alone as brilliant distillations of everyday life, each is told from the perspective of various members of the Concordance Institute, a stuffy Connecticut think tank. The character linking most of the pieces is Ilka Weisz, a new professor who must navigate fresh friendships, overeager students, and her own ambivalence about a love affair … Despite some cataclysmic events (from birth to death), the debates and discussions that shape Segal’s stories border on the mundane: Who stole the electric pencil sharpener from the Institute office? Who is going through the Shakespeares’ garbage? Segal’s crystalline prose elevates even the most banal workaday details into art.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
MixedEntertainment WeeklyThere are parts of this book — like the opener, for example, which is set at Trump’s inauguration — that soar. Other chapters are not quite so successful. There’s one that’s basically a long list of everyone who worked on her campaign (the kind of stuff that should’ve been relegated to the acknowledgements). Sometimes her inner policy wonk gets a bit carried away. And other times her simmering anger comes boiling to the top and she’ll make a cutting remark about the President, effectively undercutting whatever point she’s making. Her detractors will dismiss What Happened as a laundry list of grievances. They’re wrong. This is an important book, and anyone who’s worried by what happened last November 8 should pick it up.
RaveEntertainment WeeklyHesse’s book isn’t about finding the culprits, unmasked at the outset as an auto mechanic and his girlfriend. It’s about trying to understand the combination of social and personal pressures that led the pair to crisscross the county like a sort of Bonnie and Clyde, dousing rags and lighting matches. Hesse, who covered the arsons for The Washington Post, is an ace reporter, but she’s an even better storyteller. American Fire is as propulsive as a crime thriller.
RaveEntertainment WeeklyFor me, no crime-fiction character has ever measured up to Jack Reacher—until, that is, I met Peter Ash, a former Marine lieutenant deeply damaged by his tours in Iraq and Afghanistan (his PTSD manifests itself as intense claustrophobia). In this, his second outing, Ash stumbles upon an investigative journalist who’s gone into hiding in the California wilderness, desperate to evade the men who murdered her mother. Petrie’s writing is smooth, almost melodic, and he’s very, very good at racheting up stomach-churning tension.
PositiveEntertainment Weekly...her book is about much more than just her dealings with Trump and Ailes. The story of her years as an attorney and her subsequent rise in TV journalism is surprisingly moving, transforming Settle for More into a Lean In-ish primer for young women about the importance of hard work, self-esteem, and—most of all—perseverance. Because say what you like about Kelly, she’s got grit, and lots of it.
PositiveEntertainment Weekly...[a] bizarre exposé of the disappearance industry. In it she grills 'privacy consultants' who help people vanish, interviews investigators who specialize in death fraud, and even explores black-market morgues in the Philippines where people can obtain bogus death certificates—for a price. Don’t mistake this for a how-to manual, though. Greenwood herself wasn’t seriously tempted to disappear. 'Nothing is ever free,' she says, surveying the broken families left behind when someone fakes their own death.
PositiveEntertainment Weekly...[a] remarkable memoir ... Though the narrative jumps back and forth in time, Braverman’s clear, firm voice holds the story together ... It’s amazing to watch as she develops backbone and grit, determined not to let anyone or anything stand between her and the icy landscape she loves so much.
PositiveEntertainment Weekly...deliciously quirky ... This is one of those novels that somehow manages to be funny and heartbreaking at the same time; Schine has a gift for transforming the pathos and comedy of everyday life into luminous fiction.
PositiveEntertainment Weekly[In the Darkroom is] a gripping and honest personal journey—bolstered by reams of research—that ultimately transcends family and addresses much bigger questions of identity and reinvention.
RaveEntertainment WeeklyIt’s hard to think of another memoir that burrows inside an addict’s brain like this one does. Yes, Hepola’s years of ruthless self-destruction are grim. But her writing lights up the pages, and she infuses the chapters describing her resolute slog toward sobriety with warmth and sprightly humor.
PositiveEntertainment WeeklyCurtis Sittenfeld’s sparkling, fresh contemporary retelling of the Jane Austen classic does not open with quite the same punch—'Well before his arrival in Cincinnati, everyone knew that Chip Bingley was looking for a wife'—but in almost every other way, the fizzy tale of the five Bennet sisters and their marriage-minded mother works beautifully in 21st-century Ohio.
PositiveEntertainment WeeklyBrundage unwinds the murder investigation slowly, meandering through George and Catherine’s marriage and weaving in the story of the Hales, the previous owners of the house. Learning who killed Catherine isn’t the point—it’s obvious from the opening pages—but that doesn’t lessen the pleasure of this dark, chilling drama.
RaveEntertainment WeeklyThis book, which can be tough to read in places, is an important one. It helps us arrive at a new understanding of how Columbine happened—and, in the process, may help avert other tragedies.