Kirkus Stars & Recommendations

MARK TWAIN'S AMERICA by Harry L. Katz
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Written with verve, Katz's history is distinguished from a trove of Twain biographies by its 300 illustrations, including photographs, cartoons and artwork, drawn from the LOC's inestimable collection."
A richly illustrated life of an American icon. Read full book review >
THE DRAGON & THE KNIGHT by Robert Sabuda
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"With Sabuda, it's hard to set expectations too high or wide, but here he rides triumphantly roughshod over them anyway. (Pop-up picture book. 5-9)"
Sabuda gives the usual relationship between story and picture a hefty tweak in this pop-up romp. Read full book review >

THE PIERCED HEART by Lynn Shepherd
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Another tour de force with a striking finale from Shepherd (A Fatal Likeness, 2013, etc.), who specializes in turning iconic novels into clever, complicated mysteries for her tormented hero to solve."
Literary sleuth Charles Maddox takes on Dracula. Read full book review >
ON HIS OWN TERMS by Richard Norton Smith
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"An overdue comprehensive biography of a giant of mid-20th-century American politics."
Presidential library director and C-SPAN in-house historian Smith (The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick, 1997, etc.) delivers a monumental biography of the charismatic vice president and four-term governor of New York. Read full book review >
FIVE MINUTES ALONE by Paul Cleave
THRILLERS
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"'All of this killing has made him feel,' Carl's exhilarated to realize. Readers following him through this season of Breaking Bad reworked by the Coen Brothers will feel the whole gamut right along with him."
Think vigilante killers have it easy? Cleave offers a macabre, compelling demonstration of how Murphy's Law dogs the efforts of ex-cop Carl Schroder to give victims of violent crime the five minutes alone they crave with the criminals who've ruined their lives. Read full book review >

BLUE LILY, LILY BLUE by Maggie Stiefvater
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close. (Fantasy. 14 & up)"
As the Raven Boys grow closer to their goal of finding the Welsh king Glendower, not surprisingly, problems arise in this third book of a planned four-volume series. Read full book review >
HISTORY
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Appropriately detailed, beautifully written story of the Stuarts' rise and fall—will leave readers clamoring for the further adventures awaiting England in the 18th century."
Biographer, historian and novelist Ackroyd (Three Brothers, 2014, etc.) continues his History of England series with the third of six proposed volumes. Read full book review >
SECTION 60 by Robert M. Poole
CURRENT AFFAIRS
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"A momentous and moving follow-up to On Hallowed Ground."
An honorable survey of Arlington National Cemetery's subdivision for military personnel killed in the global war on terror. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERY OF THE MISSING LION by Alexander McCall Smith
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Precious' keen sense of right and wrong will inspire readers; her powers of observation may inspire budding detectives. (Mystery. 7-11)"
Young Precious Ramotswe again shows why she eventually grows up to be the founder of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Read full book review >
ON TWO FEET AND WINGS by Abbas Kazerooni
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Readers are often promised unforgettable protagonists—this memoir delivers one. (author's note) (Memoir. 9-14)"
Abbas and his mother are about to board a plane for Turkey when authorities order her to remain in post-Revolution Iran with his father, Karim; Abbas, at Karim's insistence, flies alone to Istanbul to stay and apply for a British visa—he is 9. Read full book review >
LOOP by Karen Akins
SCIENCE FICTION & FANTASY
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Future and past selves provide a creative take on romance in a high-stakes, high-concept mystery that trusts its readers' intelligence. (Science fiction. 13 & up)"
Time-traveling, 23rd-century Bree creates a multiple-century mess that uncovers a conspiracy and, possibly, true love. Read full book review >
RACE FROM A TO Z by Jon Scieszka
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Oct. 21, 2014

"Clever fun, swooshing with motion and energy, this latest in the series will keep readers racing their engines for more. (Alphabet picture book. 4-8)"
Another in Scieszka's Trucktown series, this one features a boisterous truck race from A to Z. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Dick Cavett
October 20, 2014

In Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks, quick-witted talk show host Dick Cavett dishes on some of the famous people he’s interviewed: There’s much ado about Marlene Dietrich, Groucho, Carson and the Burtons, Jonathan Winters, Mel Brooks and Stan Laurel. Brief Encounters, taken from Cavett’s online columns for The New York Times, offers piquant commentary on contemporary politics, the indignities of travel, the nature of comedy writing and the utter improbability of being alive at all. We’ll ask him about his career and his writing life on Kirkus TV this week. View video >