KIRKUS STARS & RECOMMENDATIONS

STRUCK BY GENIUS by Jason Padgett
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 22, 2014

"An exquisite insider's look into the mysteries of consciousness."
When Padgett suffered a traumatic brain injury after a violent mugging, his sense of perception was profoundly altered. Overnight, his life as a fun-loving salesman changed into one dominated by unprompted geometric visualizations and the unexpected insights of newfound mathematical brilliance. Read full book review >
THERE GOES GRAVITY by Lisa Robinson
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 22, 2014

"A backstage pass to the greatest circus of the 20th century."
A lifetime of memories from classic rock's heyday by one of the finest rock journalists of her generation. Read full book review >

LITTLE PEAR TREE by Rachel Williams
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 22, 2014

"While not particularly accurate (if only pear trees really grew this fast), this is a lovely poetic encounter in both word and image. (Board book. 2-5)"
An artful exploration of the seasons. Read full book review >
THE SERPENT OF VENICE by Christopher Moore
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 22, 2014

"Fool's gold, replete with junk jokes, from one of America's most original humorists."
Iago from Shakespeare's Othello, Antonio, the titular merchant of Venice, and Monstressor Brabantio from Edgar Allan Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado" walk into a bar…. Read full book review >
BLOOD DIARIES by Marissa Moss
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 21, 2014

"Crisis averted, at the end, Edgar is left looking ahead with fresh confidence to seventh grade. Happily, a planned sequel will allow readers to follow him there. (recipe for "Chocolate Blood Pudding") (Light fantasy. 10-12)"
With understandable difficulty, a sixth-grader with a mighty secret tries to earn acceptance from both his human schoolmates and his undead family. Read full book review >

COCK-A-DOODLE-OOPS! by Lori Degman
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 21, 2014

"Puns and foolery pitched just right for newly independent readers. (Early reader. 5-7)"
Zemke provides more farmyard huggermugger (George Shannon's Wise Acres, 2004) to illustrate Degman's versified tale of animals trying to substitute at sunrise for an absent rooster. Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY & MEMOIR
Released: April 20, 2014

"Roffman's debut adeptly straddles the line between academia and narrative nonfiction, delivering a slice of history that even teetotalers will appreciate."
A memoir/treatise on marijuana that rises above most similar discussions. Read full book review >
OPEN ROAD SUMMER by Emery Lord
Released: April 19, 2014

"Lord successfully adapts classic elements of adult romance novels into a love story gentle enough for younger readers. (Romance. 12-18)"
Reagan joins her best friend Delilah's summer concert tour to escape some poor decisions and break some bad habits, finding romance and complication instead. Read full book review >
THE BIG BOOK OF SLUMBER by Giovanna Zoboli
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 18, 2014

"Mary Logue's Sleep Like a Tiger, illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski (2013), and Mem Fox's classic Time for Bed, illustrated by Jane Dyer (1993), explore the same territory with greater success. (Picture book. 3-6)"
In the crowded field of won't-you-please-go-to-sleep books, this visually pleasing but awkwardly rhymed story fails to forge any new paths into dreamland. Read full book review >
BIG FAT DISASTER by Beth Fehlbaum
Released: April 18, 2014

"Colby's experiences, while extreme, ring true, and the fast pace, lively and profane dialogue, and timely topic make it a quick and enjoyable read. (Fiction. 12-16)"
Colby's life as the heavy daughter of a disapproving former Miss Texas beauty queen is difficult enough, but it gets worse very quickly once she discovers a photo of her politician father kissing another woman. Read full book review >
BOOM, SNOT, TWITTY by Doreen Cronin
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: April 17, 2014

"Serene, quietly joyous and utterly life-affirming. (Picture book. 2-5)"
Three friends with different philosophies spend a companionable day together, crocheting and weathering storms. Read full book review >
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: April 16, 2014

"Part true crime, part neuroscience and a page-turner from start to finish."
Can the tendency for criminally psychopathic behaviors be identified by analyzing neurological images? If so, what consequence does this have for science and society? Read full book review >