Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

GIRL WAITS WITH GUN by Amy Stewart
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"More adventures involving gutsy Constance, quietly determined Sheriff Heath, and a lively cast of supporting characters would be most welcome."
Better known for her nonfiction (The Drunken Botanist, 2013, etc.), Stewart crafts a solid, absorbing novel based on real-life events—though they're unusual enough to seem invented.Read full book review >
The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone by Geonn Cannon
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An imaginatively wrought, steampunk-influenced feminist adventure."
In Cannon's alternative version of early-20th-century London, an invisible spy walks the streets, airships are a preferred form of travel, and two rival explorers join forces to learn who is trying to kill them and why. Read full book review >

PURITY by Jonathan Franzen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"An expansive, brainy, yet inviting novel that leaves few foibles unexplored."
A twisty but controlled epic that merges large and small concerns: loose nukes and absent parents, government surveillance and bad sex, gory murder and fine art. Read full book review >
OUT OF DARKNESS by Ashley Hope Pérez
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"A powerful, layered tale of forbidden love in times of unrelenting racism. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 14 & up)"
A Mexican-American girl and a black boy begin an ill-fated love in the months leading up to a catastrophic 1937 school explosion in East Texas. Read full book review >
INFINITE IN BETWEEN by Carolyn Mackler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Characters live, grow, and ultimately come of age in a beautifully constructed world. (Fiction. 13 & up)"
A Breakfast Club-style, randomly assigned freshman orientation group experiences the highs and lows of four years of high school.Read full book review >

JIMMY BLUEFEATHER by Kim Heacox
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"Old Keb understands it 'used to be hard to live and easy to die. Not anymore.'"
Part quest, part rebirth, Heacox's debut novel spins a story of Alaska's Tlingit people and the land, an old man dying, and a young man learning to live. Read full book review >
THE STORY OF THE LOST CHILD by Elena Ferrante
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2015

"The enigmatic Ferrante, whose identity remains the subject of international literary gossip, has created a mythic portrait of a female friendship in the chthonian world of postwar Naples."
Inexorable seismic changes—in society and in the lives of two female friends—mark the final volume of Ferrante's Neapolitan series. Read full book review >
Death By Arbitrage or Live Low Die High by Urno Barthel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 27, 2015

"An extremely clever thriller that dazzles on every level."
This third volume in a series of techno-thrillers pits Chester and Urno's (Death by Tech, 2014, etc.) scientist/sleuth against murderous inside traders. Read full book review >
A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Women may not be able to have it all, but this novel can."
What happens when a book lover gets caught up in the tech world? Read full book review >
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Penny is an expert at pulling away the surface of her characters to expose their deeper—and often ugly—layers, always doing so with a direct but compassionate hand."
In Inspector Gamache's 11th outing, the sheltering forest around his small village of Three Pines is revealed to be a hiding place for unexpected evil. Read full book review >
BEST BOY by Eli Gottlieb
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 24, 2015

"Gottlieb merits praise for both the endearing eloquence of Todd's voice and a deeply sympathetic parable that speaks to a time when rising autism rates and long-lived elders force many to weigh tough options."
After more than 40 years in an institution, an autistic man acts on his yearning to see his childhood home in this eloquent, sensitive rendering of a marginalized life. Read full book review >
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A testament to a writer whose explorations of society's rougher corners deserve wider attention."
A posthumous collection of stories, almost uniformly narrated by hard-living women, that makes a case for the author as a major talent. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >