Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

THE DYING GRASS by William T. Vollmann
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 28, 2015

"Telegraphic and episodic—so much so that it recalls the later work of Eduardo Galeano—Vollmann's saga is a note-perfect incantation. Stunning."
The indefatigable, seemingly inexhaustible Vollmann (Last Stories and Other Stories, 2014, etc.) returns with another impossibly long—and peerless—book, this one an epic study of the Nez Percé War of 1877.Read full book review >
CIRCLING THE SUN by Paula McLain
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 28, 2015

"Ernest Hemingway, who met Markham on safari two years before her Atlantic crossing, tagged her as 'a high-grade bitch' but proclaimed her 1942 memoir West with the Night 'bloody wonderful.' Readers might even say the same of McLain's sparkling prose and sympathetic reimagining."
A full-throttle dive into the psyche and romantic attachments of Beryl Markham—whose 1936 solo flight across the Atlantic in a two-seater prop plane (carrying emergency fuel in the extra seat) transfixed the world. Read full book review >

LET ME TELL YOU by Shirley Jackson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 28, 2015

"There's an old-fashioned feel to Jackson's language and setups, but her stories never fail to deliver. For fans of midcentury suspense, it doesn't get much better than this."
Unpublished and uncollected work by the celebrated author of The Haunting of Hill House (1959) and other neo-Gothic chillers.Read full book review >
PRETTY BABY by Mary Kubica
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 28, 2015

"This book will give insomniacs a compelling reason to sit up all night."
Things go dangerously wrong when a middle-class wife and mother impulsively opens her home to a homeless teen and her tiny baby in Kubica's sophomore novel. Read full book review >
THE NIGHT STAGES by Jane Urquhart
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 28, 2015

"Highly satisfying on many levels, this novel will have book clubs basking in its big symbols and abuzz over Tamara's final decision; for when the fog lifts, there are two planes outside: one to New York and one to Shannon."
Grounded by fog during a layover, a woman heading to New York recalls growing up in wartime England and the lover she has just left in Ireland in this thoughtful, multifaceted work. Read full book review >

LOLITO by Ben Brooks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 21, 2015

"A shocking, funny, touching book; a young writer with potential to burn."
Booze, drugs, porn, snuff videos, chat rooms, pedophiles: what one British 15-year-old did over spring break. Read full book review >
A SCHOOL FOR BRIDES by Patrice Kindl
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 14, 2015

"This airy soufflé of a tale, garnished with quirky charm, is an unmitigated delight from start to finish. (author's note) (Historical fiction. 12-18)"
Several years after the events of Keeping the Castle (2012), the Winthrop Hopkins Female Academy has opened in the rainy hamlet of Lesser Hoo. The school's mission: to ready eight young ladies, ages 12 to 19, for the marriage market. Read full book review >
CRUSH by Phoef Sutton
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 14, 2015

"This one could make it to the big screen, but don't wait for the movie. Buy the book. It may be the first of a long series."
A fast, crazy crime thriller filled with humor and smatterings of blood. Read full book review >
THE WATCHMAKER OF FILIGREE STREET by Natasha Pulley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 14, 2015

"Clever and engaging, this impressive first novel will reward both casual readers looking for a fun period adventure and those fascinated by the tension between free will and fate."
Set mostly in 1880s London, Pulley's debut novel twists typical steampunk elements—telegraphs, gaslight, clockwork automata—into a fresh and surprising philosophical adventure. Read full book review >
GENOA by Paul Metcalf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 14, 2015

"A welcome reappearance of an influential sui generis story."
A reissue of the 1965 cult classic by Metcalf (1917-1999) that weaves together stories by Herman Melville, Christopher Columbus, and an emotionally rattled narrator. Read full book review >
PROPHETS OF ETERNAL FJORD by Kim Leine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 13, 2015

"A boreal classic in the making, brooding and memorable, reminiscent of James Houston's great novel The White Dawn in its narrative sweep and evocation of an unforgiving land."
A pensive, provocative, altogether extraordinary novel of a small-scale clash of cultures and its tragic consequences. Read full book review >
MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 7, 2015

"Entertaining and unpredictable; Reid makes a compelling argument for happiness in every life."
Reid's latest (After I Do, 2014, etc.) explores two parallel universes in which a young woman hopes to find her soul mate and change her life for the better. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Sara Paretsky
author of BRUSH BACK
July 28, 2015

No one would accuse V. I. Warshawski of backing down from a fight, but there are a few she’d be happy to avoid. High on that list is tangling with Chicago political bosses. Yet that’s precisely what she ends up doing when she responds to Frank Guzzo’s plea for help in Brush Back, the latest thriller from bestselling author Sara Paretsky. For six stormy weeks back in high school, V.I. thought she was in love with Frank. He broke up with her, she went off to college, he started driving trucks for Bagby Haulage. She forgot about him until the day his mother was convicted of bludgeoning his kid sister, Annie, to death. Stella Guzzo was an angry, uncooperative prisoner and did a full 25 years for her daughter’s murder. Newly released from prison, Stella is looking for exoneration, so Frank asks V.I. for help. “Paretsky, who plots more conscientiously than anyone else in the field, digs deep, then deeper, into past and present until all is revealed,” our reviewer writes. View video >