Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

PIECE OF MIND by Michelle Adelman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"This labor of love pens a soft-edged portrait of a subject who struggles to grasp complexity."
A wayward woman with little executive function tries to wrest back control of her life. Read full book review >
THE DRUM WITHIN by James R. Scarantino
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Come what may, Aragon never loses her focus on tying Cody to an older homicide he was linked to years ago, with results equally surprising to her and the reader. First of a welcome series."
A Santa Fe homicide detective fights to make a case against a high-profile killer she's responsible for setting free. Read full book review >

DRAWING BLOOD by Deirdre Verne
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Familiarity with CeCe's debut (Drawing Conclusions, 2015) will help readers digest the complex back story. But her second case is every bit as twisty and surprising."
A dysfunctional family to die for. Read full book review >
DEATH & THE BREWMASTER'S WIDOW by Loretta Ross
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"The second case for Death and Wren (Death of the Redheaded Woman, 2015) uses an intriguing premise to flesh out the charming detective duo."
Tragedy stalks a pair of brothers, one of them dead, the other one Death. Read full book review >
NIGHT ROAD by Brendan DuBois
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"A bonus: just when you think you know exactly how this mishmash will turn out, DuBois throws in a pleasing final surprise that will make you forgive the soft-boiled ending."
A truck laden with suspicious and perhaps dangerous cargo is crossing from Canada to the U.S., and everyone on either side of the border wants a piece of the action. Read full book review >

DISGRACED by Gwen Florio
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 8, 2016

"Lola's third (Dakota, 2014, etc.) is a gut-wrenching mystery/thriller that explores prejudice and the incredible stress on soldiers in a seemingly unending war with no clear goals."
A favor for a friend leads a reporter to a stunning story and life-altering decisions. Read full book review >
YOU SHOULD PITY US INSTEAD by Amy Gustine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Gustine's stories give the impression that in every life there is a story worth telling, of triumph and of pain, if only we take the time to look."
Gustine's debut collection examines the compelling lives and struggles of people we might think of as ordinary and the pain that can come from simply trying to make it through life. Read full book review >
PRIVATE CITIZENS by Tony Tulathimutte
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A satirical portrait of privilege and disappointment with striking emotional depth."
Tulathimutte's razor-sharp debut tracks a group of recent Stanford grads anxiously navigating post-college life in mid-2000s San Francisco. Read full book review >
BREAKING WILD by Diane Les Becquets
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A transcendent, breathless exploration of the darkest depths of loneliness and the unbreakable human spirit."
In her adult fiction debut, Les Becquets (Season of Ice, 2008, etc.) writes of a woman lost in the wild and the woman who tries to save her, alternating chapters between their two compelling voices. Read full book review >
THE LOST TIME ACCIDENTS by John Wray
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An omnium-gatherum of 20th-century physics and spirituality that ultimately gathers too much."
A sprawling, heady tale of time travel with detours into alternative religion, pulp science fiction, the Holocaust, and much, much—much—more. Read full book review >
THE LETTER BEARER by Robert Allison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Elegantly and exactingly written. A touch ponderous at times but oddly—beg pardon—unforgettable."
A mysterious man tries to find himself while traversing a hellish landscape of war. Read full book review >
WHAT THE WAVES KNOW by Tamara Valentine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"This dreamy coming-of-age mystery unfolds in tantalizing waves with keen insight and lush prose."
In a novel rich in mythology and childhood secrets, a girl searches for her voice in the Rhode Island town where she stopped speaking at age 6. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Michael Eric Dyson
February 2, 2016

In Michael Eric Dyson’s rich and nuanced book new book, The Black Presidency: Barack Obama and the Politics of Race in America, Dyson writes with passion and understanding about Barack Obama’s “sad and disappointing” performance regarding race and black concerns in his two terms in office. While race has defined his tenure, Obama has been “reluctant to take charge” and speak out candidly about the nation’s racial woes, determined to remain “not a black leader but a leader who is black.” Dyson cogently examines Obama’s speeches and statements on race, from his first presidential campaign through recent events—e.g., the Ferguson riots and the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney in Charleston—noting that the president is careful not to raise the ire of whites and often chastises blacks for their moral failings. At his best, he spoke with “special urgency for black Americans” during the Ferguson crisis and was “at his blackest,” breaking free of constraints, in his “Amazing Grace” Charleston eulogy. Dyson writes here as a realistic, sometimes-angry supporter of the president. View video >