Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

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 >
THE HEART by Maylis de Kerangal
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A sophisticated medical drama whose pulse-pounding strength diminishes a touch too quickly."
Doctors and other medical experts hasten to prepare a young man's organs for transplant and reckon with the need to be both compassionate and precise in a hurry. Read full book review >
WAYS TO DISAPPEAR by Idra Novey
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Delightful and original."
A famous novelist's disappearance upends the life of her American translator. Read full book review >
A COLLAPSE OF HORSES by Brian Evenson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"For the Stephen King fan in the house: an author as capable, if a touch less prolific."
Atmospheric, sometimes-nightmarish tales by the ever macabre Evenson (Windeye, 2012, etc.).Read full book review >
VIOLENT CRIMES by Phillip Margolin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"This last problem may sound like a thorny ethical dilemma, but it's just as weightless as every other complication in this fleet, guileless, inch-deep yarn, a tale guaranteed to get you to bed in plenty of time and leave your dreams untroubled."
What the title promises is exactly what Margolin (Worthy Brown's Daughter, 2014, etc.) delivers: another torrent of violent crimes for Oregon defense attorney Amanda Jaffe.Read full book review >
THE RAMBLERS by Aidan Donnelley Rowley
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Enjoyable if at times overly earnest."
A week of soul-searching and lovemaking among Yale alumni in New York. Read full book review >
THE VATICAN PRINCESS by C.W. Gortner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Gortner (Mademoiselle Chanel, 2015, etc.) has imagined Lucrezia Borgia's life from a feminist perspective."
As the 16th century dawns, Columbus has brought word of new lands to Queen Isabella, Savonarola leads a reign of terror in Florence, and Rodrigo Borgia is bargaining his daughter, Lucrezia, to claim the Throne of Peter in Rome. 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 >