Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

SEED by Stanley Crawford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"Gossamer-thin entertainment."
Everything must go in this playful snapshot of an end-of-life giveaway, the sixth novel from an offbeat author (Petroleum Man, 2005, etc.). Read full book review >
HOSPICE by Gregory Howard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"As Lucy progresses through surreal landscapes, her journey highlights experiences both delightful and sinister—a haunting take on one life on society's margins."
In this dreamlike novel, a young woman moves through a series of strange jobs and wrestles with haunting childhood memories. Read full book review >

THE POOR CHILDREN by April L. Ford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"Vivid writing but harsh and uninviting tales."
Seven frighteningly unsentimental stories about childhood and youth. Read full book review >
AFTER ABEL AND OTHER STORIES by Michal Lemberger
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"Original and thought-provoking."
In this debut collection, nine stories shed light on Old Testament women famous, infamous and obscure. Read full book review >
MAGNETIC NORTH by Lee Maynard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"Maynard knows the outdoors and the thrill of an honest-to-goodness road trip, but he dilutes the story with repetitious angst. Too bad he didn't just get on with it."
A buddy quest on motorcycles in Maynard's (The Pale Light of Sunset, 2012, etc.) tough-as-nails voice.Read full book review >

CINCO BECKNELL by Lee Maynard
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"Maynard is a consummate storyteller, and the thriller elements run parallel to the tough life of the homeless on the streets of The City Different."
A fictional mélange that's part thriller and part social commentary, set against the beautiful scenic backdrop of the southwest—and it works. Read full book review >
COMFORT AND AFFLICTION by M. F. Frosolono
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"A thriller with an uncomplicated plot that's invigorated by a main character whose profound messages will spark rumination."
A reverend's sermons at a Methodist church in Georgia find supporters and a small but potentially dangerous resistance in Frosolono's (Thoroughly Biased Opinions, 2012, etc.) religious drama. Read full book review >
Second Helpings at the Serve You Right Café by Tilia Klebenov Jacobs
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 1, 2015

"A charming story for those who enjoy a quick, action-packed, romantic fairy tale."
A quirky romantic novella about a reformed ex-con and the enterprising young woman who helps him rediscover his self-worth. Read full book review >
Freaks I've Met by Donald Jans
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 2, 2015

"An engrossing but tongue-in-cheek drama that, even at its most dramatic, will leave readers smiling."
A Spokane college graduate searches for wealth and fame in LA but finds only a string of dead-end jobs and outlandish individuals in Jans' witty debut drama. Read full book review >
TIME AGES IN A HURRY by Antonio Tabucchi
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 4, 2015

"A quibble: The title might have been more idiomatically rendered Time Gets Old in a Hurry, getting at the paradoxes and wordplay that Tabucchi loved. A pleasure all the same for fans of modern European literature."
A pensive, beautifully written meditation on personhood and nationhood in the new age of European unity. Read full book review >
PORTRAIT OF A MAN KNOWN AS IL CONDOTTIERE by Georges Perec
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 6, 2015

"The translation is pleasingly idiomatic, the translator's introduction illuminating. Perec's yarn, though, will largely be of interest to students of postwar French literature and social history, who will find that it makes a nice if not especially memorable puzzle."
"Leonardo is dead, Antonello is dead, and I'm not feeling too well myself." Thus we read in French experimentalist Perec's long-forgotten, rejected debut, now rescued from the dustbin of literary history. Read full book review >
EMMA by Alexander McCall Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: April 7, 2015

"In less capable hands, it could all seem clunky and crass. Instead, McCall Smith has written a delightfully droll, thoughtful novel that reflects on money's enduring role in relationships as well as on the nature of this meddlesome heroine's long-lived appeal."
In the latest installment of the Austen Project, McCall Smith (The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe, 2014, etc.) catapults snobbish matchmaker Emma Woodhouse into the 21st century.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Frank Bruni
March 31, 2015

Over the last few decades, Americans have turned college admissions into a terrifying and occasionally devastating process, preceded by test prep, tutors, all sorts of stratagems, all kinds of rankings, and a conviction among too many young people that their futures will be determined and their worth established by which schools say yes and which say no. In Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be, New York Times columnist Frank Bruni explains why, giving students and their parents a new perspective on this brutal, deeply flawed competition and a path out of the anxiety that it provokes. “Written in a lively style but carrying a wallop, this is a book that family and educators cannot afford to overlook as they try to navigate the treacherous waters of college admissions,” our reviewer writes. View video >