Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

INFANDOUS by Elana K. Arnold
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2015

"A coming-of-age story consciously reminiscent of Lolita, this multifaceted portrayal of family bonds surprises with its nuanced and sometimes-searing emotional gravity. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
The summer before senior year gives Sephora Golding time to surf, work on her found-object works of art and reflect on the turn her life has taken. Read full book review >
THE BUNKER DIARY by Kevin Brooks
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 1, 2015

"Not for everyone, this heady novel is worthy of study alongside existentialist works of the 20th century. (Fiction. 14 & up)"
Knocked unconscious and kidnapped, 16-year-old Linus wakes alone in a small, windowless, concrete building. Read full book review >

SHAME AND THE CAPTIVES by Thomas Keneally
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"The somewhat didactic title doesn't do the book justice, and the occasional overwriting can be distracting. Nevertheless, Keneally blends history, romance and wartime intrigue in a remarkable piece of historical fiction with a strong sense of place and time."
In 1944, a group of Japanese POWs escaped from a prison camp in a rural Australian town. Keneally's latest historical novel relates the lead-up to this event from the perspectives of many characters, including Japanese and Italian prisoners, the camp's commanders and several residents of the town. Read full book review >
LUCKY ALAN by Jonathan Lethem
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 24, 2015

"Lethem's humor ranges from rueful to sly to 'big silly,' and his careful, mostly unshowy writing has a gift for charming a reader into almost anything."
These nine stories by a leading American writer almost all bend away from realism, and one goes well into fantasy, while offering choice prose and insights. Read full book review >
THE AMERICAN LOVER by Rose Tremain
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 23, 2015

"Wholly enthralling, these stories gleam with human desire and malice and hope as they move between Tolstoy's Russia, World War II France and present-day London."
Loneliness and lust eddy through the pages of a dexterous collection of short stories by Tremain (Merivel, 2013, etc.).Read full book review >

THE INFERNAL by Mark Doten
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 17, 2015

"Doten's dazzling novel shows off his intellect and facility with language."
Doten makes his fiction debut with a semihistorical novel—the kind of book people label "postmodern" because they don't know what else to call it. Read full book review >
A SPOOL OF BLUE THREAD by Anne Tyler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"The texture of everyday experience transmuted into art."
Tyler's 20th novel (The Beginner's Goodbye, 2012, etc.) again centers on family life in Baltimore, still a fresh and compelling subject in the hands of this gifted veteran.Read full book review >
THE MARBLE ORCHARD by Alex Taylor
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A brilliant debut."
Short story writer Taylor's first novel is a hillbilly noir employing literary language to explore the dark corners of human frailty. Read full book review >
THE WONDERS by Paddy O'Reilly
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"The impossible slides skillfully into the believable here; O'Reilly's delightful novel never shirks its responsibility to emotional truth as it tells a story about being known and being different."
In a novel that feels both sharply realistic and wildly, indelibly imaginative, O'Reilly (The Fine Color of Rust, 2012, etc.) offers a story about the stars of an impossible, glamorous freak show that sidesteps any expectations of sentimental quirk with wit and deep feeling.Read full book review >
SHE WEEPS EACH TIME YOU'RE BORN by Quan Barry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"While Barry's beautiful, transporting novel sometimes verges on the opaque, it pays resonant tribute to the uncounted dead below the surface of a convulsed nation."
A magical child pulled from her mother's coffin observes and embodies Vietnam's tragic 20th-century history. Read full book review >
LIES, FIRST PERSON by Gail Hareven
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"A rich and harrowing novel with plenty to say about religion and authorship."
An Israeli woman plots revenge against the relative who raped her sister—and wrote an imagined autobiography of Adolf Hitler besides—in a coruscating novel about faith and family. Read full book review >
MY SUNSHINE AWAY by M.O. Walsh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 10, 2015

"Celebrate, fiction lovers: The gods of Southern gothic storytelling have inducted a junior member."
The 1989 rape of a 15-year-old golden girl profoundly alters her suburban Baton Rouge neighborhood and all those who love her. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Gabrielle Zevin
March 3, 2015

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. He lives alone, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. But when a mysterious package appears at the bookstore, its unexpected arrival gives Fikry the chance to make his life over—and see everything anew. “Zevin writes characters who grow and prosper,” our reviewer writes, “in a narrative that is sometimes sentimental, sometimes funny, sometimes true to life and always entertaining.” View video >