Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 1751)

THE STARS CAN WAIT by Jay Basu
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2002

"So much here feels forced and improbable that it's difficult to properly credit the delicacy with which the scenes have been shaped and rendered. Basu is a real stylist, but has yet to prove himself a novelist."
A first-time author's impressive lyric gift graces—but isn't enough to save—this simultaneously underimagined and overplotted debut set in a mining village in occupied Poland during WWII.. Read full book review >
WHITEGIRL by Kate Manning
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2002

"Too much self-analysis by whiny Charlotte, but an engagingly provocative page-turner."
Manning's flawed but compelling debut is not about O.J. and Nicole, despite some obvious similarities in this story of a disintegrating interracial marriage between a handsome athlete/sportscaster/movie star and his wife. Read full book review >

FLASH HOUSE by Aimee Liu
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 5, 2002

"Some nice historical scenery and a good cast of characters, but otherwise a standard potboiler from Liu (Cloud Mountain, 1997, etc.)."
A missing-persons thriller set in the late 1940s' borderlands of Kashmir, where a determined American wife sets about uncovering what became of her journalist husband. Read full book review >
MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA by James McBride
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"McBride's heart is on his sleeve, but these days it looks just right."
Four Americans from the 92nd Buffalo Division and a Tuscan village endure the worst of the war in a brutal and moving first novel from McBride (a bestselling memoir: The Color of Water, 1996). Read full book review >
SHOPAHOLIC TAKES MANHATTAN by Sophie Kinsella
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"Lackluster."
Rebecca Bloomwood is back, and she still owes everybody money: a rehash of the much funnier Confessions of a Shopaholic (2001). Read full book review >

THE BEST REVENGE by Stephen White
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"White handles his suspenseful set-pieces with all his accustomed authority, but the case he's lavished them on is a farrago of coincidences, absurdities, and pitifully shadowy and unmotivated conspirators from beginning to end."
White injects Boulder psychologist Alan Gregory into the wild and wooly saga of a convicted killer released from Death Row to the even more dangerous world outside. Read full book review >
THE STONE FLOWER GARDEN by Deborah Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"Clichéd plot and stereotyped characters won't stand in the way, for those who like them, of the pleasures of a family romance in lush settings."
In her seventh, a southern gothic about family secrets (but no mystery), Smith (On Bear Mountain, 2001, etc.) keeps nothing secret for long—and makes some curious authorial choices in her longwinded revelations of who done it, why, and how all the families are intertwined. Read full book review >
FINGERSMITH by Sarah Waters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"Nobody writing today surpasses the precocious Waters's virtuosic handling of narrative complexity and thickly textured period detail. This is a marvelous novel."
Imagine a university-educated lesbian Charles Dickens with a similarly keen eye for mendacity and melodrama, and you'll have some idea of the pleasures lurking in Waters's impudent revisionist historicals: Tipping the Velvet (1999), Affinity (2000), and now this richly woven tale of duplicity, passion, and lots of other good stuff. Read full book review >
THE ANALYST by John Katzenbach
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"Hokey, gimmicky, and flatly unbelievable—but even readers immune to the erratic charms of Katzenbach's earlier thrillers (Hart's War, 2000, etc.) will find themselves powerless to stop after page ten."
Katzenbach's finest hour is the tale of a widowed New York psychotherapist roused from the cocoon of his habitual rounds by an anonymous letter—a letter threatening him with a fate worse than death. Read full book review >
NO PLACE LIKE HOME by Barbara Samuel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 4, 2002

"Meandering plot and cardboard people in this mainstream debut from romancer Samuel."
A conventional tale about a wayward daughter who returns home with her troubled teenage son. Read full book review >
ME TIMES THREE by Alex Witchel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

"Reasonably evocative of the self-indulgent '80s, with some diverting magazine and party scenes, but they'd have to be a lot sharper to make up for a tired plot and a heroine who's not nearly as endearing as her creator thinks."
From Witchel (Girls Only, 1997), famed and feared for her acerbic profiles in the New York Times, a surprisingly bland first novel about life on the media fast track in Manhattan. Read full book review >
SNOW ISLAND by Katherine Towler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2002

"Almost like an offshore Peyton Place at times, but also a well-crafted tale, subtle and memorable, that should have a broad appeal."
Sensitive debut novel (selected by Barnes & Noble for its Winter Discover Program) about a young woman's coming of age during WWII on an island in Narragansett Bay. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >