Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 2)

THE WORLD BEFORE US by Aislinn Hunter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Not an easy read but a compelling exploration of how memory shapes and is shaped by individuals and society."
Hunter's haunting—if sometimes elusive—second novel (Stay, 2005) wavers between practical life in the present and the unplumbed memories of a British archivist and her long-dead research subjects.Read full book review >
THE DAY WE MET by Rowan Coleman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Coleman will make you cry with this emotional, beautifully written novel."
A woman with early-onset Alzheimer's disease desperately tries to hold onto her family and her life in this novel from Coleman (The Runaway Wife, 2013, etc.). Read full book review >

PRETTY UGLY by Kirker Butler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Butler's excellent observational skills and hilarious prose make this a simultaneously funny and awful satire of thwarted ambition."
Aging beauty queen Miranda forces her preteen daughter to compete in pageants while her pill-popping husband, Ray, a nurse, conducts an affair with the teenage granddaughter of a hospice patient in this first novel from TV writer and producer Butler (Family Guy, etc.). Read full book review >
THE ARCHITECT'S APPRENTICE by Elif Shafak
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"With manufactured intrigues and lukewarm romance, plot is not Shafak's strong point. What she offers is panoramic historical fiction rich with facts, atmosphere and occasional whimsy."
Following the life of an invented apprentice to the actual Ottoman Empire architect Sinan, Turkish novelist Shafak offers a liberal interpretation of Islam that's bound to create controversy, as her previous books have (Honor, 2013, etc.).Read full book review >
NORMAL by Graeme Cameron
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"A black comedy featuring a bizarre murderer who believes he suffers for his 'art.' Cameron has written a painfully funny story that's littered with corpses, both intentional and unintentional, and proves that sometimes spotting the craziest person on the block isn't quite as easy as it seems."
Cameron's novel inserts readers into the life of a man who is anything but what the title implies—normal. Read full book review >

THERE'S A MAN WITH A GUN OVER THERE by R.M. Ryan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"A novel that tries to marry the internal conflict of Tim O'Brien to the novelist style of Nelson DeMille but can't quite stick the landing."
A Vietnam-era veteran recalls his childhood, leading up to a defining moment as a military policeman in Germany. Read full book review >
GIRL UNDERWATER by Claire Kells
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"With its subzero temperatures that will make you reach for a blanket and a wounded but never weakened heroine, Kells' assured debut is a winner."
A plane crash in the Rockies leaves more than physical scars on an up-and-coming competitive college swimmer. Read full book review >
THE STRANGLER VINE by M.J. Carter
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 31, 2015

"Making pleasing use of the developing bromance/adventure formula and a wealth of research, Carter delivers an engaging, skeptical, modern take on empire."
Exotically detailed and sprinkled with derring-do, Carter's historical novel follows an inscrutable old hand and a well-intentioned rookie on a quest that takes them deep into the heart of colonial India. Read full book review >
THE HARDER THEY COME by T.C. Boyle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 30, 2015

"Boyle's vision and ambition remain compelling, though his characters here seem like plot devices."
Violence corrodes the ideal of freedom in an ambitious novel that aims to illuminate the dark underbelly of the American dream. Read full book review >
THE HOMEPORT JOURNALS by A. C. Burch
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 27, 2015

"An often vivid portrait of Provincetown life and May-December friendships, despite a bland main character."
An elderly woman and her troupe of gay live-ins take in a young man running from a bad romance in Burch's debut novel. Read full book review >
THE CAVENDON WOMEN by Barbara Taylor Bradford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A novel that could have used more melodrama or even drama."
Second installment of Bradford's answer to Downton Abbey.Read full book review >
HAUSFRAU by Jill Alexander Essbaum
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: March 24, 2015

"A smart book that entertains page by page but doesn't add up to anything larger."
Between caring for three children, visiting a Jungian analyst and taking a German class, Anna wouldn't seem to have much time for extramarital liaisons, but like her namesake, Madame Karenina, she manages. 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 >