Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 2)

CASUALTIES by Elizabeth Marro
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This is a tortured novel and yet a redemptive one. It isn't a happily-ever-after story, but Marro casts a ray of hope that a good life can be lived after terrible tragedy."
Marro's debut novel is a gritty tragedy that unrelentingly addresses painful issues of war, suicide, and the shady dealings of defense contractors. Read full book review >
GINNY GALL by Charlie Smith
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A riveting protagonist moves through unbearable racial carnage into a kind of legend."
A violent and sorrowful Jim Crow South brims in this brutal novel. Read full book review >

IN THE LAND OF ARMADILLOS by Helen Maryles Shankman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A deeply humane demonstration of wringing art from catastrophe."
A portrait of the small Polish town of Wlodawa during World War II, this collection of linked short stories is both moving and unsettling. Read full book review >
THE HIGH MOUNTAINS OF PORTUGAL by Yann Martel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Provocative ideas straitjacketed in an overdetermined plot."
Three grieving men's odysseys fitfully interconnect in this latest meditation on loss, faith, and belonging from Martel (Beatrice and Virgil, 2010, etc.).Read full book review >
LORD OF THE SWALLOWS by Gérard de Villiers
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Even Bond might blush."
Thriller in which lustful affairs send Soviet and American agents, spies, and counterspies plotting and panting in what nearly becomes a bedroom farce. Read full book review >

BE FRANK WITH ME by Julia Claiborne Johnson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The curious incident of where'd you go, Salinger: clever, sweet, but a bit derivative."
A comic novel about a prickly writer, her unusual young son, and their beleaguered caretaker, set in the Hollywood Hills. Read full book review >
EVERY ANXIOUS WAVE by Mo Daviau
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A dark and funny love story that, like its main characters, is much sweeter than it appears on the surface."
A punk-rock time-travel love story for the ages—all of them. Read full book review >
WILLFUL DISREGARD by Lena Andersson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Andersson's sketching of the lovesick Ester and the preoccupied Hugo is so well done that every incensed text she sends him is another little piece of our collective heart as we follow a struggle that has existed for as long as human life: the lover and the loved."
An intellectual young woman falls for a prominent artist in this story of obsessive love. Read full book review >
THE LANGUAGE OF SECRETS by Ausma Zehanat Khan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A smart, measured, immersive dive into a poorly understood, terrifyingly relevant subculture of violent extremism."
Khan's winning Canadian cops return—and this time, it's really personal.Read full book review >
DOG RUN MOON by Callan Wink
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Wink doesn't deal in the romance of the Old West or dwell on the frontier past, yet both myth and history color these highly satisfying fictions about the way men and women struggle to shape their lives."
A collection of stories set mostly in Montana, where life tends to be hard, money short, the land gorgeous, and relations between lovers and kin troubled. Read full book review >
MISSING PIECES by Heather Gudenkauf
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Light on surprises and character development, this tepid thriller will have most astute readers correctly guessing the ending halfway through."
An accident forces a man to return to his small Iowa hometown and confront violent secrets from his past, ones he's kept hidden from his wife. Read full book review >
ALMOST EVERYTHING VERY FAST by Christopher Kloeble
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A grotesque and puerile reimagining of German folklore."
A young man sets out with his disabled father to learn the truth about his heritage. 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 >