Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 3)

SEA LOVERS by Valerie Martin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Varied, engaging, and often shocking."
A career-spanning collection of short stories that illustrates the writer's preoccupation with animals, artists, and the fantastical. Read full book review >
CATERVA by Juan Filloy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Filloy, as translator Riley notes, is scarcely known in Latin America, much less the English-speaking world. This beguiling yarn merits him many new readers."
Obscure in its native Argentina, a grand modernist novel finds new life in a vigorous translation. Read full book review >

THE RECKONING by Carsten Stroud
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Clunky closure for a series that's taken on too much ballast."
Stroud wraps up his peculiar Deep South crime trilogy with a host of made men, undead men, evil spirits, and cops trying as hard as the author to hold everything together. Read full book review >
HOSTAGE TAKER by Stefanie Pintoff
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Readers won't be dazzled by the forgettable Rossi or her team of scalawags, but the galloping storyline and behind-the-scenes view of St. Patrick's make this an addictive read."
After a brutal hostage taker invades St. Patrick's Cathedral, a team of misfits led by the emotionally damaged Eve Rossi takes charge in this fast-paced thriller. Read full book review >
THE AUTOMOBILE CLUB OF EGYPT by Alaa Al Aswany
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Whatever political freight Al Aswany intends, he remains a charming, earthy, resourceful storyteller—albeit with a weakness for cliffhangers—who might seduce even readers closer to Times Square than to Tahrir Square."
In post-World War II Cairo, one family offers a lens on royal corruption, the British occupation, and the economic struggles of urban Egyptians in this rich political fable. Read full book review >

FORTUNE SMILES by Adam Johnson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Bittersweet, elegant, full of hard-won wisdom: this is no ordinary book, either."
A half-dozen sometimes Carver-esque yarns that find more-or-less ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges and somehow holding up. Read full book review >
LAST BUS TO WISDOM by Ivan Doig
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A marvelous picaresque showing off the late Doig's ready empathy for all kinds of people and his perennial gift for spinning a great yarn. He will be missed."
Two long-distance bus trips give an 11-year-old new horizons and run a lively gamut through mid-20th-century American life. Read full book review >
EVERYBODY RISE by Stephanie Clifford
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Clifford's debut tries to be a Bonfire of the Vanities for our time but doesn't make it."
A young woman who works at a tech startup tries to shoehorn her way into New York's high society. Read full book review >
THE INCARNATIONS by Susan Barker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Effortlessly blends the past with the present, dark humor with profound sadness. A deeply human masterpiece."
A letter from a mysterious stalker upends the life of a Beijing taxi driver in Barker's (The Orientalist and the Ghost, 2009, etc.) stunning epic, which spans a thousand years of Chinese history and six lifetimes of betrayal.Read full book review >
THE GIRL FROM THE GARDEN by Parnaz Foroutan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"There's little joy to be found in this tale of a doomed family, flavored with myth and fairy tale, yet the poetic narration overlays the suffering with surprising beauty."
Reminiscing in her Los Angeles garden, an elderly woman pieces together the tragedy of her ancestors' Iranian Jewish household, in which the actions of two brothers "who would sacrifice anything for one another" result in sorrow for three wives. Read full book review >
HARRIET WOLF'S SEVENTH BOOK OF WONDERS by Julianna Baggott
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Moments of heartbreak balance moments of hilarity in Baggott's ambitious portrait of a family created from equal parts secrecy and love."
The life of Harriet Wolf, beloved (though reclusive) author of a series of fanciful novels, is clouded in mystery, and the rumored existence of the manuscript for a final volume provides grist for the mills of academics, fans, and family members alike. Read full book review >
I WAS A REVOLUTIONARY by Andrew Malan Milward
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A few of the stories are strong and memorable, but elsewhere, Milward's narrative cleverness and structural experiments can get in the way of empathy for his characters."
The political and cultural history of Kansas is the backdrop for Milward's (The Agriculture Hall of Fame, 2012) ambitious set of short stories.Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Vanessa Diffenbaugh
September 1, 2015

Vanessa Diffenbaugh is the New York Timesbestselling author of The Language of Flowers; her new novel, We Never Asked for Wings, is about young love, hard choices, and hope against all odds. For 14 years, Letty Espinosa has worked three jobs around San Francisco to make ends meet while her mother raised her children—Alex, now 15, and Luna, six—in their tiny apartment on a forgotten spit of wetlands near the bay. But now Letty’s parents are returning to Mexico, and Letty must step up and become a mother for the first time in her life. “Diffenbaugh’s latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers,” our reviewer writes. View video >