Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 5)

BEASTS AND CHILDREN by Amy Parker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"This riveting collection executes a grim autopsy on American family life."
A debut collection of short stories offers an unrelenting examination of the loneliness, helplessness, and daily cruelties of our contemporary world. Read full book review >
NOT ALL BASTARDS ARE FROM VIENNA by Andrea Molesini
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Drawn in part from the true-life diaries of Maria Spada, this unusual novel, reflecting the war in microcosm, captures a turning point in the fates of empires."
War and resistance, sexual awakening and shell shock, sacrifice and survival color the extreme coming-of-age of an Italian teenager experiencing the last year of World War I among the gentry in a small country town. Read full book review >

THE QUEEN OF THE NIGHT by Alexander Chee
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Richly researched, ornately plotted, this story demands, and repays, close attention."
Life as opera: the intrigues and passions of a star soprano in 19th-century Paris. Read full book review >
THE BOOK OF MEMORY by Petina Gappah
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Gappah's elaborate tale is intricately plotted, but her determination to build suspense ultimately saps the narrative of some much-needed momentum."
An albino woman in Zimbabwe recounts the unlikely story of how she ended up on death row, in a debut novel from Guardian First Book Award winner Gappah (An Elegy for Easterly: Stories, 2009).Read full book review >
THE CELLAR by Minette Walters
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Sly pacing and a detached narrative voice give this horror story exceptional punch."
This short work reads like a recipe for evil and may well induce a nightmare or two. Read full book review >

THE MAESTRO, THE MAGISTRATE, & THE MATHEMATICIAN by Tendai Huchu
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"A sensitive exploration of the concepts of identity, family, and home grounded in a rich, intricately detailed depiction of the immigrant experience of the global African diaspora."
In this much-anticipated second novel from Huchu (The Hairdresser of Harare, 2015), the lives of three Zimbabwean transplants to Edinburgh intertwine as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a foreign land.Read full book review >
ONE UNDER by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"No prizes for the dogged detective work by Slider and his colleagues (Star Fall, 2015, etc.), who mostly examine phone records and keep interviewing the same forbidden subjects. But if you're looking for moral outrage in the face of unabashed evil, Shepherd's Bush is your kind of place."
Digging into an architect's suicide reveals all manner of felonious perversion in London. Read full book review >
BLOOD WILL TELL by Jeanne M. Dams
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Cambridge science takes center stage in this latest cozy in Dams' traveling series (Days of Vengeance, 2014, etc.). It's an average mystery saved, especially for Anglophiles, by an atmospheric look at the famous university."
A visit to Cambridge University is educational in more ways than one. Read full book review >
THE CASE OF THE MISSING MORRIS DANCER by Cathy Ace
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"The diverse sleuths are charming enough to raise WISE's latest adventure above the rather mundane mystery."
Wedding plans are made even more difficult when a man goes missing. Read full book review >
THICKER THAN WATER by Sally Spencer
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Although Spencer's path is a familiar one, she treads it with authority. It's good to have Monika back, doing what she does best."
DCI Monika Paniatowski (Best Served Cold, 2015, etc.) returns with passion from maternity leave.Read full book review >
THE SILENCE OF STONES by Jeri Westerson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Westerson (Shadow of the Alchemist, 2013, etc.) may not exhibit the depth of research other medieval mystery writers display, but her tortured protagonist is never dull, and his newest adventure leads to a swift and satisfying conclusion."
An unfortunate coincidence brings a disgraced knight to the attention of the king he once plotted against. Read full book review >
GODDESS OF FIRE by Bharti Kirchner
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 1, 2016

"Kirchner's background as a cookbook writer and novelist (Darjeeling, 2002, etc.) shines through in her luscious descriptions of food and the mores of the time. Based on a true story, this tale is best read for its historical detail."
Seventeenth-century Bengal India is a place of wild beauty, great wealth, dire poverty, and violent battles between the many rulers of small kingdoms. 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 >