Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 8)

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 >
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 >

WE NEVER ASKED FOR WINGS by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Less schematic and more down to earth than her first novel, Diffenbaugh's latest confirms her gift for creating shrewd, sympathetic charmers."
Question: What kind of parent leaves her two children home alone while she takes off in pursuit of her own mother, who's heading back to Mexico? 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 >
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 >

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 >
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 >
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 >
Gaza, Wyoming by Seth Colter Walls
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Unusual and flawed yet packed with the kind of imaginative brio that fans of political satire will find irresistibly zany."
America under new (and questionable) leadership provides a creative backdrop for this energetic, offbeat political satire, journalist Walls' (Incesticidal Nurturing: The Life-Affirming Brilliance of Nirvana's Weirdest Album, 2013) fiction debut.Read full book review >
DRYLAND by Sara Jaffe
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 17, 2015

"Moving sideways with its weight of secrets, this novel never strikes a false note."
A coming-of-age story about a young girl's growing awareness—of sexuality, loss, and family truths. Read full book review >
The First Man by Gavin Frankle
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 17, 2015

"A gritty, modern twist on the story of the first human being."
Frankle (Chorus, 2014) reworks the story of Adam and Eve in this novel.Read full book review >
THE BELL TOLLS FOR NO ONE by Charles Bukowski
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 15, 2015

"Bukowski's gift was a sense for the raunchy absurdity of life, his writing a grumble that might turn into a belly laugh or a racking cough but that always throbbed with vital energy."
The uncollected gutbucket ramblings of the grand dirty old man of Los Angeles letters have been gathered in this characteristically filthy, funny compilation. 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 >