Fiction & Literature Book Reviews (page 8)

MARRIAGE MATERIAL by Sathnam Sanghera
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Sanghera's precise, hilarious rendition of voices and cultural details is the signal pleasure of a novel rich in humor, history, and heart."
From the U.K., a funny, smart, and richly layered debut novel about an immigrant family. Read full book review >
THE PHOTOGRAPHER'S WIFE by Suzanne Joinson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Atmospheric, romantic, yet refreshingly acerbic—Joinson's timely portrayal of the difficult relationships between different cultures is rivaled by her heartbreaking delineation of the fragile relationships between individuals."
In Joinson's second exploration of British misadventures abroad (A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar, 2012), a lonely 11-year-old in 1920 Jerusalem witnesses and inadvertently participates in adult intrigues, both political and personal, which haunt her later life as a troubled artist. Read full book review >

SWEETGIRL by Travis Mulhauser
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Maybe enjoy a Coen brothers double feature—Raising Arizona and Fargo—instead."
A first-time novelist borrows well-worn tropes. Read full book review >
BLACK DEUTSCHLAND by Darryl Pinckney
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Pinckney's discursive novel, coming across as if it were a late-20th-century hipster version of Rilke's The Notebooks of Marte Laurids Brigge, typifies an era in which inventive, idiosyncratic styles flourish anew in African-American writing."
He's black. He's gay. He's a recovering substance abuser. And he's running around Berlin during the 1980s. For the most part, Pinckney's novel succeeds at being as intriguing as its premise. Read full book review >
KEEP CALM by Mike Binder
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"It's one thing for thrills to come cheap, but they needn't be so unimaginative or so lacking in finesse."
An American ex-cop is suckered into a plot to overthrow the British prime minister in this debut thriller by the director/writer. Read full book review >

THE FORBIDDEN ORCHID by Sharon Biggs Waller
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Well-researched and filled with adventure, romance, and lots of tension—this work of historical fiction has all the elements of an intriguing read. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)"
In this coming-of age tale set in 1861, Waller deftly straddles England and China and weaves in historical highlights of plant hunting, the opium trade, and environmental activism. Read full book review >
THE YID by Paul Goldberg
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"For all its dark, discursive content, Goldberg's novel about unlikely rebels plotting Stalin's downfall is streaked with hard-earned wisdom."
In Goldberg's debut, set in 1953, a pair of offbeat Jewish characters and an American Negro come to terms with life, death, and theater as Stalin's final pogrom gains steam. Read full book review >
THE GOD'S EYE VIEW by Barry Eisler
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An engaging tale about a serious issue. Read it and squirm."
A timely thriller that will make readers wonder how much the government really knows about them. Read full book review >
THE VEGETARIAN by Han Kang
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"An unusual and mesmerizing novel, gracefully written and deeply disturbing."
In her first novel to be published in English, South Korean writer Han divides a story about strange obsessions and metamorphosis into three parts, each with a distinct voice. Read full book review >
THE BIG REWIND by Libby Cudmore
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"A mystery that will inspire more than one playlist and, hopefully, a sequel."
The clues to a Brooklyn murder unspool on a mixtape in what might be a new mystery subgenre—the hipster cozy. Read full book review >
UNREASONABLE DOUBT by Vicki Delany
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"Delany's excellent new procedural (Under Cold Stone, 2014, etc.) is a real page-turner, ratcheting up the tension as each secret from the past is painfully revealed."
A man cleared of murder charges returns to his British Columbia hometown to get some answers. Read full book review >
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 >
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 >