Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

SHOOT by Loren D. Estleman
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Valentino's most relaxed and accomplished appearance to date, one whose tone of sunset valediction perfectly suits what sounds uncomfortably (say it ain't so!) like Estleman's farewell to the two genres he's been masterfully associated with for 30 years."
Estleman combines his two greatest loves, sleuthing and Westerns, in film-preservation detective Valentino's fourth appearance. Read full book review >
YOU SHOULD PITY US INSTEAD by Amy Gustine
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Gustine's stories give the impression that in every life there is a story worth telling, of triumph and of pain, if only we take the time to look."
Gustine's debut collection examines the compelling lives and struggles of people we might think of as ordinary and the pain that can come from simply trying to make it through life. Read full book review >

PRIVATE CITIZENS by Tony Tulathimutte
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A satirical portrait of privilege and disappointment with striking emotional depth."
Tulathimutte's razor-sharp debut tracks a group of recent Stanford grads anxiously navigating post-college life in mid-2000s San Francisco. Read full book review >
BREAKING WILD by Diane Les Becquets
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A transcendent, breathless exploration of the darkest depths of loneliness and the unbreakable human spirit."
In her adult fiction debut, Les Becquets (Season of Ice, 2008, etc.) writes of a woman lost in the wild and the woman who tries to save her, alternating chapters between their two compelling voices. Read full book review >
THE LETTER BEARER by Robert Allison
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Elegantly and exactingly written. A touch ponderous at times but oddly—beg pardon—unforgettable."
A mysterious man tries to find himself while traversing a hellish landscape of war. Read full book review >

OUT OF THE LINE OF FIRE by Mark Henshaw
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A remarkable and brainy work of metafiction."
An Australian writer heads to Germany, where he gets strong doses of philosophy, violence, taboo sex, and unreliable narration. 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 >
OPENING BELLE by Maureen Sherry
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"So much fun, and educational too."
Corporate sexism and the mortgage crisis are a laugh a minute...in this delightful comic novel, at least. Read full book review >
THE FLOOD GIRLS by Richard Fifield
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 2, 2016

"The Wild West earns its name all over again in this lovable chronicle of small-town insanity."
A prodigal daughter returns to her hometown in Montana to make amends; mayhem and hilarity ensue. 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 >
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 >
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 >
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 >