Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

WINTER OF ICE AND IRON by Rachel Neumeier
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"The worldbuilding is patchy in places, but a finely drawn web of convincing characters with complex relationships wins out."
In a world where rulers hold power through their ties to the great "Immanent Powers" that inhabit their lands, peaceful princess Kehera of Harivir and the infamous Wolf Duke of Pohorir must work together to stop a mad king and a power-hungry Immanent. Read full book review >
CRIME AND PUNISHMENT by Fyodor Dostoevsky
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 21, 2017

"It's not quite idiomatic—for that there's Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky's version—but the translation moves easily and legibly enough through Raskolnikov's nasty deeds, game of cat and mouse, and visionary redemption."
" ‘I don't need any…translations,' muttered Raskolnikov." Well, of course he does, hence this new translation of an old standby of Russian-lit survey courses. Read full book review >

USING LIFE by Ahmed Naji
Kirkus Star
by Ahmed Naji, illustrated by Ayman Al Zorkany, translated by Benjamin Koerber
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 20, 2017

"A fly-on-the-wall view of an Egypt few outsiders know and one that, in its insistence on unveiled expression, offers hope for a more democratic future."
Alan Moore meets Nahgib Mafouz in this exuberant, subversive novel by Egyptian writer Naji—who was jailed for his troubles. Read full book review >
GYPSIES OF THE ROAD by George L. G.
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 17, 2017

"A story with a well-developed protagonist who becomes more appealing as he overcomes obstacles."
In L.G.'s debut drama, a divorced man finds his calling as a truck driver, as the open road provides an escape from a life that's been defined by failure. Read full book review >
THE EMERALD CIRCUS by Jane Yolen
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 17, 2017

"An impressive overview of the author's breadth and career, this collection will appeal to the author's existing devotees—or to anyone who has ever thought that 'happily ever after' left too many questions."
A collection of short stories, mostly reinventions of fairy tales, by Yolen (Jewish Fairy Tale Feasts, 2017, etc.), whose award-winning body of work stretches from sci-fi/fantasy to children's literature to poetry to cookbooks. Read full book review >

THE GODDESS OF MTWARA AND OTHER STORIES by Lizzy Attree
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 16, 2017

"A wonderful set of 16 stories that covers a lot of ground and features many genres—from myth and folklore to the postmodern and experimental—in a way that will surely satisfy readers."
Short fiction by some of Africa's most talented writers. Read full book review >
THE ESSENTIAL FICTIONS by Isaac Babel
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 15, 2017

"Readers familiar with Babel won't find anything radically different here, but Vinokur's new translation reminds us that when it comes to Babel, too much is never enough."
Does the world need another translation of Isaac Babel? Read full book review >
THE WORLD GOES ON by László Krasznahorkai
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 15, 2017

"Complex and difficult, as are all of Krasznahorkai's works, but worth sticking with."
The world goes on indeed, and it's not pretty: so Hungarian novelist Krasznahorkai (The Last Wolf and Herman, 2016, etc.) instructs in this existentialism-tinged set of linked stories. Read full book review >
THE ANNOTATED AFRICAN AMERICAN FOLKTALES  by Henry Louis Gates Jr.
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"An exhaustive, informative, and entertaining survey of African-American folklore, its centrality to American culture, and the universality of myth."
This anthology of African-American folk tales, edited by Harvard professors Gates (In Search of our Roots: How 19 Extraordinary African Americans Reclaimed Their Pasts, 2017, etc.) and Tatar (Beauty and the Beast: Classic Tales About Animal Brides and Grooms from Around the World, 2017, etc.), gathers more than 100 folk tales from the African diaspora into an exhaustive collection for both academic and casual audiences. Read full book review >
INTO THE DROWNING DEEP by Mira Grant
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"A claustrophobic, deep-sea terror tale that will leave readers glad to be safely on dry land."
Grant (Feedback, 2017, etc.) expands on her novella Rolling in the Deep (2015), about a reality TV show that goes searching for mermaids in the Mariana Trench and finds much more than it bargained for. Read full book review >
SLEEP NO MORE by P.D. James
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Ceremonious, nasty, and very welcome indeed."
Half a dozen more reprinted stories, originally published between 1973 and 2005, from the late doyenne of the formal English mystery in all its majesty. Read full book review >
THE WALWORTH BEAUTY by Michèle Roberts
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 14, 2017

"Roberts' intense technique can sometimes overwhelm her storytelling, but this evocative tale of place, survival, and contact has a lingering impact."
Ghosts, echoes, and the life force of London connect two characters—a Victorian investigator approaching a personal crisis and a modern-day academic forced into early retirement who's remaking herself, single and free. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Katey Sagal
author of GRACE NOTES
April 10, 2017

In her memoir Grace Notes, actress and singer/songwriter Katey Sagal takes you through the highs and lows of her life, from the tragic deaths of her parents to her long years in the Los Angeles rock scene, from being diagnosed with cancer at the age of twenty-eight to getting her big break on the fledgling FOX network as the wise-cracking Peggy Bundy on the beloved sitcom Married…with Children. Sparse and poetic, Grace Notes is an emotionally riveting tale of struggle and success, both professional and personal: Sagal’s path to sobriety; the stillbirth of her first daughter, Ruby; motherhood; the experience of having her third daughter at age 52 with the help of a surrogate; and her lifelong passion for music. “While this book is sure to please the author’s many fans, its thoughtful, no-regrets honesty will no doubt also appeal to readers of Hollywood memoirs seeking substance that goes beyond gossip and name-dropping,” our critic writes. “A candid, reflective memoir.” View video >