Fiction & Literature Book Reviews

A WINDOW OPENS by Elisabeth Egan
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Women may not be able to have it all, but this novel can."
What happens when a book lover gets caught up in the tech world? Read full book review >
THE NATURE OF THE BEAST by Louise Penny
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 25, 2015

"Penny is an expert at pulling away the surface of her characters to expose their deeper—and often ugly—layers, always doing so with a direct but compassionate hand."
In Inspector Gamache's 11th outing, the sheltering forest around his small village of Three Pines is revealed to be a hiding place for unexpected evil. Read full book review >

BEST BOY by Eli Gottlieb
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 24, 2015

"Gottlieb merits praise for both the endearing eloquence of Todd's voice and a deeply sympathetic parable that speaks to a time when rising autism rates and long-lived elders force many to weigh tough options."
After more than 40 years in an institution, an autistic man acts on his yearning to see his childhood home in this eloquent, sensitive rendering of a marginalized life. Read full book review >
A MANUAL FOR CLEANING WOMEN by Lucia Berlin
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A testament to a writer whose explorations of society's rougher corners deserve wider attention."
A posthumous collection of stories, almost uniformly narrated by hard-living women, that makes a case for the author as a major talent. Read full book review >
LAST BUS TO WISDOM by Ivan Doig
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A marvelous picaresque showing off the late Doig's ready empathy for all kinds of people and his perennial gift for spinning a great yarn. He will be missed."
Two long-distance bus trips give an 11-year-old new horizons and run a lively gamut through mid-20th-century American life. 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 >
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 >
CATERVA by Juan Filloy
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Filloy, as translator Riley notes, is scarcely known in Latin America, much less the English-speaking world. This beguiling yarn merits him many new readers."
Obscure in its native Argentina, a grand modernist novel finds new life in a vigorous translation. 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 >
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 INCARNATIONS by Susan Barker
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"Effortlessly blends the past with the present, dark humor with profound sadness. A deeply human masterpiece."
A letter from a mysterious stalker upends the life of a Beijing taxi driver in Barker's (The Orientalist and the Ghost, 2009, etc.) stunning epic, which spans a thousand years of Chinese history and six lifetimes of betrayal.Read full book review >
EILEEN by Ottessa Moshfegh
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Aug. 18, 2015

"A shadowy and superbly told story of how inner turmoil morphs into outer chaos."
A woman recalls her mysterious escape from home in this taut, controlled noir about broken families and their proximity to violence. Read full book review >
Kirkus Interview
Libba Bray
author of LAIR OF DREAMS
August 25, 2015

In Lair of Dreams, the second installment of Libba Bray’s bestselling young adult Diviners series, after a supernatural showdown with a serial killer, Evie O'Neill has outed herself as a Diviner. Now that the world knows of her ability to "read" objects, and therefore, read the past, she has become a media darling, earning the title "America's Sweetheart Seer." But not everyone is so accepting of the Diviners' abilities....Meanwhile, mysterious deaths have been turning up in the city, victims of an unknown sleeping sickness. Can the Diviners descend into the dreamworld and catch a killer? “Weaving together a chilling mystery with a truly elusive solution, several poignant love stories, agonizing injustice, terrifyingly monstrous dreams, and even a cameo by legendary psychiatrist Carl Jung, this installment wraps enough up to satisfy but clearly sets the stage for more,” our reviewer writes in a rare starred review. “How will readers stand the wait?” View video >