Kirkus Reviews Stars & Recommendations

LITTLE CAT'S LUCK by Marion Dane Bauer
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Excellent for young readers and all cat lovers. (Verse fiction. 7-12)"
This little cat's luck turns out to be dependent on the kindness of strangers, and that, most satisfyingly, connects back to her own unerring kindness. Read full book review >
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 >
TIGER AND BADGER by Emily Jenkins
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A very funny and fine tribute to a very young friendship. (Picture book. 4-7)"
Tiger and Badger are very young—maybe 4—and they are best friends, doing as best friends do. Read full book review >
SWAP! by Steve Light
Kirkus Star
by Steve Light, illustrated by Steve Light
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Keep your bitcoins—you never know when somebody might need a button. (Picture book. 3-7)"
A broken-down captain and his young, peg-legged mate rediscover an ages-old system to rebuild their battered ship without spending a penny. Read full book review >
IT'S NOT EASY BEING NUMBER THREE by Drew Dernavich
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"An acclaimed cartoonist in the adult world has created a solid hit for children. (Picture book. 3-7)"
When Number Three feels bored with being a number, he seeks other uses for his highly distinguishable shape. Read full book review >
WHERE FUTURES END by Parker Peevyhouse
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"Strange and compelling, this won't be for every reader; the ones who love it will feel transported to another place. (Science fiction. 13 & up)"
Five novellas weave together a possible future of a decaying world where everyone wants to find their way to the Other Place. Read full book review >
BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN by Mary McKenna Siddals
CHILDREN'S AND TEEN
Released: Feb. 9, 2016

"A sweet book for any place with small children in it. (Picture book. 2-4)"
Four children of diverse ethnicity—and one small dog—cavort through the seasons, backgrounded by rhythmic verses and a simple refrain. 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 >