With hundreds of books pouring into the Kirkus office every week, it’s hard to make time to read things that came out last year, let alone further back. Two things have me thinking about older books today, beginning with the unusual fact that you’ll find reviews of four volumes by Australian writer Christina Stead in this issue.
Best known for The Man Who Loved Children (1940), Stead is being brought back into print by Text, an independent Melbourne-based publisher that ...
David Owen photographed by Laurie Gaboardi.
The American West has long been a place of myth and wonder, of dramatic canyons, mesas, and mountain ranges. These dramatic landscapes have wooed Americans for centuries, and The New Yorker’s David Owen isn’t immune to its siren song. Though Owen has lived in Connecticut for most of his adult life, he spent the summers of his youth in the Colorado countryside, and the draw of the West has stuck with him ever since. So when Owen decided to ...
We talk with Francine Lucidon, Owner of the Voracious Reader
The Voracious Reader, and its attached tea shop, A Proper Cup, turns 10 this year. The Larchmont, New York, bookstore is geared toward babies, young adults, and any book-buying adults in tow. Here, owner Francine Lucidon talks about her philosophy for creating a destination bookstore for families.
How would you describe the Voracious Reader to the uninitiated?
We are primarily a children’s bookstore that takes a decidedly nonpedagogical approach to reading, with a strong emphasis on children’s innate desire to ...
Fairly recently the Facebook comments on our review of The Black Witch, by Laurie Forest, have exploded with severe condemnation of Kirkus’ enthusiastic recommendation of this doorstopper of a fantasy that is, to quote a representative comment, “filled with horrific and undisguised racism, ableism, homophobia, and misogyny.”
They are right. The book oozes all of those things—but I would argue it is not a racist, ableist, homophobic, or misogynistic book.
The story of sheltered Elloren Gardner, scion of one of ...
An early adapter to digital publishing is still going strong
By 1997, when he was 70, Warren Adler had already released 27 novels and had 12 of them optioned for film adaptations, including the blockbuster The War of the Roses (1981) and Private Lies (1991). Despite this incredible success, Adler became frustrated with the practices of traditional publishing and was drawn to the future possibilities of digital publishing. In 1998, to be a pioneer of e-book publishing, he founded Stonehouse Press, dedicated exclusively to his own works. In acquiring the ...
Rosemarie and Vince Keenan
Reach for the popcorn. The silver screen sleuths from Paramount Pictures, one-time would be actress Lillian Fox and costume designer Edith Head (based upon the real life Oscar winner) team up for their second case in Renee Patrick’s Dangerous to Know. With Marlene Dietrich, Errol Flynn, Jack Benny, and George Burns firing off great lines, the caper is as much fun as a Saturday matinee at the long lost Bijou. Kirkus’ reviewer sums it up as “[a] brightly written ...
Reporting from the National Book Critics Circle Awards
NBCC president Tom Beer
“I do think there’s a bottom line to writing. What a writer is supposed to do is pay attention....Paying attention is the only thing that guarantees an insight, and it’s the only real weapon we have against power because we can’t fight the things you can’t actually see.”
—Michelle Dean, recipient of the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing
“Let us be fierce and dangerous about the truth. Let it come out of us, let it pour ...
Anastasia Higginbotham photographed by Joan Beard.
When my grandmother watched me after school, I had to learn about sex the old-fashioned way: from Golden Girls reruns.
But the beautiful child in author-illustrator Anastasia Higginbotham’s Tell Me about Sex, Grandma is in luck. When called upon to hold forth on the birds and the bees, Grandma delivers loving and informative answers with ease.
“It’s a thing with bodies,” Higginbotham writes in Tell Me about Sex, Grandma. “Moving so it feels good. By yourself or with someone ...