Book reviews and more!

THE UGLY CRY by Danielle Henderson

September 25, 2021

HILARIOUS AND HEARTBREAKING MEMOIR of a difficult childhood and a complicated family, invigorated by a sharp eye for the everyday details of how a rebellious Gen X childhood played out for a Black girl in a mostly white community. B PLUS

THE UGLY CRY
Viking
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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THE TREES by Percival Everett

September 23, 2021

POWERFUL, TENSE, WITTY novel from the incomparable Percival Everett combines forms from the detective thriller to the Southern grotesque to classic horror to tell a horrifying, necessary story about race in the United States. SOLID A

THE TREES
Graywolf Press
2021

Grade: SOLID A

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THE INSECURE MIND OF SERGEI KRAEV by Eric Silberstein

September 20, 2021

THE ROAD TO GLOBAL CYBERCATASTROPHE laid out in a snappy near-ish future science fiction thriller. Sharp writing and strong characterization buoy a high-energy, high-concept plot. A MINUS

THE INSECURE MIND OF SERGEI KRAEV
Liu Book Group
2021

Grade: A MINUS

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FIERCE POISE by Alexander Nemerov

September 18, 2021

HELEN FRANKENTHALER’S EXTRAORDINARY career, captured in microcosm in this deep dive into her first ten years as a professional painter. Mixing art criticism and biography, this generous, engaging look at one of the greats enchants. B PLUS

FIERCE POISE
Penguin Press
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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THE PUSH by Ashley Audrain

September 16, 2021

SAVAGELY INSIGHTFUL NOVEL about motherhood, daughterhood, and the infinite number of stress points in families blends the structure of a psychological thriller with poetic, almost philosophical prose. B PLUS

THE PUSH
Pamela Dorman Books
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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THE BARONET UNLEASHED (STELLA HART BOOK 3) by Lucy Blue

September 13, 2021

CHARMING ROMANTIC MYSTERY finds intrigue in both the silent film industry and 1920s high society. Well crafted plot, engaging writing, memorable characters! B PLUS

THE BARONET UNLEASHED (STELLA HART BOOK 3)
Falstaff Books
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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THE SECRET TO SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH by Alison Bechdel

September 11, 2021

MIND, BODY, AND THE ZEITGEIST: the always brilliant Alison Bechdel shines with another autobiographical graphic memoir, this time an exploration of her lifelong love/hate relationship with fitness (and literature, philosophy, daytime TV)… B PLUS

THE SECRET TO SUPERHUMAN STRENGTH
Mariner Books
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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PEACES by Helen Oyeyemi

September 9, 2021

A CHARMING FAIRY TALE of a couple on a train to nowhere mixes the sweet and the unsettling in nearly equal measure, but love of all kinds always holds center stage. B PLUS

PEACES
Riverhead Books
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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BRINGING HOME THE RAIN by Bob McGough

September 6, 2021

THE “OUTLAW WIZARD” TROPE gets a fresh take in this inventive rural Alabama fantasy. “Methmagician” Howard Marsh, scion of an old family with powers, works spells for the law to keep himself in drugs and junk food. Sharp, vivid writing! B PLUS

BRINGING HOME THE RAIN: THE REDEMPTION OF HOWARD MARSH 1 (THE JUBAL COUNTY SAGA)
Broken Oak Publishing
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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SLEEPER AGENT by Ann Hagedorn

September 4, 2021

THE SOVIET SPY INSIDE the Manhattan Project—how he got there, and how he got away with it. Fascinating story explores a complex intelligence operation, as well as the factors that led Iowa-born George Koval to spy for the USSR. B PLUS

SLEEPER AGENT
Simon & Schuster
2021

Grade: B PLUS

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