Book reviews and more!

WAITING FOR BOJANGLES (HARDCOVER) by Olivier Bourdeaut

May 18, 2019

QUIRKY, BITTERSWEET FABLE of an eccentric family seen through a child’s eyes. Prizewinning French novel newly translated! SOLID B

WAITING FOR BOJANGLES (HARDCOVER)
Simon & Schuster
2019

Grade: SOLID B

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THE PARAGON HOTEL by Lyndsay Faye

May 16, 2019

A SHADY LADY FLEES her life of crime in 1921 New York, takes refuge in Portland’s “premier Negro hotel,” and helps uncover Klan crimes and other horrors. Fascinating, serious thriller. B PLUS

THE PARAGON HOTEL
G.P. Putnam’s Sons
2019

Grade: B PLUS

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FRIEND OF THE DEVIL by James Kirkland

May 13, 2019

A WILD RIDE OF A THRILLER pits national treasure Bill Walton and broadcasting partner Dan Pasch against some really bad dudes. Sharp, funny writing! A MINUS

FRIEND OF THE DEVIL
James Kirkland
2019

Grade: A MINUS

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CHEER UP, MR. WIDDICOMBE by Evan James

May 11, 2019

LOVINGLY ACERBIC COMEDY of manners follows an upper-middle-class family’s summer of self-doubt in perfectly crafted prose. A MINUS

CHEER UP, MR. WIDDICOMBE
Atria Books
2019

Grade: A MINUS

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NATIVE COUNTRY OF THE HEART (HARDCOVER) by Cherríe Moraga

May 9, 2019

A DAUGHTER’S LOVE LETTER to her fierce, complex Chicana mother, and to the cultures that shaped her. Raw and passionate. B PLUS

NATIVE COUNTRY OF THE HEART (HARDCOVER)
Farrar
2019

Grade: B PLUS

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NIGHT SCHOOL (PAPERBACK) by Zsofia Ban

May 6, 2019

BEAUTIFUL, SURREAL Hungarian essays take a lighthearted approach to the most serious subjects, and vice versa. B PLUS

NIGHT SCHOOL (PAPERBACK)
Open Letter
2019

Grade: B PLUS

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CAN YOU TOLERATE THIS? (HARDCOVER) by Ashleigh Young

May 4, 2019

KEEN-EYED YET WHIMSICAL essays from a New Zealand poet shine with love and bewilderment and beautiful words. B PLUS

CAN YOU TOLERATE THIS? (HARDCOVER)
Riverhead Books
2018

Grade: B PLUS

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LAST WOMAN STANDING (HARDCOVER) by Amy Gentry

May 2, 2019

TWO WOMEN’S VENGEANCE pact unspools into bloody #MeToo payback. Sharp, timely thriller, relentless pacing. B PLUS

LAST WOMAN STANDING (HARDCOVER)
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
2019

Grade: B PLUS

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BUY OR DIE by Theodor Ventskevich

April 29, 2019

SATIRE? FABLE? SCIENCE FICTION? Yes, all of these. A thirtieth-century world where advertising rules all is the setting for this delightful, surreal Gogol/Heinlein hybrid. B PLUS

BUY OR DIE: THERE COMETH A TIME OF RUTHLESS ADVERTISING.
Theodor Ventskevich
2019

Grade: B PLUS

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LOOKING FOR LORRAINE (HARDCOVER) by Imani Perry

April 27, 2019

THE TRAGICALLY SHORT LIFE of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, opened up beyond the merely iconic. Thoughtful writing with an emphasis on Hansberry’s politics. B PLUS

LOOKING FOR LORRAINE (HARDCOVER)
Beacon Press
2018

Grade: B PLUS

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