Starred Review

The Coin

by Yasmin Zaher

Journalist Yasmin Zaher's debut novel, The Coin, follows a young, meticulous Palestinian woman as she spirals out of control while trying to establish herself in New York City. After getting a job teaching English at a private all-boys middle school, the unnamed narrator embraces unorthodox teaching methods that encourage the boys to behave more like her followers than her students. Meanwhile, at home, she follows an expensive and unyielding cleaning and self-care routine, funded by her late parents' allowance.

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The Rent Collectors: Exploitation, Murder, and Redemption in Immigrant LA

by Jesse Katz

Jesse Katz (The Opposite Field), longtime Los Angeles journalist, tackles a true story featuring a daunting number of characters and spanning years and tragedies in The Rent Collectors. With admirable clarity and compassion, Katz unravels a complex narrative that has no easy answers.

In the MacArthur Park neighborhood of L.A. in 2007, a teenaged gang member under orders fired five shots at a street vendor, in retaliation for the vendor refusing to pay "rent" to the gang. The intended victim was badly

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Wicked Marigold

by Caroline Carlson

Wicked Marigold is a witty and wise tale of wickedness (with a twist) that's populated by strong-willed princesses, nasty wizards, a fastidious imp, and a sentient yellow blob.

Princess Marigold of the Cacophonous Kingdoms has grown up hearing all about her sister, "perfectly good" Princess Rosalind, who was stolen by the evil Wizard Torville before Marigold was born. Unlike Rosalind, Marigold occasionally sulks and can't "coax strawberries to ripeness" with her laugh, but she builds wonderful contraptions

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The West Passage

by Jared Pechaček

The West Passage by Jared Pechaček introduces a marvelously strange cast of characters struggling against outsized forces in a world both reminiscent of medieval Europe and unlike anything readers will recognize.

Pechaček's teenaged protagonists are Pell, an apprentice to the Mother of Grey, and Kew, apprentice to the Guardian. One has trained in stories, songs, history, and rituals for births and deaths, the other in protection from the Beast. They live in Grey House, one of the five towers in an enormous

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by Gordon Korman

Is Robin Hood a thief or a hero? Is stealing okay if you only steal from the rich? Twelve-year old Trey starts to question his father's con-man lifestyle in the diverting and dynamic middle-grade novel Faker by Gordon Korman (Linked; Restart).

Trey's father is "a con man, a swindler, a flimflam artist." That's why every few months, the two of them and Trey's younger sister, Arianna, obtain new identities and move homes. Trey knows the routine: new town, befriend the rich kids, Dad swindles their parents, leave

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Do Something: Coming of Age Amid the Glitter and Doom of '70s New York

by Guy Trebay

The subtitle of Do Something: Coming of Age Amid the Glitter and Doom of '70s New York promises tales of an unforgettable Manhattan decade and, to be sure, the book contains lots of that: in the 1970s, Guy Trebay could be found "hanging around creative oddballs, drugged-up drag queens with washed-up Hollywood characters and the Warhol-adjacent." But his book also travels chronologically wide of 1970s New York, resulting in not so much a portrait of a specific time and place as--and this may sound twee given

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Shelf Discovery


by Joseph Kanon

European Jews escaping the Nazis in Shanghai find a haven embroiled in violence and political intrigue in this complex, thrilling novel.

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The Match

by Sarah Adams

A woman with epilepsy who works at a service dog agency finds love with the single father of a young client in this poignant rom-com.

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The Island Before No

by Christina Uss, illus. by Hudson Christie

The Island Before No cleverly and comically relates the story of how a huddle of overly agreeable walruses learns the value of partnering "yes" with "NO."

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The Heart in Winter

by Kevin Barry

Kevin Barry upends the American western with this magnificent novel, which follows a drug-addicted Irishman and the married woman with whom he has an affair.

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Some Murders in Berlin

by Karen Robards

A serial killer stalks the streets of Berlin and a famous Danish psychiatrist and a German detective must find him in this stellar thriller set amid the horrors of war and Nazi persecution.

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The Second Son

by Adrienne Tooley

A queen and a reincarnated god fight for their country, and each other, in this emotionally intense follow up to 2023's The Third Daughter.

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Mariner Books: The Blue Hour by Paula Hawkins

Media Heat

Wednesday, July 17, 2024

Today Show: Kathie Lee Gifford, author of Herod and Mary: The True Story of the Tyrant King and the Mother of the Risen Savior (Thomas Nelson, $29.99, 9781400336623).

Also on Today: Edy Massih, author of Keep It Zesty: A Celebration of Lebanese Flavors & Culture from Edy's Grocer (Harper, $39.99, 9780063280908).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Charlamagne Tha God, author of Get Honest or Die Lying: Why Small Talk Sucks (Atria/Black Privilege Publishing, $28.99, 9781982173791).

Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Good Morning America: Deborah Harkness, author of The Black Bird Oracle: A Novel (Ballantine, $32, 9780593724774).

Today Show: Gary Vaynerchuk, author of Meet Me in the Middle: A VeeFriends Book (HarperCollins, $19.99, 9780063320291).

Monday, July 15, 2024

CBS Mornings: Jasmin Graham, author of Sharks Don't Sink: Adventures of a Rogue Shark Scientist (Pantheon, $28, 9780593685259).

Today Show: RoseMarie Terenzio and Liz McNeil, authors of JFK Jr.: An Intimate Oral Biography (Gallery Books, $30.99, 9781668018514).

Wednesday, July 10, 2024

Fresh Air: Richard Behar, author of Madoff: The Final Word (Avid Reader Press/S&S, $35, 9781476726892).
Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, author of True Gretch: What I've Learned About Life, Leadership, and Everything in Between (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781668072318).

Tuesday, July 9, 2024

Fresh Air: Jill Ciment, author of Consent: A Memoir (Pantheon, $27, 9780593701065).
Good Morning America: Karla Tatiana Vasquez, author of The SalviSoul Cookbook: Salvadoran Recipes and the Women Who Preserve Them (Ten Speed Press, $35, 9781984861429).

The View: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, author of True Gretch: What I've Learned About Life, Leadership, and Everything in Between (Simon & Schuster, $26.99, 9781668072318).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Julia Phillips, author of Bear: A Novel (Hogarth, $28, 9780525520436).
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