Starred Review

The Guest Lecture

by Martin Riker

The hyperactive brain of an insomniac in a state of high anxiety is some kind of place to be, as Martin Riker (Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return) demonstrates in The Guest Lecture. This ingenious novel captures the maelstrom inside the head of Abby, a feminist economist, who lies awake in a "dark hotel room somewhere in middle America" with her husband, Ed, who's "allergic to ambition," and her young daughter, Ali. Abby is petrified about the speech she has to give the next day on the economist John Maynard

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How to Sell a Haunted House

by Grady Hendrix

How to Sell a Haunted House by horror novelist Grady Hendrix (The Final Girl Support Group; We Sold Our Souls; Horrorstör) is a hilarious, horrifying and surprisingly tender take on a good old-fashioned haunted house tale. After her loving parents die suddenly in a car wreck, single mom Louise knows she has to return to Charleston. But going home means facing her deadbeat younger brother, Mark, who's hated her for years; her eccentric extended family; and some terrifying childhood memories that she prefers

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The Minus-One Club

by Kekla Magoon

In this gritty and emotional young adult novel, Kekla Magoon (The Season of Styx Malone; X: A Novel), four-time Coretta Scott King Honor recipient and winner of the 2010 John Steptoe Award for New Talent, gives young adults another heartfelt, sincere work of contemporary realism.

Fifteen-year-old Kermit Sanders lost his older sister, Sheila, when "an intoxicated pickup driver... crossed a double yellow line and smashed" into her car. It has been a week since the accident and everything reminds him of her.

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Just Like Grandma

by Kim Rogers, illus. by Julie Flett

Wichita and Affiliated Tribes author Kim Rogers's first picture book, Just Like Grandma, beautifully portrays a supportive, inspiring grandparent-grandchild relationship. Joy-suffused art by Swampy Cree and Red River Métis illustrator Julie Flett (We All Play) accompanies Rogers's accessible free verse.

"Becca watches/ Grandma bead and bead/ buckskin moccasins"; Grandma passes her the needle when she asks to try. The Indigenous child and woman sit on the steps of their gray house and bead until "Grandpa

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Justice and Beauty in Muslim Marriage: Towards Egalitarian Ethics and Laws

by Ziba Mir-Hosseini et al., editors

A groundbreaking collection of essays challenging the "patriarchal terrain of Islam," Justice and Beauty in Muslim Marriage: Towards Egalitarian Ethics and Laws, edited by Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Mulki Al-Sharmani, Jana Rumminger and Sarah Marsso, advocates persuasively for a dynamic, feminist approach to interpreting the Qur'an and other sources of divine guidance relating to women's rights within marriage. A diverse cohort of authors, professors and prominent feminists--drawing on scholarly reviews of the Qur'an,

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Border Crossings

by Sneed B. Collard III, illus. by Howard Gray

Author Sneed B. Collard III (Waiting for a Warbler) and illustrator Howard Gray (Land of Giants) present with conviction and a keen reverence for biodiversity the threat to animals and plants posed by the U.S./Mexico border wall.

Readers first meet a male ocelot, padding across the ground in the dark of night. He heads toward Mexico and meets a long wall, one that "smells alien." A car approaches and he runs away, Collard noting that the creature will not successfully find a mate this year. This border wall

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Tove Jansson: The Illustrators

by Paul Gravett

Paul Gravett's Tove Jansson, the potted biography of the author best known for the Moomins, showcases the development of her artistic style and literary themes. Born at the start of World War I into a family of artists (her father was a sculptor; her mother, a graphic designer; her brother, Lars, a collaborator on her comics), Jansson wanted to paint but had limited opportunities as a woman. After art college, she undertook commissions and freelance work. The first Moomins book was published in 1945; the second,

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Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and a Legacy of Rage

by Jeff Guinn

Jeff Guinn (Manson; The Road to Jonestown) is a meticulous researcher with the exceptional writing skills to gather those details into riveting works of narrative nonfiction. With Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and a Legacy of Rage, Guinn first touches down on the tragic February date in 1993 when federal agents began a seven-week siege on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Tex., before stepping back to the 19th-century roots of the religious sect, to chart its progress toward the charismatic

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Shelf Discovery

The Widowmaker

by Hannah Morrissey

In this fascinating thriller, an economically depressed town provides the sturdy background for a goth photographer and a police detective who are drawn into a murder and a 20-year disappearance.

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Regrets Only

by Kieran Scott

Set in a picturesque Connecticut town, this entertaining domestic thriller with an irresistible dash of romance follows a Hollywood TV writer struggling to escape her past.

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Gray Fox in the Moonlight

by Isaac Peterson

This handsome and haunting picture book takes readers through a typical night in the life of the titular animal, during which the moon lights her path back to her kits.

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by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's stunning 13th novel explores the experiences of one Indian family during Partition in 1947.

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Secrets Typed in Blood

by Stephen Spotswood

In this addition to the incessantly delightful Pentecost and Parker mystery series, the Brooklyn-based female PIs work with a crime writer whose fiction seems to be a blueprint for murder.

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The Least Among Us

by Gwen Florio

A lawyer battles personal and professional stress in this energetic novel that combines an emotional domestic story and an engrossing legal thriller.

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Exes and O's

by Amy Lea

In this romantic comedy, an avid romance reader goes on dates with her exes in an attempt to find her happily-ever-after, only to discover it in her own apartment.

Read Full Review »

Zonderkidz: The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We're Different, the Big Ways We're the Same by Linsey Davis, illustrated by Lucy Fleming

Media Heat

Thursday, January 26, 2023

Good Morning America: Molly Maloof, author of The Spark Factor: The Secret to Supercharging Energy, Becoming Resilient, and Feeling Better Than Ever (Harper Wave, $32, 9780063207202).

The View: Linsey Davis, author of The Smallest Spot of a Dot: The Little Ways We're Different, The Big Ways We're the Same (Zonderkidz, $18.99, 9780310748809).

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Fresh Air: Jeff Guinn, author of Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and A Legacy of Rage (Simon & Schuster, $29.99, 9781982186104).

Monday, January 23, 2023

CBS Mornings: Lisa Guerrero, author of Warrior: My Path to Being Brave (Hachette Books, $28, 9780306829499).

The View: Sen. Raphael Warnock, author of Put Your Shoes On & Get Ready! (Philomel, $19.99, 9780593528877).

NPR's Here & Now: Estela Juarez, co-author of Until Someone Listens: A Story About Borders, Family, and One Girl's Mission (Roaring Brook Press, $18.99, 9781250832122).

Fresh Air: Saket Soni, author of The Great Escape: A True Story of Forced Labor and Immigrant Dreams in America (Algonquin, $28, 9781643750088).

Thursday, January 19, 2023

Fresh Air: Matthew Connelly, author of The Declassification Engine: What History Reveals About America's Top Secrets (Pantheon, $32.50, 9781101871577).
The View: Kristin Chenoweth, author of I'm No Philosopher, But I Got Thoughts: Mini-Meditations for Saints, Sinners, and the Rest of Us (Harper Celebrate, $22.99, 9781400228492).

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Drew Barrymore Show: Pinky Cole, author of Eat Plants, B*tch: 91 Vegan Recipes That Will Blow Your Meat-Loving Mind (Gallery/13A, $28.99, 9781982178314).
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