Starred Review

The Bruising of Qilwa

by Naseem Jamnia

Naseem Jamnia's brilliant and insightful novella, The Bruising of Qilwa, explores questions of identity and belonging in a nuanced medical mystery.

Firuz has relocated to Qilwa with their family to avoid persecution in their homeland as a practitioner of the much-feared Sassanian blood magic. In Qilwa, they find a city unwelcoming to outsiders, with a deep-seated fear and suspicion of Sassanians--particularly any that may be adept at blood magic. Despite the climate, Firuz is fortunate enough to find

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The Women Could Fly

by Megan Giddings

At the sentence that kicks off The Women Could Fly by Megan Giddings (Lakewood), readers might think they know precisely where this novel is going: "On the day we all agreed that--yes, sure, okay, it's time--my mother was dead, I went to the storage unit where my dad kept all her stuff. I told myself if I wanted, I could burn it.... Kerosene, matches, patience, ash." A young woman's mother has been gone for years. She is presumed dead, but her daughter is having a hard time believing it. But when readers move

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Surely Surely Marisol Rainey

by Erin Entrada Kelly

Erin Entrada Kelly (Lalani of the Distant Sea) tells the sweet story of a girl who is afraid of taking risks in this delightful stand-alone follow-up to Maybe Maybe Marisol Rainey.

Marisol Rainey and her best friend, Jada George, love making lists. Even though their lists aren't identical, they share a "number-one Least Favorite Thing to Do": gym class! Marisol doesn't mind hopscotch or hula hoop but when Coach Decker announces that they're going to learn how to play kickball for the next two weeks, Marisol

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A Map for the Missing

by Belinda Huijuan Tang

Debut author Belinda Huijuan Tang's immigrant father is a gregarious storyteller, especially about his rural Chinese upbringing, but he has one story he's never been able to finish, about his lost father. Tang empathically transforms that incomplete memory into her exquisite novel, A Map for the Missing. One late afternoon in January 1993, Tang Yitian receives a frantic call from his mother: his father has vanished. Fifteen years have passed since Yitian left the remote Tang Family Village and eight years

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Alias Emma

by Ava Glass

Emma Makepeace grew up hearing stories of her father, who was killed for passing Russian secrets to the British government, and became a spy to follow in his footsteps. Alias Emma, Ava Glass's twisty, dynamic debut thriller, follows Emma as she crisscrosses London on her first major assignment: evading the city's state-of-the-art surveillance network to bring the son of Russian dissidents to safety. Glass traces her characters' progress across London over one excruciatingly long night, while exploring the

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Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers

by Mary Rodgers, Jesse Green

The composer (Once Upon a Mattress) and children's book author (Freaky Friday) Mary Rodgers (1931-2014) had this to say of her decision to work on a syrupy television musical in the early 1960s: "In my defense, that was during the period when I would basically do anything. And that period has been my whole life." Her whole life is on dazzling display in Shy: The Alarmingly Outspoken Memoirs of Mary Rodgers, in which her more dispiriting undertakings are just as enthusiastically recollected as her sporadic

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by Natalie Lloyd

A bold, lively narrator with brittle bone disease stars in this whimsical, heartwarming story that's laced with magic.

Olive Miracle Martin's "prayer and wish and wildest hope" is to attend middle school, where she's certain she'll meet her future BFF. Even more than that, the 11-year-old homeschooler wants to prove that she's more than "fragile as a falling star"--Olive has osteogenesis imperfecta, which causes her "candy bones" to break easily. But when her prayer is answered, the first day is a "seesaw

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Nana, Nenek & Nina

by Liza Ferneyhough

Liza Ferneyhough makes her author/illustrator debut with the delightfully clever Nana, Nenek & Nina. The picture book opens with a double-page spread introducing a three-person family. On the left page, Mom holds a phone ("brring"), an overflowing suitcase at her feet; on the right, Dad and Nina anticipate a virtual connection ("beep beep") using a screen. Already, Ferneyhough adroitly reveals an impressive melding of minimal text and glorious art.

On the second double-page spread, the left and right sides

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Shelf Discovery

The Rule of Three

by E.G. Scott

In this tense novel, three abused women tell the detectives trying to unravel a mystery their versions of why homicide occurred in an elite community. 

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The Sky We Shared

by Shirley Reva Vernick

This timely and touching novel about teenagers in World War II explores the destructive effect media messages can have on individuals.

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I'm Glad My Mom Died

by Jennette McCurdy

I'm Glad My Mom Died is a gripping and emotionally exhausting tale of a monstrous stage mother's near-fatal chokehold on her daughter's life and career.

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A Dish to Die For

by Lucy Burdette

Lucy Burdette whips up another satisfying entry in the Key West Food Critic mystery series, mixing a vintage cookbook, a local real estate developer and reflections on marriage.

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Cat Brushing

by Jane Campbell

Deeply resonant, eloquently rendered short stories consider women who change and grow with enlightenment in the twilight of their lives.

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When Sparks Fly

by Jo McNally

The fifth entry in Jo McNally's Rendezvous Fall series is a passionate, feel-good, small-town romance about old friends whose new attraction challenges what they thought they wanted out of life.

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Tender Gravity

by Marybeth Holleman

Alaska's wildlife and landscape provide the metaphorical palette for 45 passionate poems of love, death and wonder.

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The Many Daughters of Afong Moy

by Jamie Ford

Seven women who transmit memories through their DNA share a heartbreaking yet hopeful link in this epic novel of the fictional descendants of the first Chinese woman to enter the United States.

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by Clare Smyth

Restaurateur Clare Smyth offers an elegant look behind the scenes of Core, the London restaurant that has been awarded three Michelin stars.

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Tor Teen: The Luminaries by Susan Dennard

Media Heat

Monday, August 15, 2022

Tonight Show: Gabrielle Zevin, author of Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow: A Novel (Knopf, $28, 9780593321201).

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Fresh Air: Paul Holes, co-author of Unmasked: My Life Solving America's Cold Cases (Celadon Books, $28.99, 9781250622792).
Today Show: Colson Whitehead, author of Harlem Shuffle: A Novel (Anchor, $17, 9780525567271).

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Fresh Air: Dana Milbank, author of The Destructionists: The Twenty-Five Year Crack-Up of the Republican Party (Doubleday, $30, 9780385548137).
CBS Mornings: Sen. Tim Scott, author of America, a Redemption Story: Choosing Hope, Creating Unity (Thomas Nelson, $28.99, 9781400236497).

Good Morning America: Jennette McCurdy, author of I'm Glad My Mom Died (Simon & Schuster, $27.99, 9781982185824).

Monday, August 8, 2022

Good Morning America: Emiko Jean, author of Mika in Real Life: A Novel (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063215689).
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