It is difficult to determine what kind of book April Smith intended her new novel to be. Is it to be a piece of personal American history like her "A Star for Mrs. Blake"? Is it to be a thriller in the manner of her FBI Special Agent Ana Grey series? As it stands, it’s a mash-up of both — an…
Jonathan Coe’s "The Winshaw Legacy" appeared in 1995. His sequel to that politically twisted first novel was published 20 years later in Britain. It now finally appears in its first American edition. Let’s just say that "Number 11" is as savage a satire and as angry a novel as is its predecessor.
"Spurt," Chris Miles’ first book for young adults, was initially published three years ago in Australia. It’s all about coming of age. Its premise is charming. Its execution, however, seems to be all over the place.
There’s more than a touch of the Hemingway war novel in "Dark at the Crossing," a new work from Elliot Ackerman. There’s a young man fighting for what he believes is principle. There’s a return to a war-torn landscape. There’s a love story amidst all the chaos. There’s the sound of war in th…
Tim Gautreaux is one of Southern literature’s unquestionable masters. He has the keen eye of Flannery O’Connor, but none of the cruelty. Pepper that with the empathy and the humor of William Faulkner, and the result is a writer whose works are meant to be prized.
Parents, we are told, are not meant to survive their children. Sometimes they do, and there’s a journey towards whatever peace is to be found in the aftermath. John Gunther relates just such a journey in the classic "Death Be Not Proud."
Ayelet Waldman has tried a lot of things as a writer. She’s the author of the Mommy Track Mystery series. Her most recent novels are the very moving "Red Hook Road" and "Love and Treasure." She continues to stir up a bit of controversy with "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor …
It was in 2012 that Will Schwalbe published "The End of Your Life Book Club," a New York Times bestseller. That book was a chronicle of the two years he spent in a special relationship with his mother as she fought a losing battle with pancreatic cancer.
My 8-year-old daughter loves story songs. As the gatekeeper for the Spotify playlists, I like to sneak in a personal favorite from time to time, which is how we ended up listening to Bob Dylan’s haunting song "John Brown" on the way to Dairy Queen.
Late in "Moonglow," the latest novel from Michael Chabon, "Mike Chabon," the novel’s voice, is presented with a photo album by his mother, only to discover that four photos are missing from the album’s first page. That moment becomes a vindication of what has initially seemed a sort of rando…
Aurors have been chasing Grindelwald throughout Europe. Now, there’s an Obscura loose in 1926 New York City. And Newt Scamander, a magizoologist, is stepping off an ocean liner that has just passed the Statue of Liberty. A latch on Newt’s suitcase flicks open of its own accord. Newt whispers…
Last year, John Grisham gave us Sebastian Rudd in "Rogue Lawyer." Rudd was not the usual Grisham fish-out-of-water. He was aware, cynical and exasperating. And he was a formidable creation.
There’s a certain thrill of the find when you come upon a needed or hoped-for item at an arts and crafts market.
Jack Shay spent more than 10 years researching and writing his new book on the World War II POW camp at Fort McClellan. But in truth, it’s a place that has been with Shay for most of his life.
It’s been almost three decades since native Alabamian Winston Groom caught the public’s fancy with his deliriously whimsical novel "Forrest Gump," and over two decades since the equally fanciful film won over audiences and won Tom Hanks an Academy Award.
This new book for young readers, much like its often-delightful young heroine, has aspirations towards greatness. Pre-publication reviews have already cited Gertie Reece Foy as the "new" Ramona Quimby, the youngster at the heart of a book series begun a half-century ago (is that really possi…
One of the perks of being asked to review books is discovering a writer who’s been around for a while, but who has for some reason slipped past that big shelf of review books.
With the publication of "Girls in White Dresses," Jennifer Close established herself as the legacy for the sort of urban commentary that, say, Nora Ephron had been channeling for decades.
To say children's book author Roald Dahl had a way with words is like saying Violet Beauregarde occasionally chewed gum … don’t be such a vermicious knid.
There is a touch of darkness in "Heroes of the Frontier," but that darkness is pretty much mitigated by an unequivocally endearing trio of "heroes."
Although these images are just recorded moments of one man’s life — people, back roads, hand-painted signs — the overall effect is a rare study of the historic social conditions in the South of our youth.