Books

How complicated can breakfast possibly get? In Zao Fan: Breakfast of China, Michael Zee writes that the enormity of Chinese cuisine is “both terrific and terrifying”—and what is usually the simplest, smallest meal of the day is no exception. Yet Zee demonstrates a knack seldom seen in English-language cookbooks for succinctly yet fully conveying the
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Marigold Claude is the least talented woman in her artsy family. She’s resigned to her fate as a spinster, flouncing away from suitors and fleeing balls to dance barefoot with spirits beneath the full moon. So when her grandmother offers Marigold the chance to be the next Honey Witch, the protector of the isle of
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A Series of Un/Natural/Disasters by Cheena Marie Lo If you were pressed to categorize a book of poetry on your bookshelf as fiction or nonfiction, would you choose fiction? Most people probably would. Poetry has a reputation for being airy and fantastical, for dwelling in the realm of emotions and dreams, not in the “real
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Names often play a pivotal role in stories—and like many aspects of fiction, their importance is reflected in the real world. The novels of award-winning young adult author Darcie Little Badger draw on the power of names: In Elatsoe, Little Badger’s 2020 debut, the titular character carries the name of a legendary ancestor. Little Badger’s
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We all have our routines. And while the otherworldly fellow in The Spaceman may have a very different mode of transportation from the rest of us— a super cool silver spaceship—he too has a routine: “I collect soil samples. I label the soil samples. And I file the soil samples. Then I move on to
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Beyoncé’s new album, Cowboy Carter, has sparked a sometimes contentious debate about the nature and identity of country music. It’s an invigorating topic that has long been explored by writers and scholars. A number of excellent books, such as Charles L. Hughes’ Country Soul, Francesca Royster’s Black Country Music and Daphne Brooks’ Liner Notes for
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Most of Tirzah Price’s life decisions have been motivated by a desire to read as many books as humanly possible. Tirzah holds an MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and has worked as an independent bookseller and librarian. She’s also the author of the Jane Austen Murder
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Sometimes writing the headline for this piece is easy. Sometimes, not so much. The one thing we’ve spotted with this week’s varied collection of crime novels is that the sleuthing in every single one of them is done by a woman – in some cases more than one. So let’s start our journey in Nigeria, head
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Meet the Pike Boys, heavy hitters in the New Orleans underworld. A step outside the law is the only way for dirt poor people to break out of poverty and make it in 1920s America – and when it comes to setting, what could be sexier than the Big Easy during the birth of jazz
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While we primarily focus on stateside bookish news, we thought some recent news on France’s reading habits was pretty interesting. According to the data from market research company GfK, 1 in 4 books sold in the country are comics. France’s affection for comics isn’t a recent thing — it is the home of immensely popular
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There’s religious strife brewing in Belfast, but it’s not what you might expect. A group known as the Followers of Eden have been operating in and around the city for years, although their power and influence have reached significant heights of late. Led by shadily charismatic American expat Seymour Huber and sponsored by the likes
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If you asked romance author Tia Williams what her favorite genre is, you might be surprised to learn it is horror. In fact, she once took a yearlong class on Dracula, taking an interest in the mythology of immortality and the fearsome, seductive title character. Williams chuckles as she says, “I’d love to write [a
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Translated by Quentin Bates — The Dancer is Icelandic author Óskar Guðmundsson’s second book translated into English, following The Commandments in 2021. It’s a fast-paced psychological thriller linked to the world of dance. Tony has trained as a dancer since childhood with lessons from his mother. The book covers a little over a week in
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Kacen Callender dedicates their first foray into young adult fantasy, Infinity Alchemist, to “the younger me who always wanted to write a YA fantasy.” While this might make one imagine a teenage Callender dreaming of a future as an author, Callender explains it is actually in reference to their early days of their career, when
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Translated by Ekin Oklap — Daughter of Ashes is the third and possibly final instalment in Italian author Ilaria Tuti’s Teresa Battaglia series. It follows on from Painted in Blood in 2022, which was also published as The Sleeping Nymph. This bittersweet conclusion takes place a mere 20 days after the close of the Sleeping
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The protagonist of Temim Fruchter’s remarkable debut novel, a queer grad student studying Jewish folklore, describes her work as collecting scraps. In the wake of her father’s death, 30-year-old Shiva decides to get her master’s, hoping to unravel the family mysteries her mother has kept hidden from her all her life. Shiva eventually travels to
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At long last, the Argylle author has been revealed! If you’re a little late to the latest bookish conspiracy theory, read this rundown to catch up. Essentially, there’s been a lot of speculation surrounding the true identity of Elle Conway, the listed author of the book that inspired the new spy action comedy titled Argylle,
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Tim Sullivan’s The Teacher is the newest in his entertaining series of police procedurals whose titles come from the murder victim’s profession and we’ve previously reviewed The Monk. When thinking ahead to 2024, and the kinds of crime books that are likely on the horizon, ones with neurodivergent protagonists seemed quite likely. The success of
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Behind You Is the Sea, Susan Muaddi Darraj’s debut novel, brings readers into the lives of three Palestinian families in and around Baltimore: the Salamehs, the Baladis and the Ammars. Generational disputes form the core of the novel’s action, which unfolds through weddings, graduations, unplanned pregnancies and funerals. Women’s issues are also at the fore,
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Elly Griffiths is best known for her Ruth Galloway series, which came to a halt in the North Norfolk salt marshes last year. Griffiths has set that series aside for the time being at least, but the good news for the fans of this hugely popular British author is that it gives her more time
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Almost from the moment it docked in Mobile Bay, Alabama, much has been written about the Clotilda, the schooner that brought 110 captive Africans to the U.S. in 1860, more than five decades after the slave trade had been outlawed. The illegal voyage was conducted with stealth, but the arrival of the ship was an
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