Books

If there’s a loose theme tying the five releases we document this week, then perhaps it’s a sense of otherness. It’s a feeling that certainly comes through in latest novels by those American greats Dean Koontz and Bret Easton Ellis, while debutante Charlotte Vassell writes about how the other half live (and die), somewhat detached
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Australia has perhaps the most unusual (and dangerous) wildlife of any continent, a product of its unique status as a vast island that broke off from other landmasses millions of years ago. Due to this isolation, plants and animals specifically adapted to its climate, independent of what was evolving in the rest of the world.
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In a fantastic collaboration between two top-notch institutions working against censorship and book bans, high school students across the country are invited to apply to and take part in the Freedom to Read Advocacy Institute. Brooklyn Public Library–named Librarians of the Year from Library Journal for their Books Unbanned program–and PEN America–a leader in tracking
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If December released a rash of Christmas-related novels into the crime fiction universe, it appears that January brings the snow. New Year’s Day is still a recent memory, but already in 2023 we’ve reviewed Cold People by Tom Rob Smith, set in the Antarctic, and CJ Tudor’s The Drift. Now the temperature is about to
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Throughout our lives, we encounter fraught decisions around love and money: whether to take a better job across the country when our partner wants to stay put; when and whether to marry, buy a house, have a child; if we should work full time with children in the picture. Money and love “are profoundly intertwined,
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Accepting dares is a way of life for Theo Wright. His close-knit friendships with Jay and Darren revolve around tasking one another with all manner of physical challenges and public humiliations. When Jay dares Theo to ask his crush to prom, Theo knows that his only chance to do so will be at the biggest
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Jay A Gertzman, author of Beyond Twisted Sorrow: The Promise of Country Noir, explores some of the archetypes in literature that have helped shape the growing rural noir subgenre… If you care for Westerns, you have read about Shane, the lone rider whose gun frees a homesteading community from a cattle baron, and then rides
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When Henrietta Weldon’s parents decide that she should switch from private to public school for seventh grade, Henri is excited—and determined to hide her nerves. Between her messy bedroom and her struggles with math, Henri’s family of competitive overachievers treat her like “a problem to be solved.” Her older sister, Kat, refuses to answer Henri’s
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Self-help has been a booming genre for adults for decades, with books available that can teach us everything from how to boost our self-esteem, overcome addiction, and deal with mental illness to how to actualise our wildest dreams. Adults often buy self-help when we reach a turning point in our lives, or find ourselves in
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Every author dreams of that blockbuster hit novel – a prize winner, lauded by readers and critics alike. In 2008, Tom Rob Smith achieved it with Child 44. It was even made into a major movie starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace and Gary Oldman, and main character Lev Demidov appeared in two more bestsellers. Smith
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A line from Jessica Johns’ haunting, atmospheric and beautiful debut novel, Bad Cree, has been tumbling around in my head since I set the book down. “That’s the thing about the [prairie]. . . . It’ll tell you exactly what it’s doing and when, you just have to listen.” Johns’ protagonist, a young Cree woman
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Known for his novels exploring the wintry, rural lands of the Northeast including Sweet Hereafter and Affliction, as well as his award-winning work Cloudsplitter, which followed the life of abolitionist John Brown, author Russell Banks was considered by many to follow in the footsteps of other American authors such as Nathaniel Hawthorne and Walt Whitman.
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Jami Attenberg (All This Could Be Yours) looks back on her years as a roaming artist in I Came All This Way to Meet You: Writing Myself Home. Attenberg has lived an uncompromising life as a writer, and she muses about her choices in this forthright memoir. Frequently crossing the country to promote her books,
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Despite filling feeders and growing native plants, I continue to be disappointed by the birds that frequent our yard. So much of the same old, same old: cardinals, sparrows, chickadees. I do especially love chickadees—but where are the goldfinches, if not the bluebirds? Joan E. Strassmann’s Slow Birding: The Art and Science of Enjoying the
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There’s many an Aussie author who has travailed the dusty trails, inhospitable terrain and forgotten towns of the Outback in recent years – Garry Disher, Jane Harper and Chris Hammer, for example. The latter returns to the country’s rural landscape for Dead Man’s Creek, the follow up to Opal Country and Hammer’s second book to
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In her second novel in verse, National Book Award finalist Amber McBride blurs the lines between fantasy and reality. Eighteen-year-old Whimsy has been hospitalized for the 11th time in 10 years. Although her grandmother taught the young conjurer that “Fairy Tales are real, / magic is real,” she also offered a warning: “Careful, Whimsy, /
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The crossword and the classic murder mystery are two types of puzzle that exploded in popularity following World War I. Both relying on clues, they have been inextricably bound for over a century. While a cryptic crossword clue must comprise two elements – a definition of the answer and a piece of wordplay that suggests
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The people of Raddith are used to living with magic. The country bustles with business, bureaucracy and other hallmarks of humanity, but around its edges are whispers of curses—dangerous magic spawned from intense negative emotion. Kellen, an unraveller with the rare ability to undo these curses, and Nettle, his stoic companion with a hidden past,
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Welcome to our first new books column of 2023, where we bring you the latest from the rising star of British crime fiction, Janice Hallett. Yes, The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels is coming soon and in its pages the Antichrist returns. Not literally, mind. The Devil’s child sits alongside a new serial killer
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In many religious traditions, paradise names an otherworldly realm overflowing with lush greenery, luscious fruits, honeyed scents and cascading waterfalls. In others, paradise can be attained in this world, even in the midst of the clattering cacophony surrounding us. Bestselling travel writer Pico Iyer shares his own search for paradise in The Half Known Life,
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Among these 33 nonfiction books we can’t wait to read, you’ll find gems from old favorites and delights from debut authors who just might become your new favorites. B.F.F. by Christie Tate Avid Reader | February 7 If you haven’t yet read Christie Tate’s 2020 memoir, Group, let me begin by saying that you are
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John Fullerton’s powerful 1996 debut The Monkey House was set in war-torn Sarajevo and was right in the moment. A handful of engaging spy thrillers followed before the author paused his novels to focus on journalism, although it’s also worth noting that he has freelanced for British intelligence. Now retired from the field, he is
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“Finn was in a horrible mood. Grandpa wanted to talk about it. Finn did not.” So begins author-illustrator Cori Doerrfeld’s picture book that captures what we truly need when we’re not ready to talk about what is happening underneath the surface.  When we first see Finn, the child is little more than a lump, sitting
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