First Novelists Bivald, Hallberg, Holleman, McCrea, Watkins, & others | Debut Fiction, August 2015


Baker gets his spellbinding debut off to a rousing start, Bivald reminds us why we’re book lovers, Hallberg expertly handles multiple shifts in perspective, ­McCrea is a new author to follow, Watkins offers a wholly distinct work

Fiction from Beattie, Cameron, Connolly, de Bernières, Grafton, Kennedy, Reichs, and Debuts | Xpress Reviews


A wry collection from Beattie, a funny and bittersweet debut, Cameron’s latest canine-themed novel, an existential debut, a fresh take from Grafton, a rich debut, a joy for Dr. Who fans, suspense from Reichs, a rockin’ debut

Military Technothrillers: These 11 Titles Show the Genre Is Alive and Well


This summer’s abundant crop of debut novels and series titles draws on new threats to America’s interests, including the rise of religious extremism.

Mystery and More: Kate Morton’s Carefully Structured The Lake House Has Broad Appeal


History, mystery, a split yet deftly interlocking time frame, the complexities of family, the sweep of England’s grand country homes—of course it’s a Kate Morton novel.

Why Alice Still Matters: Celebrating 150 Years of Wonderland with Gregory Maguire


It’s been 150 years since readers first fell down the rabbit hole with the heroine of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland , and no one’s been the same since.

McLain’s Circling the Sun Soars | RA Crossroads


Welcome to RA Crossroads, where books, movies, music, and other media converge, and whole-collection readers’ advisory (RA) service goes where it may. In this column, Beryl Markham leads me down a winding path.

New Mysteries Starring Familiar Faces | Wyatt’s World


Late July and early August see a return of characters many readers know well—as recurring sleuths in crime novels reappear to take on new cases.

Two Across by Jeff Bartsch | LJ Reviews

Two Across

Bartsch, Jeff. Two Across. Grand Central. Aug. 2015. 304p. ISBN 9781455554621. $25; ebk. ISBN 9781455554607. F Bartsch’s first novel opens at a 1960 spelling bee at a Washington, DC hotel, where we meet Vera Baxter and Stanley Owens, brilliantly fierce competitors in the national championship. In a rare occurrence, they tie for the win, a […]

City on Fire by Garth Risk Hallberg | LJ Review

City on Fire

Hallberg, Garth Risk. City on Fire. Knopf. Oct. 2015. 944p. ISBN 9780385353779. $30; ebk. ISBN 9780385353786. F This epic, well-written, and highly entertaining first novel is set in New York City from around Christmas 1976 to the blackout of July 1977. Years earlier, wealthy widower William Hamilton-Sweeney had become engaged to a woman whose wheeler-dealer […]

Fiction from Bittner, Brackston, Stewart, and Debuter Ware | Xpress Reviews


Love in the Old West from Bittner; readers will suspend disbelief in Brackston’s mystical tale; an unhurried pace, an element of mystery, and plenty of symbolism from Stewart; debut novelist Ware builds suspense with verve and energy