Finding the Literary Limelight | The Reader’s Shelf

Fame in this industry can happen in many ways. Debuts can act as lightning strikes, making authors instantly celebrated. Often the already notable become writers on the side, carrying their star power onto the page.

Fiction from Ben-David, Coben, Handler, McBride, and Debuter Swann | Xpress Reviews

Ben-David knows Mossad to its core; longtime readers will be lining up for Coben’s new stand-alone; a surprisingly subtle exploration of sexual ethics; Realism with a touch of magical realism; a moving coming-of-age story with a noir twist; Alderman is not recommended

Artistic Explorations | Wyatt’s World

A blend of interview and memoir from Anderson and Vanderbilt; National Book Award winner McBride on James Brown; the musical Hamilton finally gets a print tie-in edition; Prentiss’s debut is a vibrant portrait of 1980s NYC; Spillman’s memoir takes readers to Berlin and back

Kill ‘Em and Leave by James McBride | LJ Review

Accounts of James Brown’s life (1933–2006) have been told many times, in many versions. He has been represented and misrepresented. Yet, there is always room for more. Memoirist (The Color of Water) and novelist (The Good Lord Bird) McBride deftly includes his own life experiences, while digging deep into sources and places that surrounded the Godfather of Soul.

Best Books 2013: Historical Fiction

The best historical fiction of 2013.

Historical Fiction: Back-to-School Reading for Grown-Ups | Wyatt’s World

A woman fights for her rights in 19th-century New York City; a horrific murder in Iceland, 1829, sends the accused to a remote farm; the Emerald city meets the Depression; Austen’s Darcy and Elizabeth are recast; a young slave’s narrative revives the journey of John Brown to Harpers Ferry

Xpress Reviews: Fiction | First Look at New Books, July 19, 2013

An unconventional love story from Toperoff. Abolitionist John Brown and a young slave Henry travel to Harper’s ferry in 1859. Short story collections set in the Hawaiian Islands and abroad. A Cold War–era spy thriller reaches a boiling point in Italy in 1984. And more.