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Death of the Black-Haired Girl

With this spare and unsettling novel, Stone has vividly returned to form.


Half the Kingdom: A Novel

Half the Kingdom has an airy, farcical quality. The flighty rhythm of the novel as it breezes through the perspectives of its unwieldy cast feels looser than lips spilling the juiciest dirt.


At Night We Walk in Circles: A Novel

“At Night We Walk in Circles” couldn’t be called a thriller except ironically, but the story’s collision of deception, naivete and violence will definitely push you off balance.


Hild

Griffith has taken a handful of pages from the Venerable Bede and made a gift of them for us all, creating in Hild a passionate, unique and thoroughly unforgettable heroine.


The Madonna on the Moon

It’s pretty much magnificent initially—winningly whimsical, witty and wise, such that I loved at least half of this book wholeheartedly—alas the laborious last act left me feeling disheartened rather than outsmarted.


Through the Evil Days

I keep going back and forth on a grade, because before I hiccuped on the genre conventions, I thought the book was very good. But in the end, I had to give it a “really liked — with reservations” grade.


Anything That Moves: Renegade Chefs, Fearless Eaters, and the Making of a New American Food Culture

Goodyear is a witty writer with a sly humor that makes her a genial guide to such a strange and diverse counterculture.


Johnny Cash: The Life

Hilburn’s biography attempts to set the record straight but, as with most musicians, the essence of Cash is already on record, the black vinyl kind, scratched into the grooves for anyone to hear.


The Testament of Mary

Slim, slippery and unsettling, The Testament of Mary is best read at one sitting.


This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage

In this terrific, wide-ranging collection, Patchett demonstrates how a pro does it.


Hild

Hild is a book as loving as it is fierce, brilliant and accomplished. To read it felt like a privilege and a gift.


A Permanent Member of the Family

Old-fashioned short fiction: honest, probing and moving.


The Raven's Eye
Kirkus Reviews : The Raven's Eye (November 14, 2013)

The complications may be far-fetched, but Maitland’s ability to root them deeply in the psychology of his characters and spring surprises that seem as inevitable as they are unexpected make for another deeply satisfying case.


An Old Betrayal
Kirkus Reviews : An old betrayal (November 14, 2013)

Although Finch (A Death in the Small Hours, 2012, etc.) has created an intelligent and amiable protagonist, too many supernumeraries, subplots and teacups dilute the impact of the central puzzle.


Warlord
Kirkus Reviews : Warlord (November 14, 2013)

A fast-paced and exciting story unsuitable for the squeamish.


Jony Ive: The Genius Behind Apple's Greatest Products
Kirkus Reviews : Jony Ive (November 14, 2013)

An adulating biography of Apple’s left-brained wunderkind, whose work continues to revolutionize modern technology.


The Goldfinch: A Novel

Donna Tartt’s prose is, as ever, sublimely elegant and lyrical, particularly in the rendering of location.


Fiddlehead
Kirkus Reviews : Fiddlehead (November 14, 2013)

A rousing finale, far more convincing than its rather too zombified predecessor—one that almost lives up to the extravagant praise this series has received in some quarters.


A Christmas Hope
Kirkus Reviews : A Christmas Hope (November 14, 2013)

Though there’s precious little mystery here, there’s considerable pleasure to be had in watching Perry, on her annual sabbatical from her cumbersomely virtuous anatomies of Victorian social mores (Acceptable Loss, 2012, etc.), manage Claudine’s nimble cut-and-thrust conversations with young people, society hostesses and her own husband.


Dust
Kirkus Reviews : Dust (November 14, 2013)

The takeaway? “People still suck.” Yes, they do, and they do very bad things to each other. Stay tuned.