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The Merciless

The Merciless is just that: shocking and surprising.


The Chain

With more books like “The Chain,” more anger, knowledge and compassion, I see no reason that history can’t repeat itself.


Hiding in Plain Sight: A Novel

Nearly all the characters have been forced to give up their homelands and live in countries that afford them physical safety and civil rights. What is hiding in plain sight, we come to learn, is their true selves.


All My Puny Sorrows

Its intelligence, its honesty and, above all, its compassion provide a kind of existential balm — a comfort not unlike the sort you might find by opening a bottle of wine and having a long conversation with (yes, really) a true friend.


Something Rich and Strange

Rash is especially skilled at revealing the patient fatalism of some Southerners, an inclination that makes people in other parts of the country uncomfortable.


Revival: A Novel

Reading “Revival” is experiencing a master storyteller having the time of his life.


The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books

What kind of reader, in short, is “The Republic of Imagination” addressed to? I don’t think Nafisi ever asked herself that question, and the result is a book that’s dutiful and well intentioned, but far short of what its ambitious nature demands.


Black Country

Black Country is a singularly impressive book from a talented writer, and like all the best poetry, begs to be read aloud.


Greenglass House

Finally, while Greenglass House is a nice read, I honestly think it is one of those books that are intended more for adults than children.


In the Course of Human Events: A Novel

Like the book’s ending, which forces the reader to only imagine the horrifying events to follow, the real challenge is to empathize with someone like Clyde, even when he’s doing the unthinkable, and even when a brilliant author like Harvkey refuses to spell it out for you.


The Dog: A Novel

O’Neill keeps us anxious to the very last. In a story like this, “happy” is far too much to expect, but the fact that X finally makes one decision for himself is perhaps the closest we can hope to get.


Gay Berlin: Birthplace of a Modern Identity
Kirkus Reviews : Gay Berlin (November 20, 2014)

A brave new work of compelling research.


Want You Dead

If you're looking for a fast-paced and pretty brutal police procedural, Peter James has a knack for just that.


41: A Portrait of My Father

George W. Bush has nothing more to prove. His argument at this point is not with his father but with history.


Something Rich and Strange

Mr. Rash’s stories glide with exceptional ease between the supernatural, which he can treat as a very beautiful extension of the natural world (the title story, about a girl who drowns, is deadly yet exquisite), and the mundane, which can be ghastly.


2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas

Given how easy it might be to slip into melodrama in the telling of psychologically difficult stories such as these, charging the narrative with exploration that makes the writer into a role player is a smart and memorable choice.


Fields of Blood: Religion and the History of Violence

We oversimplify the relationship between religion and violence at our peril. That scapegoat, resentful and festering, will turn back to the city that drove it out.