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Elsewhere: A memoir
Kirkus Reviews : Elsewhere (September 15, 2012)

An affecting yet never saccharine glimpse of the relationship among place, family and fiction.


The Testament of Mary

Lovely, understated and powerfully sad, The Testament of Mary finally gives the mother of Jesus a chance to speak. And, given that chance, she throws aside the blue veil of the Madonna to become wholly, gloriously human.


Flight Behavior

In general, Flight Behaviour is an impressive work. It is complex, elliptical and well-observed.


Dear Life: Stories

"Dear Life" has something of a valedictory quality to it, but the consciousness behind these stories has a vitality that, thankfully, seems in no danger of ending any time soon.


The Yellow Birds: A Novel

"The Yellow Birds" might just be the first American literary masterpiece produced by the Iraq war, even if an imperfect one. It is, without a doubt, a powerful and disturbing statement about the brutality of that conflict, and of the deep wounds inflicted on thousands of our citizen-soldiers.


Sweet Tooth: A Novel

Ian McEwan’s delicious new novel provides all the pleasures one has come to expect of him: pervasive intelligence, broad and deep knowledge, elegant prose, subtle wit and, by no means least, a singularly agreeable element of surprise.


The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars

So not only does the novel “pretend to little, but abound in much,” it also gives the 21st-century reader a sense of the kind of book that used to be called a “racy French novel.” What a treat to have it back in print.


She Loves Me Not: New and Selected Stories

Story by story, brick by felt-and-known brick, he builds us a place bright with imagining and loud with Midwesterners talking with all the idioms of home.


The Lawgiver: A Novel

The Lawgiver won’t win the Pulitzer. It won’t even be nominated. But for all its flaws, it’s actually not a bad read. And it will doubtless make an entertaining film. Epic, you might say.


Leonardo and the Last Supper

King tells us everything that any non-specialist would ever want to know about The Last Supper and the events surrounding its creation. The iconography is exhaustively scrutinized, possible models for Jesus and the Twelve are discussed, the specific meanings of the dining hall in theology and monastic lore are explored, and much else.


Sweet Tooth: A Novel

Espionage aspects of Sweet Tooth — concerning the IRA and USSR — are curiously flat. The book's tensions and temptations reside instead in its labyrinthine literary and romantic interplay.


Every Day is an Atheist Holiday!: More Magical Tales from the Author of God, No!

An outspoken wordsmith offers more intelligent, humorous and against-the-grain perspectives.


Roll Me Up and Smoke Me When I Die

Just one volume in Nelson’s long story that remains much like its author: funny, inspirational and bawdy, with a well-honed sense of humor.


Dear Life: Stories
Kirkus Reviews : Dear Life (October 15, 2012)

The author knows what matters, and the stories pay attention to it.


Mad Science: Einstein's Fridge, Dewar's Flask, Mach's Speed, and 362 Other Inventions and Discoveries That Made Our World
Kirkus Reviews : Mad Science (November 01, 2012)

Edifying bathroom reading.


Live by Night

With a rich cast of underworld characters, dialogue as sharp as a prison yard shank and a melancholic sense of irony, "Live by Night" proves to be one of the most purely enjoyable novels of this fall.


Hallucinations

The human brain, as Sacks demonstrates, is the freakiest show in town. In the end it's the only show we've got.


Flight Behavior

By the end of "Flight Behavior," it's clear that Kingsolver's passionate voice and her ability to portray the fragility of the natural world, and why we should care about it, are as strong as ever.


Panorama City

"Panorama's" spent quality, its ruminative room, recalls some of the best of the mid-century South, New Orleans specifically, "The Moviegoer" and "A Confederacy of Dunces," particularly.