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Burning Down the House: The End of Juvenile Prison

"Burning Down the House" offers promising alternatives to jail and issues an urgent and unequivocal moral indictment: We've purchased peace of mind at the cost of the health, and in some cases the lives, of children - a bargain perhaps as criminal as the worst of youthful offenses.


The Snow Queen

In this often doleful novel about remissions and relapses, hope and dejection, it is the hits of love, loyalty and exquisite language that provide the best highs.


China Dolls

"China Dolls" plunges us into a fascinating history and offers an accessible meditation on themes that are still urgent in our contemporary world.


The Extraordinary Life of Rebecca West

The Extraordinary Life of Rebecca West is a fair, sympathetic but forthright portrait of its subject and should — so at least may be hoped — help her find new readers.


Euphoria

Rich in detail, at times fascinating and harrowing, Euphoria offers a many-sided look at love and eros — and bracing doses of reality.


The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

Rachman’s novel succeeds thanks to the captivating and contrasting personalities of his supporting characters, especially Humphrey and Venn.


The Book of Unknown Americans

The stories occasionally connect with the main narrative, but more often they enrich the experience with their depictions of the delicate line between heartache and triumph.


The Book of Unknown Americans

A smartly observed tale of immigrant life that cannily balances its optimistic tone with straight talk.


My Salinger Year

Many of the mysteries of the literary world remain mysteries to the author, but she provides good company as she explores them.


The Sixth Extinction

The Sixth Extinction, which is filled with alarming projections, offers no solutions. Instead, it impresses upon the reader the enormity of the problem.


The Girl in the Road

The book presents a future that’s plausible and inventive enough to intrigue sci-fi fans, but ultimately, it’s about intimate human connections rather than world-building, and even readers who aren’t normally interested in science fiction would do well to give this one a try.


Traveling Sprinkler: A Novel

His work is dazzling and strange and wondrous, and heart-breakingly beautiful often on the same page where it is stunningly of-the-moment and even in-your-face.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

If you have a few hours this weekend, treat yourself to reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane in one sitting so you can feel like a child again,


The Guest Cat

It’s a deceptively simple story on the surface, but philosophical as it’s settles in your mind, which is my favorite kind of read.


The Magician King: A Novel

I love the magical stagecraft, but I stay for the great read.


Letters from Skye: A Novel

This was a quick read, and I enjoyed it well enough, but the ending was a bit tidy for my liking.


All Right Here

An overtly religious point of view isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I’d recommend All Right Here to readers who like inspirational fiction.


My Wish List: A Novel

I really admire the way Delacourt writes so richly and so economically.


Pills and Starships

There is much here to enjoy — for adult fans of dystopian fiction, too — and plenty to worry about.


Fourth of July Creek

This richly plotted novel is another sign, if any were needed, that new fiction writers are still telling vibrant, essential stories about the American experience.