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Set the Boy Free

Marr’s prose is sharpest and most engaging when writing about music, everything that he’s fallen in love with, but especially his own.


Chabon has produced an excellent novel but not a great one.

The Spy: A novel

Ultimately the writing is just lazy, the book’s entire theme an idea that Coelho didn’t bother to flesh out with research or, evidently, passion.

Pilgrimage: My Search for the Real Pope Francis

Excerpts from Bergoglio’s writings give an even more intimate look at our current pope, although it’s unfortunate Shriver was unable to interview him.

Prince Lestat and the Realms of Atlantis: The Vampire Chronicles

Rice’s latest excursion into otherly realms may leave some readers feeling overstuffed—but others, to be sure, will be hungry for more.

The Charm Bracelet

For me, the perfect book at the perfect time.

The Invasion of the Tearling

It took some adjusting to the shifts in story, but I wanted more when I finished. And I still adore Kelsea.

The Fate of the Tearling

The Fate of the Tearling is a spectacular ending to an amazing series.


Faller is a fun read that'll appeal to lighter science fiction readers.

Road to Paradise

Road to Paradise is such a fabulously fun read. I love Shelby, I love the setting, and I really need to go make a playlist off of all the songs mentioned!

The Wangs vs. the World

Jade Chang’s debut novel is full of smart one-liners and clever observations. It made me long to become pals with Chang, because she’s probably excellent at cocktail-party conversation and slandering one’s enemies in private. Plus, she can tell a damn good story.

Conclave: A novel

It is the best Robert Harris novel to date.

The Female of the Species

This is Kill Bill in high school, but with more nuance, bolder choices and a true female perspective.

Rethink: The Surprising History of New Ideas

The whole project has a slapdash, cynical vibe.

On Living

“On Living” adds to the understanding of end-of-life issues in an important and accessible way, because Egan’s patients and caregivers could be you and me, and no doubt will be sooner than we expect.


This book is a feast of tidbits about French history.

Thus Bad Begins: A novel

I was reminded too that Marías is a master of a kind of suspense that is rare in the modern novel. He saves the best for the last. The question is whether you can get through the bad marriage first.

Black Square: Adventures in Post-Soviet Ukraine

An annotated scholarly bibliography runs seven pages, but her best sources are Twitter, Facebook, Skype, blogs and emails, which offer a poignant immediacy to the revolution’s actors.

By Women Possessed: A Life of Eugene O'Neill

Even in its repurposed sections, this book pulses with life, yet that particular defense of O’Neill feels of another time: a genuflection before the great artist.

The Princess Diarist

Like her 19-year-old self, Carrie Fisher doesn’t hold back on how she feels about life inside the “Star Wars” industrial complex — and that’s ultimately more interesting than another story about filming the Death Star trash-compactor scene.