Book Review

Veteran bookseller Sarah Bagby shares her experience and insight into the literary world. You also listen to Sarah's book reviews through iTunes. Listen or subscribe here

Book Review: 'Sunburn'

Feb 19, 2018

Inspired by the noir novels of James M. Cain, Laura Lippman assiduously delivers a masterpiece of the form in her steamy novel Sunburn. An alleged secret stash of cash from a questionable insurance settlement, apparently amoral characters, and ulterior motives all mixed up because of a fervid love affair simmer over a steady flame, until everything combusts.

Not quite a memoir, not quite a collection of essays, Maggie O’Farrell’s I Am, I Am, I Am is a group of personal narratives recounting the times when her life edged dangerously close to death. The subtitle, “Seventeen Brushes with Death,” is powerful in itself, but even more so when you read what she experienced.

Laura Moriarty’s new dystopian novel, American Heart, pays homage to Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

This review originally aired on July 24, 2017.    

Michael Connelly’s latest detective novel, The Late Show, his 30th, introduces a new female detective, Renee Ballard.

Book Review: 'Bunk'

Dec 25, 2017
kevinyoungpoetry.com

Kevin Young’s official website lists him as a poet, essayist, professor, editor, and Director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture at the New York Public Library. To be up-to-date we need the option of New Yorker poetry editor, a post he began in November. 

Some Were Paupers, Some Were Kings is a collection of columns written by Mark McCormick over the past 20 years. 

Former Wichitans, Lois and Jeffrey Ruby—mother and son—show us that writing is in their blood. Each has a new book targeted to middle grade readers.

Mary Reagan

This book review originally aired on December 12, 2016. The book is coming out soon in paperback.

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Prolific mystery writer Lawrence Block, creator of characters Matt Scudder, Bernie Rhodenbarr and Evan Tanner, has never been lacking in ideas. He writes books with colleagues, works under pseudonyms and writes guides for aspiring writers, such as Telling Lies for Fun and Profit

This review originally aired on October 17, 2016. You Must Change Your Life is now available in paperback.

Rachel Corbett’s You Must Change Your Life is resplendent with European art history of the early 20th century, and is also a detailed look at the deeply felt friendship of poet Rainer Maria Rilke and the sculptor Auguste Rodin.

Two new novels about family destiny, Jesmyn Ward’s Sing, Unburied, Sing and Alice Hoffman’s The Rules of Magic, distinctly explore how burdens of the past manifest for generations. Ward draws on elements of the Southern Gothic tradition while Hoffman’s novel harkens back to the Salem Witch Trials.

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