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

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

In his latest crime novel, The Force, Don Winslow abandons the Mexican-California border of his acclaimed novel The Cartel for the patrol borough of Manhattan North, New York City.

Willy Somma

Whiting Award winner Catherine Lacey’s second novel, The Answers, is ambitious. Her needy protagonist is one we could easily dismiss; she has chronic pain, lives way beyond her meager means, and is emotionally drained. So, why are we engaged with the single twenty-something travel agent assistant? The answer is that Catherine Lacey is an amazing stylist, infusing humor and empathy into a beguiling intellectual narrative.

Our president’s inability to communicate beyond a revolving door of fear-inducing polemics inspired Carolina de Robertis, a creative writing teacher at San Francisco State University, to create a collection of letters written by writers and political thinkers entitled: Radical Hope: Letters of Love and Dissent in Dangerous Times.

This review originally aired on October 31, 2016.

Midwestern writer Peter Geye told me he titled his third novel Wintering “because it speaks to what all these characters are doing: hunkering down and readying themselves for what the world has to offer.”

Mark Woolcott Photography

What happens if you study orthodontia, but can’t stop drawing, then post clever comics about writing and reading on a website to be shared all around the world called incidentalcomics.com? And you live in Wichita?

Book Review: 'Spoils'

May 1, 2017

When the recent news that the ‘mother of all bombs' was dropped in Afghanistan to wipe out a stronghold of ISIS, I immediately thought about  Brian Van Reet’s debut novel Spoils, a propulsive novel that empathetically depicts both sides of our ruinous war on terror.

Border Cantos, an oversized volume of brilliantly painful color photographs by Richard Misrach taken at the Mexican Border of the United States, is haunting. 

This review originally aired on May 16, 2016

Three time periods, three cities, and one gorgeous painting, in a smart and well crafted novel: The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith.

Two inspired illustrated books recently caught my eye; two distinctive palates, two portraits of child artists, two books that distill complicated concepts. 

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