‘There’s Something I Want You To Do’: Baxter is a brilliant writer

There’s no doubt that Charles Baxter is a brilliant writer, a treasure of the Midwest. But even the greats can stumble, and unfortunately Ba ... »

‘Past Crimes’: Debut thriller reads like it’s by a seasoned vet

Glen Erik Hamilton doesn’t have any past novels to his credit, but his debut, “Past Crimes” (William Morrow, 324 pages, $26.99 ... »

‘Welcome to Braggsville’: Author earns bragging rights

“Welcome to Braggsville” (William Morrow, 355 pages, $25.99), the new novel by Iowa Writers’ Workshop grad and current visitin ... »

‘Girl on the Train’: A thrilling whodunit

“The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins is everywhere — book blogs, magazines and on bookstore shelves — right now. It ... »

‘Moo!’: Story of car-driving cow a read aloud favorite

David LaRochelle’s “Moo!” is a funny and charming tale of adventure.

Who wouldn’t love a story about a cow joy-r ... »

‘Love Sonfs for the Quarantined’:ISU professor crafts believable characters

K.L. Cook crafts stories populated by characters who seem wholly real. Each story in Cook’s award-winning 2011 collection, “Love Song ... »

‘The Maid Narratives’: Stories, no matter how small, are important

When we think of leaders in the civil rights movement, we often think of people like the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. or Malcolm X — powe ... »

‘A Replacement Life’: A serious, funny novel about war

“A Replacement Life,” the debut novel from Boris Fishman, is many stories in one. It’s the story of Slava Gelman, a young, str ... »

‘New Uses For Old Boyfriends’: A light romance for Valentine’s Day weekend

After reading two books with depressing characters, I was ready for a light, fun read. I knew Beth Kendrick wouldn’t disappoint.

In Ke ... »

‘The Trace’: Couple’s journey through Mexico, tragedy haunts readers

A couple — Dale and Hoa — travels to Mexico’s Chihuahua Desert, tracing the apocryphal path of the writer Ambrose Bierce while ... »

‘The Peripheral’: Futuristic tale thrills with action, intrigue

William Gibson’s new novel, “The Peripheral” (Putnam, 386 pages, $28.95), is set in two futures. The first is some vague numbe ... »

‘Uncle Janice’: Book on female undercover narcotic agent not to be missed

Officer Janice Itwaru’s day is not off to a good start. Smushed in a patrol car with four male officers, the radio is off so everyone can ar ... »

‘Horrorstor’: Novel is crafted to look like catalog

Grady Hendrix manages to both send up corporate retail life and deliver some genuinely scary stuff in “Horrorstor” (Quirk Books, 250 ... »

‘Blood-Drenched Beard’: Dog saves narrator and the book

It’s easy to draw comparisons between Brazilian author Daniel Galera’s recently translated novel “Blood-Drenched Beard” ... »

‘My Mother’s Secret’: Story reminds us of hope during horror’s of Holocaust

Every time I read a story based on the Holocaust, I am riveted and in awe of the horrific acts perpetrated on the Jewish people. Every story I have ... »

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