Reviews

‘The Best American Nonrequired Reading’: Compilation includes range of writing

Each year, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishes its “Best American Series,” a set of books collecting notable work published in the la ... »

‘Lost and Found’: Debut novel destined to be a classic

When choosing ideal traveling companions for a raucous cross-country adventure, most of us wouldn’t choose a 7-year-old girl whose father ha ... »

‘A Sister to Honor’: Book explores culture clash between east and west

Afia and her brother Shahid have come to America from Pakistan. Shahid came first to play squash in college. He then convinced his family in Pakist ... »

‘Corto Maltese: Under the Sign of Capricorn’ speaks English in new editions of first graphic novel hero

If you’ve yet to be captivated by the graphic novel, here’s the absolute place to start. IDW Publishing has just released “Cor ... »

‘Descent’: New novel will linger with readers

Tim Johnston’s new novel, “Descent” (Algonquin Books, 376 pages, $25.95), is a dark and beautiful book. Centered on the kidnap ... »

‘The Escape’: Satisying as a detective novel, less so as a thriller

David Baldacci’s “The Escape” (Grand Central Publishing, 370 pages, $28) is a meticulously plotted detective novel dressed in ... »

‘Disgruntled’: A powerful story of growing up black

Most Americans know architect Frank Lloyd Wright, but few know the story of his cook, a Barbados man named Julian Carlton, who brutally murdered Wr ... »

‘Inherit The Dead’: Writers meld talents for good cause

Writing a mystery novel offers any number of logistical challenges. Clues — both true and false — must be scattered through the text; ... »

‘The Lions of Little Rock’: A book for readers, writers

Plot and character development work together in a finely crafted novel. A character wants something but faces difficult circumstances. As she grapp ... »

‘Learning Cyrillic’: Short-story collection is meant to be savored

There are writers skilled at transforming seemingly banal, everyday matters into literature, and then there are writers who take these same moments ... »

‘Modern American Snipers’: Book offers intriguing look into U.S. military

Iowa City author Chris Martin takes readers into elite training programs and deadly warzones in his new book, “Modern American Snipers” ... »

‘Singing to a Bulldog’: ‘Happy Days’ stars shares secrets to his success

The beginning of a new year is a great time to reflect on your life and the lessons you have learned over the past year. In “Singing to a Bul ... »

‘Skylight’: Startling discovery is a readers gift

When a Lisbon publisher moved offices after 30 years, they made a startling discovery: the first manuscript written by Nobel Prize winning author J ... »

‘The Monogram Murders’: Poirot mystery reboot lacks Christie’s touch

When I was in junior high, I had one essential life goal: to read all of Agatha Christie’s novels.

I made a decent run at it before ot ... »

‘The Elf on the Shelf’: Enjoy this naughty treat for the Christmas season

Cedar Rapids native Andrew Shaffer found himself on the best-seller list this year with “How to Survive a Sharknado and Other Unnatural Disa ... »

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