Reviews

‘Orange is the New Black’: Topic is titillating, but book lacks personal introspective

In 2010 Piper Kerman was known to readers and booksellers as the author of “Orange is the New Black,” a memoir detailing her year in ... »

‘Time Ages in a Hurry’: Readers should savor every minute of this collection of tales

All classic stories have one thing in common: by the end of the tale, the main character has undergone a transformation — grand or small, he ... »

‘The Silent Girls’: A dark, twisty tale for readers to cozy up to this summer

Eric Rickstad’s “The Silent Girls” was first published only as an e-book by Witness Impulse, an imprint devoted to e-originals ... »

‘At the Water’s Edge’: Historical novel falls flat with whiny characters

When I learned that Sara Gruen was coming out with a new novel set during World War II, I was eager to review it.

Her best-selling book  ... »

“Dark Rooms’: Author conjures up creepy novel

The success of Lili Anolik’s debut novel “Dark Rooms” can largely be credited to the creepy atmosphere she conjures.

Thi ... »

‘The Crime of Our Lives’: Master crime writer takes on crime fiction

In “The Crime of Our Lives,” acclaimed mystery writer Lawrence Block collects pieces he has written over the years about other writer ... »

‘Shotgun Lovesongs’: Novel tackles life in small town, friendship

Writers’ Workshop alum Nickolas Butler knows the Midwestern landscape and the landscape of the human heart. In his debut novel, “Shot ... »

‘The Dead Lands’; Adventure story set in future mines the past

In Benjamin Percy’s “The Dead Lands” (Grand Central Publishing, 416 pages, $26), Lewis and Clark set off from St. Louis and he ... »

‘God Help The Child’: Master storyteller pens complex, graceful love story

The main arch of Toni Morrison’s new novel, “God Help the Child,” is a steady one, but pulsing closely under its surface are a ... »

‘Inspector of the Dead’: Rambo creator back with best mystery yet

Move over Rambo, papa’s got a brand-new bag.

David Morrell, the former University of Iowa professor who introduced Rambo to the world ... »

REVIEW | ‘Vano and Niko and Other Stories’

A hot topic in education is divergent thinking. Often a 1968 study by George Land and Beth Jarman is cited. In this study, researchers asked 1,600 ... »

‘Autumn Dead’ and ‘The Night Remembers’: Two of Ed Gorman’s best recently re-released together

Two of Ed Gorman's finest novels are out in an omnibus offering that gives longtime fans an opportunity to revisit them and new readers a chance at ... »

‘The Distant Marvels’: Acevedo is a true storyteller in every sense

When I was in graduate school in Syracuse, our best nights seemed to always involve a guy named Phil LaMarche. He wasn’t a partyer or a wild ... »

“Snippets”: A life told in ‘Snippets’

Gordon Strayer, known to many from his long career with the University of Iowa News Services, has collected memories from his long life into ȁ ... »

‘Triumph over Destiny’: Stories are a worthy, but challenging, read

Knowing that the events recounted in Peladija Woodson-Diers story of her mother’s “Triumph Over Destiny” actually happened und ... »