The Mothers is a dazzling debut novel. Brit Bennett has crafted a vital exploration of family, love, longing, and the consequences of choices made in the throws of restless youth. This is a book that will stay with you for sometime and this is an author I imagine we will be hearing from for a long time to come.
Already a sensation in Ireland where it was first published by a small press, this remarkable debut is sure to light the literary world on fire on these shores as well. Narrated by an unnamed female who lives mostly in solitude in a small coastal town, Bennett employs a fragmented and unconventional telling of one woman's daily existence to reveal a singular life that reflects our most basic human desire to be known by others. Mesmerizing and deeply brilliant.
An assured second effort from Guinn, former Ole Miss professor. Set in Reconstruction Atlanta, a group of prominent businessmen known as “the Ring” has staked much on the city's Cotton Expo, but a rash of brutal murders jeopardizes their plan and the populace. Canby is a disgraced lawman brought back to the city as the lead investigator but quickly realizes how much is stacked against him. The cast of characters, taut plotting, and depiction of the period make for a great read.
This lost classic of noir is maybe the best work of crime fiction you’ve never heard of. Long hard to find, it ranks right up there with the best of Chandler, Hammett, and other masters. Hopefully, now Chaze (who spent most of his career as a journalist in Hattiesburg, MS) will finally get the recognition that he deserves.
This is one hell of a debut novel. Smart, brutal, and intense with the pacing of a classic noir, yet it also manages to reveal human truths and insights into the heart with unexpected flashes of tenderness. In the end, none of the characters come out winners, but the reader sure does.
Native Mississippian and veteran Washington Post journalist, Neely Tucker, shines in this debut novel. When the teenage daughter of a powerful Washington, D.C. judge is found dead, three local black kids are quickly charged with the crime. Reporter Sully Carter sees a larger story revolving around three missing women and a dead prostitute, all from the same neighborhood. Based on the Princeton Place murders that took place in the late 1990s, Tucker delivers a taut thriller with the grit of George Pelecanos and the aplomb of Pete Hamill.
Brilliant. Just brilliant. With this second novel, Alarcon demonstrates why he was named one of The New Yorker's 20 Writers Under 40 to Watch. Fans of Roberto Bolano and Junot Diaz take note.
Anderson deftly juxtaposes the story of Lawrence and three other young diplomatic adventurers. The result is a fascinating, highly entertaining read which explains how the modern Middle East was created by imperial ambitions and why it is such a source of conflict today.
One of the best books of last year now available in paperback. It's a great sweeping story by turns funny and heartbreaking that will keep you up at night because you're so into the character's plight.
Simply put, this book is extraordinary. Told in the form of journal entries, it is the story of Logan Mountstuart (1906 - 1991). Boyd artfully weaves the major events of the 20th Century with the life events of his fictional character. Fans of Julian Barnes, Henry James, and Downton Abbey will be right at home.
Bill Bryson calls O'Hanlon, "Probably the finest writer of travel books in the English language and certainly the most daring." No Mercy is his finest book, full of humor and hardships set against the back drop of the African congo. Highly recommended.
A truly remarkable, beautiful, heartbreaking yet somehow ultimately uplifting gem of a novel that you won't forget.
Maybe the greatest book ever written on the game and just rereleased in a revised and updated edition. Named one of the "Top 100 Sports Books of All Time" by Sports Illustrated. Galeano is probably the best Latin American writer you've never heard of.
One of the most interesting debut novels I've read in the last few years. Think Zadie Smith meets W.G. Sebald. We will be hearing a lot more from Cole—he is a major new talent.
This is one of the best autobiographies by a rock musician you're likely to read. I'd put it right up there with Dr. John's Under a Hoodoo Moon and Keith Richard's Life. Long time sax player for The Rolling Stones, Keys has lived the rock n' roll life and survived to tell about it. He's played with almost everyone in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and this is a great read.
I can't imagine anyone not liking this book. Set in 1940s Brooklyn, it's about 10 year old outcast Joey Margolis who is in search of a hero. Joey lands on Charlie Banks, the star third baseman for the NY Giants. Told through letters, postcards, and newspaper clippings the result is a sweet (but not too sweet) hilarious novel with a big heart that will appeal to all ages.
If you are looking for a new crime writer to read then I encourage you to try Fred Vargas. Her commissaire Adamsberg series is smart, sophisticated, and addictive. Ghost Riders is her most recent and the first in the series is the Chalk-Circle Man.
This is a stunning book. Stewart's account of his journey on foot across Afghanistan shortly after the fall of the Taliban is right up there with the best travel/adventure lit by the likes of Bruce Chatwin or Paul Theroux.
I probably look forward to Willy Vlautin's new books more than any other writer working today. The Motel Life was his first novel and a film based on the book has just been released. His movels are about the down and out, full of heartbreak yet in the end hopeful.
Voted the best sports book every by the Chronicle of Education. St. John has written a hilarious and intriguing account of college football and its rabid fans. For one season, he buys an RV and follows the Alabama Crimson Tide. There is a great chapter set in Oxford when they play the Rebs. Check it out.
This is a nearly perfect book. When I was laid up sick recently, I picked it up and despite being on heavy cold medicine found that I had read until 2 a.m. in order to finish it. Frankie Machine is a bad mother...
A New York Times Top 10 pick of the year when it come out in hardcover and easily one of my favorite novels in the last decade. Bolano is a mad genius. Think Borges meets Kerouac and then you begin to get the picture.
If you want to discover a great book that none of your friends has read, you'd be hard-pressed to top this unconventional spy story in which four lives intersect in clever and terrible ways. Minotaur casts a spell with its Mediterranean ease and character-driven suspense.
An absolutely stellar deubut novel. The Village Voice nailed it when they wrote: "F. Scott Fitzgerald meets Wes Anderson." Funny, smart, and inventive. Jansma is a writer to watch.
These essays are brilliant, disarming, wandering, and mesmerizing. Searcy is a talented writer with a weird eye for things and a sort of odd voice but he takes you places you don't expect to go even when the subject matter is seemingly mundane. Fans of John Jeremiah Sullivan and Kent Russell take note.
One of my all time favorite novels and the book that put Tom McGuane on the map. The main character, Thomas Skelton, is one of the great anti-heroes in literature. You can taste the salt air from the sea and sense the menace that inhabits Key West, and it's full of McGuane's sly humor as well.