Starred Review

River of Ink

by Paul M.M. Cooper

The stylus is mightier than the sword in Paul M.M. Cooper's adventurous first novel, River of Ink, set in 13th-century Sri Lanka.

Asanka started life as a lowly village boy but rose to the lap of luxury when King Parakrama chose him as the royal poet. Then comes Magha, prince of Kalinga, with his conquering army. Asanka's beloved king is brutally murdered before his eyes, the regal queen imprisoned, all loyal members of the nobility slaughtered. But rather than kill Asanka, the cruel Magha commissions

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All the Birds in the Sky

by Charlie Jane Anders

As editor-in-chief of io9.com, Charlie Jane Anders is an influential voice in the realms of science fiction and fantasy. Her debut novel, All the Birds in the Sky, is two coming-of-age stories in one, following Patricia Delfine and Laurence Armstead as they evolve from bullied, misunderstood children into socially accepted, internally conflicted adults. Their lives and their respective interests in magic and science intertwine. As a child, Patricia finds that she has the ability to talk to animals,

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Salt to the Sea

by Ruta Sepetys

In Salt to the Sea, Ruth Sepetys (Between Shades of Gray; Out of the Easy) illuminates a lesser-known World War II maritime disaster: the Soviet torpedoing of the German ship Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea on January 30, 1945, a tragedy that killed 9,343 evacuees--including 5,000 children--more than the Titanic and Lusitania combined. Sepetys's father's cousin Erika had passage on the Gustloff, but never boarded it.

Readers are introduced to the strong, distinct voices of four young adults in short, powerful

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Click here to enter a giveaway for LUST & WONDER by Augusten Burroughs

Shelf Discovery

The Swans of Fifth Avenue

by Melanie Benjamin

This novel focuses on the unlikely, absorbing, real-life friendship of Babe Paley and Truman Capote that flourished in the glittering social whirl of 1950s New York.

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Audacity Jones to the Rescue

by Kirby Larson

In Newbery Honor author Kirby Larson's witty, suspenseful series debut, 11-year-old orphan Audacity Jones visits President Taft's White House under highly suspicious circumstances.

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Coconut Cowboy

by Tim Dorsey

Tim Dorsey's indomitable Serge and Coleman aim to rewrite the ending of Easy Rider and discover the American Dream in Florida.

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Freedom in Congo Square

by Carole Boston Weatherford, illus. by R. Gregory Christie

This beautiful, moving picture book commemorates Congo Square in New Orleans, where, in the mid-1800s, slaves and free blacks played music and danced on Sundays.

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And Again

by Jessica Chiarella

Four terminally ill patients have their consciousnesses transferred into healthy duplicate bodies and must then navigate the wreckage of their old lives.

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Picador: The Yid by Paul Goldberg

Media Heat

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Fresh Air: Bee Wilson, author of First Bite: How We Learn to Eat (Basic Books, $27.99, 9780465064984).

KCRW's Bookworm: Larissa MacFarquhar, author of Strangers Drowning: Grappling with Impossible Idealism, Drastic Choices, and the Overpowering Urge to Help (Penguin Press, $27.95, 9781594204333).

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Alexander Chee, author of The Queen of the Night (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $28, 9780618663026).

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Diane Rehm: David J. Linden, author of Touch: The Science of Hand, Heart, and Mind (Penguin Books, $17, 9780143128441).

Daily Show: Peter Bergen, author of United States of Jihad: Investigating America's Homegrown Terrorists (Crown, $28, 9780804139540). He was also on Fresh Air.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Fresh Air: Mei Fong, author of One Child: The Story of China's Most Radical Experiment (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $27, 9780544275393).

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Diane Rehm: David Kaczynski, author of Every Last Tie: The Story of the Unabomber and His Family (Duke University Press, $19.95, 9780822359807).

KCRW's Bookworm: Edmund de Waal, author of The White Road: Journey into an Obsession (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27, 9780374289263).
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