Starred Review

Last Song Before Night

by Ilana C. Myer

Ilana C. Myer's Last Song Before Night plunges readers into a world where nobles possess all the power, except for one: music. In the past, music and the poets who practice it held sway over kings, but the magic is no longer as powerful. The poet-musicians in Myer's novel are still the thinkers and dreamers in her medieval society, reminiscent of Plato's philosopher kings, but they have now been forced into subservience.

The story opens in the normally peaceful city of Tamryllin, where a noble is murdered.

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M Train

by Patti Smith

M Train, Patti Smith's follow-up to her memoir Just Kids, confirms her as a deliberate, observant, refreshing writer. No longer just a kid inhaling the artistic energy of New York, Smith is now in her late 60s and mostly alone. She's lost her husband, brother and dear friend Robert Mapplethorpe. Her son and daughter are grown and straddling 30. "How did we get so damn old, I say to my joints, my iron-colored hair," she reflects in her Greenwich Village apartment. "I [miss] that particular version of me, the

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The Murdstone Trilogy

by Mal Peet

In the dryly hilarious, profane, genre-bending novel The Murdstone Trilogy by the late British author Mal Peet (Keeper), the hard-drinking, middle-aged Philip Murdstone is in "self-lacerating mode."

He has hit a wall in his writing career. Quite simply, his "lovely sensitive novels" are no longer selling. Fantasy is the money-maker. Asked by his agent, the "gorgeous, masterful and unshaggable" Minerva Cinch, with creating a high-fantasy trilogy--"Tolkien with knobs on"--Philip knows he's in over his head.

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Shelf Discovery


by C.A. Higgins

This gripping thriller is rife with believable scientific speculation about artificial intelligence and space travel.

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Pretty Girls

by Karin Slaughter

Two sisters reunite after a shocking crime and long estrangement to solve the mystery of their sister's 24-year-long disappearance.

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St. Martin's Griffin: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Media Heat

Monday, October 5, 2015

On Diane Rehm: Geraldine Brooks, author of The Secret Chord: A Novel (Viking, $27.95, 9780670025770).

On NPR's On Point: Sara Bareilles, author of Sounds Like Me: My Life (So Far) in Song (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781476727776).

Thursday, October 1, 2015

On KCRW's Bookworm: Dale Jamieson and Bonnie Nadzam, authors of Love in the Anthropocene (OR Books, 9781939293909).

On Fresh Air: D. Watkins, author of The Beast Side: Living (and Dying) While Black in America (Hot Books, $21.99, 9781510703353).

On Diane Rehm: Steven Lee Myers, author of The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin (Knopf, $32.50, 9780307961617).

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

On Fresh Air: Joby Warrick, author of Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385538213).

On Diane Rehm: Erica Jong, author of Fear of Dying: A Novel (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250065919).

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On Fresh Air: James O'Connell, author of Stories from the Shadows: Reflections of a Street Doctor (BHCHP Press, $19.95, 978-0692412343).

On Diane Rehm: Andrea Wulf, author of The Invention of Nature: Alexander von Humboldt's New World (Knopf, $30, 9780385350662).

Monday, September 28, 2015

On Fresh Air: Theresa Brown, author of The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives (Algonquin, $24.95, 9781616203207).
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