Starred Review

Behold the Dreamers

by Imbolo Mbue

In an accomplished and timely debut, Imbolo Mbue tears away the veil from the American Dream and measures both the uphill grind to achieve it and the lightning-quick ease of losing it.

After three years in Harlem waiting for Immigration Services to process his application for asylum, Cameroonian immigrant Jende Jonga thinks he can see the light at the end of the tunnel. His lawyer assures him asylum will be granted any day, and his wife, Neni, and six-year-old son, Liomi, have joined him at last after years

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The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe

by Kij Johnson

The plot is simple: Vellitt Boe, an inhabitant of the dream lands, professor at Ulthar Women's College and lifelong traveler, is sent on a mission to find a student who may have eloped with a man from the waking lands. On the way, she dodges ghouls and vengeful gods while subtly coming to terms with aging. Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will recognize nods to The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, right down to the cat that tags along; however, Johnson's luminous prose subverts Lovecraft's racism and misogyny.


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Full of Beans

by Jennifer L. Holm

In her Newbery Honor-winning Turtle in Paradise, Jennifer L. Holm introduced a scrappy bunch of barefoot kids living in Key West during the Depression--including the Diaper Gang that takes care of people's "bad babies" in exchange for candy. Ten-year-old "Beans" Curry is Turtle's cousin and the founder of the Diaper Gang; Full of Beans, the dryly funny prequel to Turtle, is his story.

"Look here, Mac. I'm gonna give it to you straight: grown-ups lie," says the no-nonsense, rather jaded Beans in the novel's

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Shelf Discovery

Dog Man

by Dav Pilkey, color by Jose Garibaldi

Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey's Dog Man is a hero with the head of a dog, the body of a man and an endless capacity for hilarious hijinks.

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Hell Fire

by Karin Fossum, trans. by Kari Dixon

Inspector Sejer aims to solve a brutal murder that involves several intertwined Norwegian families.

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The English Teacher

by Yiftach Reicher Atir, trans. by Philip Simpson

The Mossad is in turmoil when a former agent who possesses secrets that could cripple Israel disappears.

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Gallery/Scout Press: The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

Media Heat

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Diane Rehm: Frank Browning, author of The Fate of Gender: Nature, Nurture, and the Human Future (Bloomsbury, $28, 9781620406199).

Monday, August 29, 2016

NPR's On Point: Michael Tackett, author of The Baseball Whisperer: A Small-Town Coach Who Shaped Big League Dreams (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $26, 9780544387645).

Diane Rehm: Garry Trudeau, author of Yuge!: 30 Years of Doonesbury on Trump (Andrews McMeel, $14.99, 9781449481339).

Also on Diane Rehm: Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781501122293).

Thursday, August 25, 2016

KCRW's Bookworm: Joe McGinniss Jr., author of Carousel Court: A Novel (Simon & Schuster, $26, 9781476791272).

Conan: Jeffrey Toobin, author of American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst (Doubleday, $28.95, 9780385536714).

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fresh Air: Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, authors of Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power (Scribner, $28, 9781501155772).

Monday, August 22, 2016

Fresh Air: Gretchen Bakke, author of The Grid: The Fraying Wires Between Americans and Our Energy Future (Bloomsbury, $27, 9781608196104).

Diane Rehm: Nicholas Dodman, author of Pets on the Couch: Neurotic Dogs, Compulsive Cats, Anxious Birds, and the New Science of Animal Psychiatry (Atria, $26, 9781476749020).

NPR's All Things Considered: Michael Kranish and Marc Fisher, authors of Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power (Scribner, $28, 9781501155772).
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