Starred Review


by Diego Zúñiga, trans. by Megan McDowell

Chilean journalist Diego Zúñiga, winner of the Chilean National Book Award, has the enviable ability to use a minimalist, fragmented format and still articulate a depth of discomfort and sorrow that might ordinarily take hundreds more pages. In Camanchaca, Zúñiga shares the dysfunctional history of his unnamed narrator, a 20-year-old man-child, during a desert road trip with the father who abandoned him 16 years previously to start a new family in another town.

Left in semi-squalor

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The Best We Could Do

by Thi Bui

Thi Bui's illustrated memoir begins with the author giving birth to her first child, after which "a wave of empathy for my mother washes over me," for Bui's mother gave birth six times, sometimes in harrowing situations.

One of those births--Bui's younger brother's--occurred in a refugee camp in Malaysia. Bui and her family are Vietnam War refugees, boat people who arrived in the U.S. in 1978, when the author was three years old. The Best We Could Do started as an oral history project for Bui "to understand

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The Lotterys Plus One

by Emma Donoghue, illus. by Caroline Hadilaksono

Sixteen years ago, a pregnant woman walking the hospital halls serendipitously found a winning lottery ticket, enabling her--and her three co-parents--to "buy a big house to fill with lots more kids." Six children later, the self-named Lotterys enjoy an idyllic life in the 32-room Victorian home in Toronto they call Camelottery.

The two moms-in-love are Jamaican MaxiMum and CardaMom, a Mohawk woman. The two devoted-to-each-other dads are Delhi-born PapaDum and PopCorn, who hails from far-north Yukon. Into

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Shelf Discovery

Ill Will

by Dan Chaon

Dan Chaon's third novel is both a chilling murder mystery and an exploration of the pain inflicted by long-buried family secrets.

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Workman Publishing: Strong Is the New Pretty: A Celebration of Girls Being Themselves by Kate T. Parker

Media Heat

Monday, March 27, 2017

Fresh Air: Tressie McMillan Cottom, author of Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy (New Press, $26.95, 9781620970607).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Jay Chandrasekhar, author of Mustache Shenanigans: Making Super Troopers and Other Adventures in Comedy (Dutton, $27, 9781101985236).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel (Random House, $28, 9780812995343).

Thursday, March 23, 2017

KCRW's Bookworm: George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel (Random House, $28, 9780812995343).

Fresh Air: Kate Hennessy, author of Dorothy Day: The World Will Be Saved by Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of My Grandmother (Scribner, $27.99, 9781501133961).

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Fresh Air: Jane Mayer, author of Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Anchor, $17, 9780307947901).

CBS This Morning: Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, authors of How Google Works (Grand Central, $18.99, 9781455582327).

Good Morning America: Bruce Feiler, author of The First Love Story: Adam, Eve, and Us (Penguin Press, $28, 9781594206818). He was also on the View.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Fresh Air: Ron Powers, author of No One Cares About Crazy People: The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America (Hachette Books, $28, 9780316341172).

Daily Show: Bassem Youssef, author of Revolution for Dummies: Laughing through the Arab Spring (Dey Street, $26.99, 9780062446893).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Chris Hayes, author of A Colony in a Nation (Norton, $26.95, 9780393254228).

Thursday, March 16, 2017

KCRW's Bookworm: Emil Ferris, author of My Favorite Thing is Monsters (Fantagraphics, $39.99, 9781606999592).

Fresh Air: Elif Batuman, author of The Idiot (Penguin Press, $27, 9781594205613).
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