Starred Review

The Wonder

by Emma Donoghue

With The Wonder, Emma Donoghue (Room) once again brings her sense of suspense and curiosity to historical fiction. As she did in Frog Music, Donoghue has taken inspiration from true historical mysteries to form the backbone of her imaginative novel. In this case, that inspiration comes from the stories of the "Fasting Girls," young women around the world between the 16th and 20th centuries who claimed to live without food.

In The Wonder, the fasting girl is 11-year-old Anna O'Donnell, whose family claims she

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Darktown

by Thomas Mullen

In this riveting historical police procedural, Thomas Mullen (The Revisionists) constructs a story of the first black officers on the Atlanta, Ga., police force. Blending careful research with an acute sense of time and place, then adding bold characters, Mullen succeeds in delivering a narrative heartbreakingly irresistible.

Partners Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith are two of the eight black officers. They're walking the Sweet Auburn, aka Darktown, beat when a car hits a lamppost. Forced to follow on foot because

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The Best Man

by Richard Peck

Newbery Medalist Richard Peck (A Year Down Yonder) says he wanted to bring the news of same-sex marriage to middle-grade readers, because "the standardized test and textbook haven't caught up," but if this were his goal for The Best Man, one would hardly know it because he takes his sweet time (and it is sweet time) getting there. Peck's wandering, anecdote-rich narrative is set in Chicago, and told in the dryly funny voice of an immensely likable, if slightly oblivious boy named Archer Magill.

This story

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Click here to enter a giveaway for CROOKED KINGDOM by Leigh Bardugo

Shelf Discovery

Warp

by Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman's debut novel is a tour through the life of a young man trying hard not to grow up.

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Daisy in Chains

by Sharon Bolton

A defense attorney must decide whether or not to handle the appeal of a convicted but beguiling serial killer who insists he's innocent.

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Aladdin: The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner

Media Heat

Thursday, September 22, 2016

KCRW's Bookworm: Affinity Konar, author of Mischling (Lee Boudreaux, $27, 9780316308106).

Diane Rehm: Candice Millard, author of Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill (Doubleday, $30, 9780385535731).

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Diane Rehm: Kelley and Thomas French, authors of Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon (Little, Brown, $26, 9780316324427).

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fresh Air: opera star Ryan Speedo Green, the subject of a new biography, Sing for Your Life: A Story of Race, Music, and Family by Daniel Bergner (Lee Boudreaux Books, $28, 9780316300674).

Diane Rehm: Maureen Dowd, author of The Year of Voting Dangerously: The Derangement of American Politics (Twelve, $30, 9781455539260).

Today Show: Jamie Lee Curtis, author of This Is Me: A Story of Who We Are and Where We Came From (Workman, $16.95, 9780761180111).

Thursday, September 15, 2016

KCRW's Bookworm: Colson Whitehead, author of The Underground Railroad (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542364).

Fresh Air: Patrick Phillips, author of Blood at the Root: A Racial Cleansing in America (Norton, $26.95, 9780393293012).

On Point: Elizabeth Vargas, author of Between Breaths: A Memoir of Panic and Addiction (Grand Central, $27, 9781455559633).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Fresh Air: Abby Wambach, author of Forward: A Memoir (Dey Street Books, $26.99, 9780062466983).

Diane Rehm: Mark Thompson, author of Enough Said: What's Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics? (St. Martin's Press, $27.99, 9781250059574).

On Point: Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate--Discoveries From a Secret World (Greystone Books, $24.95, 9781771642484).
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