Starred Review

The Natural Way of Things

by Charlotte Wood

With echoes of Kafka and The Lord of the Flies, Charlotte Wood tells a bleakly disturbing yet empowering story about a group of women initially connected only by the presence of public scandal in their lives. Kidnapped, the women awaken from drug-induced states in the Australian Outback, far from civilization, where they are subjected to a horrific experience that forces them to be more primitive in order to break the bonds of their servitude.

With no idea how they arrived, the women discover their clothes

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The Life of the World to Come

by Dan Cluchey

The Life of the World to Come pivots on one significant moment, which the main character explores from many angles. In Dan Cluchey's debut novel, Leo Brice has just finished the bar exam when his spirited and enigmatic girlfriend ups and leaves in the middle of the night. Being the lawyer--junior advocate for death row inmates--that he is, Brice analyzes and studies that event in the context of his life, and comes to some uncomfortable conclusions. When he meets a spiritual guide--in the form of an inmate

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School's First Day of School

by Adam Rex, illus. by Christian Robinson

"One very small girl with freckles didn't want to come inside the school at all. Her mother had to carry her.

" 'I must be awful,' the school whispered to himself."

Children will be intrigued by the notion that the looming "first day of school" might also be nerve-wracking for the school building itself. This is the fresh premise for the wonderful School's First Day of School by Adam Rex (Cold Cereal; The True Meaning of Smekday), illustrated by Caldecott Honor artist Christian Robinson (Leo: A Ghost Story

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Shelf Discovery

Little Home Bird

by Jo Empson

Little Bird loves his cozy nest but when he's forced to migrate south for the winter, he learns that home really is where the heart is.

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Media Heat

Thursday, June 30, 2016

KCRW's Bookworm: Louise Erdrich, author of LaRose: A Novel (Harper, $27.99, 9780062277022).

Daily Show: Chuck Klosterman, author of But What If We're Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past (Blue Rider, $26, 9780399184123).

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Diane Rehm: readers review Drown by Junot Díaz (Riverhead, $16, 9781573226066).

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Fresh Air: Donald G. McNeil, Jr., author of Zika: The Emerging Epidemic (Norton, $14.95, 9780393353969).

Daily Show: Calvin Trillin, author of Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America (Random House, $27, 9780399588242).

Monday, June 27, 2016

Fresh Air: Barbara Cook, co-author of Then and Now: A Memoir (Harper, $28.99, 9780062090461).

Diane Rehm: Jeffrey Rosen, author of Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet (Yale University Press, $25, 9780300158670).

Thursday, June 23, 2016

KCRW's Bookworm: Joyce Carol Oates, author of The Man Without a Shadow: A Novel (Ecco, $27.99, 9780062416094).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Neil Gaiman, author of The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (Morrow, $26.99, 9780062262264).
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