Starred Review

White Tears

by Hari Kunzru

With White Tears, Hari Kunzru (Gods Without Men) bends time when two audiophiles happen upon a storied old blues track. Seth is a socially inept weirdo. He builds his own sound equipment and wanders Manhattan, recording the ambient noises of the city. His only friend is Carter, a brooding record collector and producer obsessed with black music. They are rising stars in the music industry. When Seth unwittingly picks up a man's voice singing an entrancing blues song, Carter fixates on it. With a little

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The Third Squad

by V. Sanjay Kumar

V. Sanjay Kumar (Artist, Undone) delivers dark literary noir in his strange yet hard-hitting crime novel The Third Squad.

Set in Mumbai, the novel follows the secret and deadly work of a police sharpshooter named Karan. Diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, Karan is recruited into an elite police squad that carries out extrajudicial killings of the city's burgeoning gangster population. With these unusual elements, as well as surrealist descriptions and aphoristic dialogue, Kumar produces an eerie postmodern

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Armstrong and Charlie

by Steven B. Frank

The year is 1974 and Armstrong and Charlie are both 11, both good arm wrestlers and both dreading sixth grade at Wonderland Avenue School. But it's their differences that they notice first. Armstrong is in one of the first cohorts of black kids being bused to formerly all-white schools in Los Angeles. "[T]he Supreme Court has said it's time for black and white to blend," Armstrong's dad tells him. Armstrong is not so sure: "I don't see why. It's not like we're going to rub off on them." Smart, mouthy and hot-tempered,

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Shelf Discovery

The Song Rising

by Samantha Shannon

In the third book in the Bone Season series, clairvoyant Paige Mahoney faces hard choices and dangerous missions as the Underqueen of London.

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Bronze and Sunflower

by Cao Wenxuan, trans. by Helen Wang

This graceful story of a girl growing up in a poor village during China's Cultural Revolution introduces English-speaking readers to the work of Cao Wenxuan.

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Celine

by Peter Heller

A tough PI and her husband hit the road to investigate the decades-old disappearance of an artist who's long been assumed dead.

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Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers: Bird, Balloon, Bear by Il Sung Na

Media Heat

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).

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

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

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fresh Air: Adam Alter, author of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked (Penguin Press, $27, 9781594206641).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Mohsin Hamid, author of Exit West: A Novel (Riverhead, $26, 9780735212176).
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