Starred Review

The Secret Life of Anna Blanc

by Jennifer Kincheloe

When, in 1907, a smart, sheltered socialite schemes her way into the gritty world of the Los Angeles Police Department, the result is a humorously delightful historical mystery.

Anna Blanc is determined to free herself from the smothering rules of her bank executive father. No beau is good enough for Christopher Blanc, and he insists a chaperone be with Anna wherever she goes, ensuring she doesn't do anything to tarnish her reputation. Anna wants out from under this tyranny. She wants to right wrongs like

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Dear Mr. You

by Mary-Louise Parker

In her inventive, unconventional memoir, Dear Mr. You, actress Mary-Louise Parker offers glimpses into her life via 34 letters written to and about significant men in her life, showing how masculine presences--fleeting, long-term and imagined--have influenced her, for better or worse.

The letters range widely in subject, form and tone. Most pay homage to family, as in "Dear Grandpa," which tells the story of Parker's grandfather and a creative act of love he undertook to brighten a son's dark days during

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Mother Bruce

by Ryan T. Higgins

Mother Goose--rather, Mother Bruce--is the laugh-out-loud funny story of a grouchy bear who reluctantly becomes the guardian of four goslings, when all he wanted to do was eat them.

"Bruce was a bear who lived all by himself. He was a grump." Bruce doesn't like sunny days, rain or even cute little animals. The one thing he does like is eggs and, after stealing them from various birds, he cooks them into fancy recipes such as "hard-boiled goose eggs drizzled with honey-salmon sauce." The ingredients for this

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Shelf Discovery


by Barry Gifford

Barry Gifford's brief fictional scenes of celebrated authors are funny, tragic and insightful.

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On the Run

by Tristan Bancks

A 12-year-old Australian boy is forced by his parents' criminal actions into perilous adventure and profound soul-searching.

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Dead Ringers

by Christopher Golden

A supernatural horror novel that seems all too plausible thanks to its fast pace, adept characterization and fine sense of place.

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War, So Much War

by Mercé Rodoreda, trans. by Maruxa Relaño, Martha Tennent

The last published novel of the Catalan writer Mercé Rodoreda follows a 15-year-old--and his surreal encounters--across a war-torn Spanish landscape.

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Houghton Mifflin Harcourt: Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe

Media Heat

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Diane Rehm: Harriet Washington, author of Infectious Madness: The Surprising Science of How We "Catch" Mental Illness (Little, Brown, $28, 9780316277808).

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fresh Air: Peter Guralnick, author of Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll (Little, Brown, $32, 9780316042741).

Diane Rehm: James Kaplan, author of Sinatra: The Chairman (Doubleday, $35, 9780385535397).

Thursday, November 19, 2015

KCRW's Bookworm: Gary Indiana, author of I Can Give You Anything But Love (Rizzoli Ex Libris, $25.95, 9780847846863).

: Gavin McCrea, author of Mrs. Engels: A Novel (Catapult, $16.95, 9781936787296).

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Diane Rehm: Adam Levin, author of Swiped: How to Protect Yourself in a World Full of Scammers, Phishers, and Identity Thieves (PublicAffairs, $24.99, 9781610395878).

Conan: John Cleese, author of So, Anyway... (Three Rivers Press, $16, 9780385348263).

The Daily Show: Ted Koppel, author of Lights Out: A Cyberattack, A Nation Unprepared, Surviving the Aftermath (Crown, $26, 9780553419962).

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Diane Rehm: Jason Mark, author of Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man (Island Press, $28, 9781610915809).
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