Starred Review

Ghachar Ghochar

by Vivek Shanbhag, trans. by Srinath Perur

Halfway through Vivek Shanbhag's novella Ghachar Ghochar, translated from Kannada by Srinath Perur, the unnamed narrator drops by the wood-paneled Bangalore coffee shop he visits "for respite from domestic skirmishes," and asks a waiter named Vincent what's new. Referring to a type of South Indian pancake, Vincent replies, "Holes in dosas in everyone's house, sir"--which is another way of saying, "Each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." That's an apt description for this darkly entertaining work, a

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Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me

by Bill Hayes

Writer and photographer Bill Hayes first met the great writer and neurologist Oliver Sacks in 2008, when Sacks contacted him to say how much he enjoyed Hayes's The Anatomist. They corresponded, found shared interests and met once for lunch.

Hayes was grieving his partner of more than 16 years, who one night suddenly went into cardiac arrest and died. In 2009, Hayes moved from San Francisco to Manhattan for a change of scene. Although he had not moved for Sacks, he was now his neighbor, and they began

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Dreamland Burning

by Jennifer Latham

"The dead always have stories to tell. They just need the living to listen." The dead find a voice in Rowan Chase, the 17-year-old biracial girl at the center of Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham (Scarlett Undercover). On the first day of summer, Rowan is shocked when renovators discover an old skeleton under the floorboards of her family's 100-year-old property in Tulsa, Okla. With only an old wallet and a faded receipt found among the remains, Rowan launches an investigation into the skeleton's identity.

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Shelf Discovery

A Separation

by Katie Kitamura

Taut and insightful, Kitamura's third novel is a subtly shaded portrait of a woman discovering the ambiguities of her marriage, her husband and herself.

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Bob, Not Bob!

by Elizabeth Garton Scanlon, Audrey Vernick, illus. by Matthew Cordell

In this droll picture book, a little boy is so congested with a cold he can't pronounce his Ms, so his dog Bob comes running every time he calls for his mom.

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Desperation Road

by Michael Farris Smith

An ex-con returning to his small-town home faces a vengeful family from his past as he tries to help a woman and her daughter outrun their own.

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Always

by Sarah Jio

An engaged woman reunites with an old flame, forcing her to reconcile her feelings for two men.

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St. Martin's Press: Lillian Boxfish Takes a Walk by Kathleen Rooney

Media Heat

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: George Saunders, author of Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel (Random House, $28, 9780812995343).

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Takeaway: Erica Armstrong Dunbar, author of Never Caught: The Washingtons' Relentless Pursuit of Their Runaway Slave, Ona Judge (Atria/37 INK, $26, 9781501126390).

Monday, February 13, 2017

Fresh Air: Joseph Turow, author of The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power (Yale University Press, $30, 9780300212198).

Thursday, February 9, 2017

KCRW's Bookworm: Michael Tolkin, author of NK3: A Novel (Atlantic Monthly Press, $25, 9780802125439).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Viet Thanh Nguyen, author of The Refugees (Grove Press, $25, 9780802126399).

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Fresh Air: Sheelah Kolhatkar, author of Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street (Random House, $28, 9780812995800).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Anderson Cooper, co-author of The Rainbow Comes and Goes: A Mother and Son on Life, Love, and Loss (Harper Paperbacks, $15.99, 9780062454959).
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