Starred Review

What Strange Paradise

by Omar El Akkad

What Strange Paradise by Omar El Akkad is a tender drama for our times, featuring two children on the run from authorities on the serene Greek island of Kos. Written with a fluid beauty that captures nature's ferocious power and glory, El Akkad's exquisite second novel (after American War) offers readers a glimpse of the struggles of migration through the prism of childhood innocence.

The story opens with a boat and bodies, including a child, washed onto shore close to a luxury hotel, a horrific scene. Tourists

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Let's Not Talk Anymore

by Weng Pixin

Singaporean creator Weng Pixin's vibrant Let's Not Talk Anymore began with a "big 'f*ck this, f*ck you!' kind of attitude" after one of her "many disputes and disagreements with [her] Mom." The work made her think more deeply about not just her mother, but her matrilineal ancestry. In sharing the genesis on her website, Weng explains how "comics became a place for me to imagine" their lives.

Five girls, distinguishable mostly by hairstyles, line up to grace the first page. A who's-who spread follows, with

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Small Favors

by Erin A. Craig

In Small Favors, a gloriously dark fairy tale that's perfectly enhanced with a romantic through line, Ellerie Downing is the "reliable one," the eldest daughter who won't let her family down. Usually she helps Mama, but with her twin brother, Samuel, "sneaking off all summer," she's begun tending the beehives with Papa.

At 18, Ellerie is ready to find her own place in the "wide and wondrous world" beyond Amity Falls. But there are "giant beasts in the woods" that are believed to have killed everyone on the

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Shelf Discovery


by Hermione Hoby

Hermione Hoby's perceptive and withering second novel takes the measure of a white liberal young man's values following Trump's surprise electoral win in 2016.

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Just One Look

by Lindsay Cameron

With Just One Look, Lindsay Cameron suspensefully pulls readers into the web spun by a young female stalker with technology and a bit of access to the object of her obsession.

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White Ivy

by Susie Yang

Ivy Lin proves to be the antihero readers will love to hate in debut novelist Susie Yang's assured, deft and biting novel of (manipulative) manners.

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by Gordon Korman

In this accessible and absorbing middle-grade novel, small-town kids in Colorado become famous after someone paints a swastika in their school hallway and they plan a project to counteract the hate.

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by Nickolas Butler

In this gripping parable of the American dream gone awry, the dictum "money can't buy happiness" rings true for a wealthy homeowner and her hard-working construction crew.

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Liveright Publishing Corporation: Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation by Kristin Kobes Du Mez

Media Heat

Thursday, July 29, 2021

KCRW's Bookworm: part two of an interview with Yaa Gyasi, author of Transcendent Kingdom (‎Vintage, $16, 9781984899767).

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Fresh Air: Dr. Leana Wen, author of Lifelines: A Doctor's Journey in the Fight for Public Health (Metropolitan Books, $27.99, 9781250186232).

Good Morning America: Mena Suvari, author of The Great Peace: A Memoir (Hachette Books, $28, 9780306874529).

Also on GMA: Tyler Cameron, author of You Deserve Better: What Life Has Taught Me About Love, Relationships, and Becoming Your Best Self (Plume, $26, 9780593183564).

Monday, July 26, 2021

Good Morning America: Georgina Pazcoguin, author of Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina (Holt, $27.99, 9781250244307).

Thursday, July 22, 2021

Fresh Air: Ronald Brownstein, author of Rock Me on the Water: 1974, The Year Los Angeles Transformed Movies, Music, Television, and Politics (Harper, $29.99, 9780062899217).

KCRW's Bookworm: Yaa Gyasi, author of Transcendent Kingdom (‎Vintage, $16, 9781984899767).

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

CBS This Morning: Julie K. Brown, author of Perversion of Justice: The Jeffrey Epstein Story (Dey Street Books, $27.99, 9780063000582). She also appeared on Fresh Air.

Late Night with Seth Meyers
: Simon Rich, author of New Teeth: Stories (‎Little, Brown, $27, 9780316536684).
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