Starred Review

Acid Nun

by Corinne Halbert

Acid Nun by artist Corinne Halbert is a beautiful and hallucinogenic journey toward self-healing through a dazzling landscape of Satanic splatter horror. Annie is a sexually and chemically experimental human character, styled in a nun's habit, who connects momentarily with Eleanor, a fanged entity from the spiritual plane. When a bad acid trip, however, traps Annie in an alternate dimension, Eleanor races against time to find and rescue her from certain destruction, with the help of Bahomet, Eleanor's "demon

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by Eduardo Halfon, trans. by Lisa Dillman, Daniel Hahn

Eduardo Halfon (Mourning; Monastery) has published a dozen books in Spanish; four are currently available in English translations. Seeming to challenge his substantial output, Halfon explained in a 2015 comment to Shelf Awareness, "I'm only writing one book, and everything I publish along the way is just part of it. As if each book I write is a page or a chapter." That "one book" is comprised of intriguing autobiographical fictions in which Halfon often inserts himself into multilayered narratives inspired

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The Getaway

by Lamar Giles

Lamar Giles's The Getaway is an intense and unnerving YA dystopian novel that follows the life and struggles of a young Black man and his friends under a corporate dictatorship.

Much of the former United States has been devastated by wildfires, droughts and rising sea levels. As the outside world became increasingly unsafe, with protests, poverty, racism and mass violence, affluent survivors found a retreat in Karloff Country, a resort nestled in the mountains of Virginia. Seventeen-year-old Jay, his friends

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Stay True

by Hua Hsu

Hua Hsu, whose parents moved from Taiwan to the United States before he was born, handily distills the immigrant experience in Stay True: "The first generation thinks about survival; the ones that follow tell the stories." In his memoir, fueled by nostalgia but free of sentimentality, Hsu tells lots of stories--about friendship, assimilation, grief--but they are all in service to the book's throughline: the story of Hsu finding his voice.

Hsu was born in Illinois in 1977. During his first year at Berkeley,

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The Flamingo

by Guojing

Few books deserve the "perfect" designation, but The Flamingo by Guojing arguably earns that appellation. The celebrated author of The Only Child and Stormy presents another remarkable, near-wordless story that gloriously commemorates bonds between humans and animals.

A girl in a red hat arrives at a sepia-toned airport and is claimed by her grandmother, dressed in matching red. At her Lao Lao's home, the girl is fascinated by a feather with a reddish tip. Lao Lao's story about a childhood bike ride with her

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Concerning My Daughter

by Kim Hye-jin, trans. by Jamie Chang

Award-winning Korean novelist Kim Hye-jin's Concerning My Daughter is a clear-eyed character study of the fraught relations among biological and found families alike. When an unnamed, widowed narrator agrees to let her adult daughter, Green, move in with her, she's already wary of how their lives will cohere. And that's before Green reveals that her girlfriend, Lane, will be joining her.

While Green's mother resists accepting her daughter's partner, she is simultaneously thrown into chaos at work

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Killer Underwear Invasion!: How to Spot Fake News, Disinformation & Conspiracy Theories

by Elise Gravel

Fake news has always existed, but "thanks to the internet, disinformation is everywhere these days." Elise Gravel, author of the Disgusting Critters series, takes a break from frightening creatures to offer up serious insights in this zany look at lies, untruths and other misleading reports. The author employs her characteristic humor and art in this comic-style book to enlighten young readers on the realities of fake news and set them on a path to savvy media consumption.

Gravel explores motivations for lying,

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Learn more about Shelf Awareness.

Shelf Discovery

Treasure State

by C.J. Box

Treasure State, a richly satisfying thriller, marks the welcome return of private investigator Cassie Dewell, who tracks a con man and a hidden treasure across Montana.

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by Ainslie Hogarth

Mothers and motherhood haunt this alarming, dark, weirdly funny novel of family ties and the power of just the right recipe to heal all wounds.

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Concrete: From the Ground Up

by Larissa Theule, illus. by Steve Light

This detailed, occasionally droll nonfiction pick for confident young readers traces ancient construction practices as they evolve into modern architectural feats, thanks to one humble material.

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Fenian Street

by Anne Emery

Fenian Street is a riveting story, set in the 1970s, about a young man's seemingly unattainable ambition to join the Irish police.

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The Story of Russia

by Orlando Figes

An erudite and sweeping assessment of the deeply rooted ideas and myths that have guided Russia's actions in the past and how they are continually reshaped to serve Russia's present.

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Mr. Wilder and Me

by Jonathan Coe

Mr. Wilder and Me is a gauzy-glittery and wistful novel about a young Greek woman's encounter with two of Old Hollywood's brightest bulbs: Billy Wilder and Iz Diamond.

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A Merry Little Meet Cute

by Julie Murphy, Sierra Simone

A former bad-boy pop star and a plus-size adult performer costar in a family-friendly Christmas movie in A Merry Little Meet Cute, a steamy, funny romance with a touch of holiday magic.

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Doughnuts and Doom

by Balazs Lorinczi

In this adorable queer romance, a witch with performance anxiety accidentally curses a wannabe rock star, then catches feelings when she tries to make it up to her.

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Other Press (NY): Ancestry by Simon Mawer

Media Heat

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Fresh Air: Rachel Bloom, author of I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are (Grand Central, $17.99, 9781538745366).
Good Morning America: Rep. Cori Bush, author of The Forerunner: A Story of Pain and Perseverance in America (‎Knopf, $28, 9780593320587).

Also on GMA: Reese Witherspoon, author of Busy Betty (Flamingo Books, $19.99, 9780593465882).

CBS Mornings: Celeste Ng, author of Our Missing Hearts: A Novel (Penguin Press, $29, 9780593492543).

Today Show: Katie Nicholl, author of The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth's Legacy and the Future of the Crown (Hachette Books, $28, 9780306827976).

Also on Today: Dr. Kenneth R. Ginsburg, author of Congrats--You're Having a Teen!: Strengthen Your Family and Raise a Good Person (American Academy of Pediatrics, $16.95, 9781610025980).

Watch What Happens Live: Anderson Cooper, co-author of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (Harper Paperbacks, $18.99, 9780062964625).

Tonight Show: Ralph Macchio, author of Waxing On: The Karate Kid and Me (Dutton, $28, 9780593185834).

Monday, October 3, 2022

Good Morning America: William Shatner, author of Boldly Go: Reflections on a Life of Awe and Wonder (Atria, $28, 9781668007327).

Today Show: Nikki Haley, author of If You Want Something Done: Leadership Lessons from Bold Women (St. Martin's Press, $26.99, 9781250284976).

Fresh Air: Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe, authors of When McKinsey Comes to Town: The Hidden Influence of the World's Most Powerful Consulting Firm (Doubleday, $32.50, 9780385546232).

Rachael Ray: Molly Yeh, author of Home Is Where the Eggs Are (Morrow, $32.50, 9780063052413).

The View: Maggie Haberman, author of Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America (Penguin Press, $32, 9780593297346).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Constance Wu, author of Making a Scene (Scribner, $29, 9781982188542).

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Today Show: Gaby Dalkin, author of What's Gaby Cooking: Take It Easy: Recipes for Zero Stress Deliciousness (Abrams, $35, 9781419758867).

Good Morning America: John Kanell, author of Preppy Kitchen: Recipes for Seasonal Dishes and Simple Pleasures (S&S/Simon Element, $32.50, 9781982178376).

Watch What Happens Live: Kelly Ripa, author of Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories (Dey Street, $28.99, 9780063073302).

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Fresh Air: the late Hilary Mantel remembered, including a 2012 interview.
Today Show: Javier Zamora, author of Solito: A Memoir (Hogarth, $28, 9780593498064).

The View: Idina Menzel and Cara Mentzel, authors of Loud Mouse (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781368078061).

Drew Barrymore Show: Serena Williams, author of The Adventures of Qai Qai (Feiwel & Friends, $18.99, 9781250831408).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Anderson Cooper, co-author of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (Harper Paperbacks, $18.99, 9780062964625).

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Fresh Air: Margaret Burnham, author of By Hands Now Known: Jim Crow's Legal Executioners (Norton, $30, 9780393867855).
CBS Mornings: Anita Hill, author of Believing: Our Thirty-Year Journey to End Gender Violence (Penguin Books, $18, 9780593298312).

Also on CBS Mornings: Kelly Ripa, author of Live Wire: Long-Winded Short Stories (Dey Street, $28.99, 9780063073302).

Today Show: Molly Yeh, author of Home Is Where the Eggs Are (Morrow, $32.50, 9780063052413).

Good Morning America: Idina Menzel and Cara Mentzel, authors of Loud Mouse (Disney-Hyperion, $17.99, 9781368078061).

Also on GMA: Steve Case, author of The Rise of the Rest: How Entrepreneurs in Surprising Places are Building the New American Dream (Avid Reader Press, $28, 9781982191849).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Dick Ebersol, author of From Saturday Night to Sunday Night: My Forty Years of Laughter, Tears, and Touchdowns in TV (Simon & Schuster, $28.99, 9781982194468).

Also on Late Night: Stephen "Steve-O" Glover, author of A Hard Kick in the Nuts: What I've Learned from a Lifetime of Terrible Decisions (Hachette Books, $28, 9780306826757).
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