Starred Review

The Book of Form and Emptiness

by Ruth Ozeki

A book takes on a life of its own in the spectacular fourth novel by writer, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki (Booker finalist for A Tale for the Time Being). The Book of Form and Emptiness is a slow-burning novel about a family in crisis, as well as a metafictional dialogue between book and author.

Jazz clarinetist Kenji Oh dies in an accident a few yards from his home, leaving behind his wife, Annabelle, and their son, Benny, to carry on in the aftermath. It's a trauma that will continue to reverberate

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A Dream of a Woman

by Casey Plett

Casey Plett's second collection, after A Safe Girl to Love and the novel Little Fish--both Lambda Award winners--once again features a spectrum of experiences lived by transgender women, from exhilarating to soul-crushing and all the quotidian moments in between. Among the exceptional dozen stories here, five stand alone, two are titled "Couldn't Hear You Talk Anymore," and five create the novella-esque "Obsolution." Plett presents none of the interlinked titles consecutively, as if reminding readers that

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Egg Marks the Spot: A Skunk and Badger Story

by Amy Timberlake, illus. by Jon Klassen

Skunk and Badger stumble into the adventure of a lifetime in round two of this quirky, comical early reader series about a mismatched pair of friends.

Newbery Honoree Amy Timberlake (One Came Home) and Caldecott Medal winner Jon Klassen (This Is Not My Hat) team up again to build on their story of a friendship both tender and outrageously funny. Roommates Skunk and Badger set off on a camping trip to Endless Lake to escape home-life burdens and, perhaps, to find a new agate for Badger's alphabetized rock collection.

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Shelf Discovery

I Wished

by Dennis Cooper

In a disquieting and magnetic feat of fiction, a career novelist reconsiders the relationship that has fueled so much of his work.

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A Girl Called Rumi

by Ari Honarvar

Multiple narrators reveal an Iranian family's escape from war-torn Shiraz to San Diego--and their eventual homegoing--in journalist/activist Ari Honarvar's satisfying debut novel.

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The Proudest Color

by Sheila Modir and Jeffrey Kashou, illus. by Monica Mikai

A student learns how to cope with being the only child of color in her new class in this approachable picture book about helping children embrace racial identity.

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The Heron's Cry

by Ann Cleeves

A British detective and his team struggle with personal issues while they work to solve a series of complicated, seemingly motiveless murders.

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Harper: Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty by Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe

Media Heat

Thursday, September 23, 2021

KCRW's Bookworm: Richard Powers, author of Bewilderment (Norton, $27.95, 9780393881141).

CBS This Morning: Michael Clinton, author of Roar: Into the Second Half of Your Life... Before It's Too Late (Atria Books/Beyond Words, $26, 9781582708133).

Tamron Hall: Cassandra Peterson, author of Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark (Hachette Books, $29, 9780306874352).

The View: Eva Pilgrim, author of Walter Does His Best: A Frenchie Adventure in Kindness and Muddy Paws (Thomas Nelson, $17.99, 9781400226771).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Anderson Cooper, co-author of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (‎Harper, $30, 9780062964618).

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Tonight Show: Jane Goodall, co-author of The Book of Hope: A Survival Guide for Trying Times (Celadon, $28, 9781250784094).

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Fresh Air: Max Chafkin, author of The Contrarian: Peter Thiel and Silicon Valley's Pursuit of Power (Penguin Press, $28, 9781984878533).

CBS This Morning: Megan Madison and Jessica Ralli, authors of Our Skin: A First Conversation About Race (Rise x Penguin Workshop, $14.99, 9780593519394).

Today Show: Amanda Gorman, author of Change Sings: A Children's Anthem (Viking, $18.99, 9780593203224). She will also appear on the Tonight Show and Tamron Hall.

Drew Barrymore Show: Carmelo Anthony, co-author of Where Tomorrows Aren't Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope (Gallery, $28, 9781982160593).

Also on Drew Barrymore: Antoni Porowski, author of Antoni: Let's Do Dinner (Mariner, $30, 9780358395324).

Monday, September 20, 2021

CBS This Morning: Anderson Cooper, co-author of Vanderbilt: The Rise and Fall of an American Dynasty (‎Harper, $30, 9780062964618).

Good Morning America: Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, authors of Peril (Simon & Schuster, $30, 9781982182915).

Thursday, September 16, 2021

KCRW's Bookworm: Dennis Cooper, author of I Wished (Soho Press, $25, 9781641293044).

Good Morning America: Calvin Kasulke, author of Several People Are Typing: A Novel (Doubleday, $24, 9780385547222).
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