Starred Review

Adult Assembly Required

by Abbi Waxman

Abbi Waxman (Other People's Houses) explores the challenges of adulting in her warmhearted fifth novel, Adult Assembly Required. Laura Costello wants to believe she's a full-fledged grown-up, which means being able to handle everything on her own. But right after she moves to Los Angeles for grad school, while still struggling with the traumatic effects of a serious car accident that occurred a couple of years earlier, her apartment catches fire. Almost before she knows it, Laura finds herself adopted by booksellers

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Translating Myself and Others

by Jhumpa Lahiri

The art of literary translation is "central to the production of literature, not an accessory to it," writes Jhumpa Lahiri (Whereabouts) in Translating Myself and Others. Talk about linguistically precocious: when a teacher forced five-year-old Lahiri to write "Dear Mom" in her homemade Mother's Day card, rather than the Bengali "Ma," she had already "intuited the central and complex role that translation was to play" in her writing. In 2015, she took her writing in a seemingly unexpected direction: She moved

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The Ghosts of Rose Hill

by R.M. Romero

A 16-year-old violinist descends into a haunted summer of love and longing in The Ghosts of Rose Hill, a lush and fantastical modern folktale in verse from R.M. Romero (The Dollmaker of Kraków).

After a disappointing academic year, Ilana Lopez, a child of Cuban and Czech refugees, is sent from her home in Miami Beach to Prague to spend the summer with an aunt. Ilana is supposed to abandon violin and refocus on her studies but reclaims a forgotten Jewish cemetery instead. There she finds a ghost, Benjamin,

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by Holly Goddard Jones

Antipodes, the fourth book and second collection of short stories by Holly Goddard Jones (The Salt Line), offers 11 riveting stories of contemporary life in the American South and Midwest. Some have pandemic settings and others are gently magical; all are true to the anxieties of modern careers, marriage and parenthood.

The narrator of the title story, a harried mother attending college classes in Kentucky, seeks to balance the opposing forces of her life and wonders what she might have to sacrifice. The ending

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Bad Mexicans: Race, Empire, & Revolution in the Borderlands

by Kelly Lytle Hernández

Ricardo Flores Magón and the revolutionary movement he created (the magonistas) were considered precursors to the larger Mexican Revolution of 1910-1917. But the story is often "folded into the corners of Mexican American history," according to MacArthur Fellow and historian Kelly Lytle Hernández (City of Inmates) in the impressively researched Bad Mexicans.

The story of the magonistas is essential to understanding the history of the United States, Hernández claims, and particularly the

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Angry Me

by Sandra V. Feder, illus. by Rahele Jomepour Belle

Emotions are rarely black and white. Angry Me artfully captures the nuances of anger and the reactions it inspires as a girl deals with the quotidian trials of her day.

Different feelings--sadness, frustration, disappointment, outrage--often underlie anger. A brown-skinned girl in a pleasingly multi-colored, multi-patterned outfit expresses the many ways she gets angry: "It's my turn!" angry; "I can't do it!" angry; "What about me?" angry. She tries to remember to use her words but sometimes, she says, "my

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Shelf Discovery

Something Wilder

by Christina Lauren

In this funny and adventurous romance, a woman leading a desert horseback trek for her ex-boyfriend and his friends realizes that she might know where Butch Cassidy's treasure is hidden. 

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The Perfect Golden Circle

by Benjamin Myers

This thrilling reflection on land and country follows Calvert and Redbone as they attempt to heal and make meaning by constructing crop circles in 1989 England.

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My Summer Darlings

by May Cobb

In this character-driven thriller, the friendship of three women is tested--and their lives put in jeopardy--when each falls for a handsome man who has moved into their upscale Texas neighborhood.

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All the Lovers in the Night

by Mieko Kawakami, trans. by Sam Bett, David Boyd

Mieko Kawakami delivers an unsettling, deceptively straightforward narrative of an outwardly successful young woman navigating the isolations of contemporary life.

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The Third Person

by Emma Grove

Emma Grove makes her spectacular debut with a 920-page graphic memoir so urgent and absorbing as to demand a single-sitting read.

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Oh William!

by Elizabeth Strout

Elizabeth Strout's glorious eighth title is the third in a series starring novelist Lucy Barton who, at 63, remains a remarkably empathic observer of human relationships.

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by B.A. Shapiro

In this ingeniously plotted novel, readers are challenged to determine the identity of the person who fell down an elevator shaft in a Boston-area storage facility.

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I'm Not Missing

by Kashelle Gourley, illus. by Skylar Hogan

A dog leaves home to escape the stresses of pet life in this funny, heartfelt and cheerfully illustrated picture book.

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Alina in a Pinch

by Shenaaz Nanji, illus. by Beena Mistry

A courageous Afro-Indian girl decides to unmask a covert school bully in this accessible and entertaining illustrated chapter book.

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Birds of California

by Katie Cotugno

Former teen co-stars are reunited by a possible television revival in this modern, steamy romance that explores misuse of power, mental health and public scrutiny in Hollywood.

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Gallery Books: Something Wilder by Christina Lauren

Media Heat

Thursday, May 19, 2022

The View: Selma Blair, author of Mean Baby: A Memoir of Growing Up (Knopf, $30, 9780525659495).

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Fresh Air: Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, authors of His Name Is George Floyd: One Man's Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice (Viking, $30, 9780593490617).

NPR's Here & Now: Kwame Onwauchi, author of My America: Recipes from a Young Black Chef: A Cookbook (Knopf, $35, 9780525659600).

Drew Barrymore Show: Ali Wentworth, author of Ali's Well That Ends Well: Tales of Desperation and a Little Inspiration (Harper, $26.99, 9780062980861).

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

NPR's Here & Now: Simu Liu, author of We Were Dreamers: An Immigrant Superhero Origin Story (Morrow, $27.99, 9780063046498).

Fresh Air: Frank Bruni, author of The Beauty of Dusk: On Vision Lost and Found (Avid Reader Press/S&S, $28, 9781982108571).
CBS Mornings: Ian Bremmer, author of The Power of Crisis: How Three Threats--and Our Response--Will Change the World (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781982167509).

Also on CBS Mornings: Tom Daley, author of Coming Up for Air: What I Learned from Sport, Fame and Fatherhood (Hanover Square Press, $17.99, 9781335662569).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Allegra Hyde, author of Eleutheria (Vintage, $17, 9780593315248).

Tonight Show: Mary Lynn Rajskub, author of FAME-ISH: My Life at the Edge of Stardom (Abrams, $26, 9781419754791).

Monday, May 16, 2022

CBS Mornings: Bethenny Frankel, author of Business Is Personal: The Truth About What it Takes to Be Successful While Staying True to Yourself (Hachette Go, $29, 9780306827037).

Fresh Air: Hugh Ryan, author of The Women's House of Detention: A Queer History of a Forgotten Prison (Bold Type Books, $30, 9781645036661).

Thursday, May 12, 2022

KCRW's Bookworm: Michelle Huneven, author of Search: A Novel (Penguin Press, $27, 9780593300053).

Drew Barrymore Show: Jennifer Grey, author of Out of the Corner: A Memoir (Ballantine, $30, 9780593356708).

Kelly Clarkson Show: Tiffany Haddish, co-author of Layla, the Last Black Unicorn (HarperCollins, $18.99, 9780063113879).
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