Starred Review

Aerialists: Stories

by Mark Mayer

Cover iconography that depicts a circus and story titles like "The Clown," "The Ringmaster" and "Strongwoman" might lead readers to believe a series of big-top tales awaits them in Mark Mayer's excellent short story collection, Aerialists. That, much like a circus itself, is a bit of a ruse. Mayer's characters and settings are various and multifaceted, sometimes linking up to the proposed theme of the work, and sometimes downright undercutting it. It's best to ignore the theme altogether and jump into

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Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

by Benjamin Dreyer

There are many ways to write, but to communicate clearly requires consistency in style. Lucky for readers of Dreyer's English, Benjamin Dreyer, copy chief of Random House, has something more: panache. This is no stuffy grammarian's treatise on language and usage. Although unabashedly opinionated, Dreyer never claims to have all the answers. In fact, he openly discusses instances in which he has come to recognize his own errors over time (like the spelling of Danielle Steel's name). Maintaining that tone, he

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On the Come Up

by Angie Thomas

In Coretta Scott King and Printz honoree author Angie Thomas's (The Hate You Give) second novel, On the Come Up, high school junior Brianna "Bri" Jackson is an aspiring MC working toward her dream of rap superstardom.

As Bri waits anxiously for the call that will put her in the Ring for her first rap battle, she explains in the first line of the book that she "might have to kill somebody tonight." She gets the call, enters the Ring and does, indeed, annihilate her competition: Milez "with a z," an uninspired

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Shelf Discovery

Leading Men

by Christopher Castellani

Haunted by nostalgia, memory and regret, Leading Men is a transporting adventure that imagines a decades-long love story between Tennessee Williams, his partner and a Swedish film icon.

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Nothing but the Night

by John Williams

Part gothic, part noir, Nothing but the Night offers new insight into the potential horror and psychological power of John Williams's literary oeuvre.

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The Giver Graphic Novel

by Lois Lowry, P. Craig Russell, illus. by Galen Showman, Scott Hampton

P. Craig Russell's graphic novel adaptation of The Giver is an elegant reimagining likely to please fans and appeal to new readers.

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Grove Press: The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

Media Heat

Thursday, February 14, 2019

KCRW's Bookworm: Amanda Sthers, author of Holy Lands (Bloomsbury, $22, 9781635572834).
 
Daily Show: Chris Wilson, author of The Master Plan: My Journey from Life in Prison to a Life of Purpose (Putnam, $27, 9780735215580).

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Pete Buttigieg, author of Shortest Way Home: One Mayor's Challenge and a Model for America's Future (Liveright, $27.95, 9781631494369).

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Trevor Noah, author of Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Spiegel & Grau, $18, 9780399588198).

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Fresh Air: Judith Grisel, author of Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (Doubleday, $26.95, 9780385542845).
 
CBS This Morning: Lisa Damour, author of Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls (Ballantine, $27, 9780399180057).

Monday, February 11, 2019

Fresh Air: Christie Aschwande, author of Good to Go: What the Athlete in All of Us Can Learn from the Strange Science of Recovery (Norton, $27.95, 9780393254334).

Thursday, February 7, 2019

KCRW's Bookworm: Tosh Berman, author of Tosh: Growing Up in Wallace Berman's World (City Lights, $17.95, 9780872867604).
 
Daily Show: Dorothy Butler Gilliam, author of Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist's Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America (Center Street, $27, 9781546083443).
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