Starred Reviews for C Pam Zhang, Nathan Hill, and Daniel Mason

By Elizabeth Camfiord | August 2 2023 | Starred Reviews

With starred reviews from publications including Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, and Library Journal—your patrons will want to read these much-anticipated books that reviewers are raving about.


All You Have to Do Is Call

“This powerful story is fact-based fiction set during the turbulent late 1960s and early 1970s, when many women were reticent or ignorant about their bodies and sex, abortions were illegal and dangerous, and birth control difficult to obtain… The book shows the solidarity and bravery of Jane members in the face of great risk, the immense changes which took place during those troubled times, and the impact of “women’s lib” and Roe v. Wade. An eye-opening, informative book that’s well worth reading.” —Booklist, starred review

Happiness Falls (Good Morning America Book Club)
A Novel

In Kim’s latest (after Miracle Creek, 2019), Adam Parson goes missing, leaving behind his wife and children, including 15-year-old Eugene, who has autism and a rare genetic disorder called mosaic Angelman syndrome and is nonverbal…Mia is a prickly, appealing narrator, going off on frequent tangents that add texture to the narrative. The result is a philosophical family drama that is as page-turning as it is thought-provoking.” —Booklist, starred review

Land of Milk and Honey
A Novel

“Zhang (How Much of These Hills Is Gold, 2020) paints an image of the promised land of milk and honey that saturates the senses…The narrator struggles to reconcile her new world with the one she left behind even as she is consumed by her appetites for food, for love, for survival. Ending on a hopeful note, this sumptuous feast is an absolute marvel. Savor every delicious morsel.” —Booklist, starred review

Never Whistle at Night
An Indigenous Dark Fiction Anthology

“Editors Hawke and Van Alst have gathered a satisfying mix of unsettling horror stories written by an array of notable Native authors, including Cherie Dimaline, Brandon Hobson, Darcie Little Badger, and Tommy Orange… This volume is a must for any library collection and will be devoured by speculative fiction fans who enjoy a sprinkle of social commentary within their scary books.” —Booklist, starred review

Unleashed Holiday

“It’s very easy to get lost in Schade’s lively characters and the small northeast town; there are goats with bad attitudes, a feral cat who likes to menace Chelsea’s students, and, of course, all kinds of scene[1]stealing dogs and their hapless owners. Schade also offers well-handled tenderness in dealing with Chelsea’s grief. Touching, heartfelt, and all but guaranteed to make the reader smile and laugh.” —Booklist, starred review

North Woods
A Novel

“A young couple escapes their colonial Massachusetts colony and runs for seven days before being free from pursuit. Finding fertile land, they establish a homestead, plant a garden, and start a family. That origin story and its biblical themes presage the ambitious task Mason (A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth, 2020) sets for himself as this land and home serve as a through line for centuries of occupants in this magisterial mosaic…Truly triumphant.” —Booklist, starred review

“Mason (A Registry of My Passage upon the Earth) follows the inhabitants of a secluded western Massachusetts home and their tragedies across centuries in this spectacular ghost story…Each arc is beautifully, heartbreakingly conveyed, stitching together subtle connections across time. This astonishes.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

A novel

“Hill’s prose is radiant and ravishing throughout this saturated, intricately honeycombed novel of delving cogitation as he evokes the wonders of the prairie and the city, and the ever-perplexing folly, anguish, and beauty of the human condition.” —Booklist, starred review

The Vaster Wilds
A Novel

“Inspired by the “starving time” of 1609 Jamestown, this wholly enveloping book has appeal similar to that of Groff’s enthusiastically celebrated Matrix (2021): deep examinations of faith, dominion, and human nature; Groff’s seemingly joyfully related, seamless period prose; and the time-collapsing sense of reading a text channeled directly from the mind of a long-ago-living, breathing woman facing extraordinary circumstances.” —Booklist, starred review


The Sisterhood
The Secret History of Women at the CIA

“Brimming with startling, intriguing, and infuriating facts and insights, this arresting and suspenseful exposé is rooted in extensive interviews and research as exacting as that conducted by the brilliant women analysts Mundy profiles.” —Booklist, starred review

The Spice Must Flow
The Story of Dune, from Cult Novels to Visionary Sci-Fi Movies

“With the contagious enthusiasm of a true fan, Britt charts the evolution of Frank Herbert’s groundbreaking 1965 science fiction novel, Dune, which began as a proposal for a nonfiction article about sand dunes… Britt even takes us behind the scenes in the world of publishing, and shows how Herbert’s Dune novels were shaped by the everyday realities of selling books. This is quite simply a remarkable book.” —Booklist, starred review

Tarta Americana

“Martinez (Museum of the Americas, 2018) presents a playfully kaleidoscopic collection that focuses on Ritchie Valens, the Chicano rock legend of the 1950s, who died tragically in the plane crash that also killed Buddy Holly and J. P. Richardson (The Big Bopper). Martinez’s speaker draws parallels between his own life and that of the Mexican American guitarist…Another superlative entry in this poet’s record.” —Booklist, starred review


The Book That Wouldn't Burn

“Lawrence’s masterful world-building and gorgeous prose and Whittaker’s exquisite performance will envelop and enthrall fantasy and library fans alike.”—Booklist, starred review

Crook Manifesto
A Novel

“After four years of the straight life, Ray Carney is drawn back into the crime world when he tries to use his connections to find tickets for the Jackson Five concert for his daughter. Graham, who narrated Harlem Shuffle brilliantly, returns to continue the tale…The setting, described in gritty detail, becomes a character itself. Whitehead can create a world, and Graham is the ideal guide.”—Booklist, starred review

Invisible Son

“Guy Lockard depicts 17-year-old Andre Jackson of Portland, Oregon, who is returning home after two months in juvenile detention for a robbery he didn’t commitThe authenticity of the writing and Lockard’s narration reveal a character who speaks truth to power during the tumultuous personal and political events of 2020. Johnson delivers the afterword, which adds background to the issues and setting.”AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

Age 14 and up

The Making of Another Major Motion Picture Masterpiece
A novel

“Author and actor Tom Hanks gently narrates the bulk of this tale of the making of a movie. It begins with Bobby, a young boy growing up in the 1940s, whose childhood passion is art. He grows into a comic book author whose strip is picked up and converted into a superhero movie…Hanks’ vast insider knowledge and considerable talent make this program a delight for movie buffs, especially those viewers who have always wondered who all those people are in the end credits.”—Booklist, starred review

Picture Day

“Brilliant sound design and a stellar full cast led by Felisha Wong take listeners to the emotional heart of middle school, complete with identity struggles, friendship drama, and parental issues. Using voice and sound to convey the action, intensity, and honesty told through images in a graphic novel can be challenging, but this team makes it seem easy.”—Booklist, starred review

Age 8-12 years

The Puzzle Master
A Novel

“Holy Moly! This is one heck of a ride…Two-time Audie Award winner Ballerini narrates this fast-paced, smart suspense tale with the precise pacing that it requires, never rushing a line or requiring the reader to strain for clarification.”—Booklist, starred review

The Road to Roswell
A Novel

“Jesse Vilinsky and Connie Willis have a marvelous time in this delightful homage to road trips, old Westerns, romance, alien hunters, and, well, aliens…Vilinsky also knows exactly what a teenage alien’s texts sound like. Never has “No, no, no” been so variously and hysterically rendered. Throughout, Vilinsky’s technicolor performance radiates the story’s essential kindness and joy.”AudioFile Earphones Award Winner

The Shadow Cabinet
A Novel

“In her follow up to Her Majesty’s Royal Coven, Juno Dawson picks up in the aftermath of the shocking end to the first book and delves deeper into the world of witches she created…Coughlan pulls readers into this inventive world and sweeps them along in the characters’ loves, laughter, sorrow, regret, resolve, and most of all, connections to each other.”—Booklist, starred review