Starred Reviews for Michael Cunningham, Jane Hirshfield, and James Ellroy

By Elizabeth Camfiord | August 30 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.


A Novel

“. The pandemic
steamrollered over our lives and left us to pick up the pieces, but it also shed clarity on our
values. Cunningham brilliantly and skillfully demonstrates how such contradictions are possible.”—Booklist, starred review

The Enchanters
A novel

“Indisputable fact: Marilyn Monroe died August 4, 1962. Questionable theories: was it suicide or
murder? A case can be made for either, which Ellroy does with his signature jazzy aplomb in his
ongoing quest to expose L.A.’s spongy underbelly via its most notorious scandals.”—Booklist, starred review

The Good Part

“Best-selling Cousens (Before I Do, 2022) knocks it out of the park with this whimsical story that is
reminiscent of the movie 13 Going on 30.”—Booklist, starred review


“Labatut’s unique framing of John von Neumann’s brilliance and his descriptions of the transcendent power of computers and AI creates a disturbing, awe-inspiring, and inevitable vision, one foreseen by von Neumann, of an ominous future dominated by near-infinite technological possibilities.” —Booklist, starred review

Roman Stories

“Rome with its echoing past and mercurial present is a potently evocative setting for Lahiri’s exquisitely incisive, richly empathetic, and profoundly resonant stories.” —Booklist, starred review

A Novel

“Critic and novelist Cole (Open City) explores such philosophical questions as “How is one to live without owning others? Who is this world for?” in his remarkable and experimental latest…Everything hangs together brilliantly, thanks to Cole’s subtle provocations and his passion for art and music. It’s a splendid feast for the senses.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

The Unmaking of June Farrow
A Novel

“Young (Spells for Forgetting, 2022) peppers the story with intriguing clues and unexpected twists that will keep readers guessing, leading to a heart-wrenching and satisfying conclusion. A must-read for fans of V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue (2020), who will be drawn into Young’s deeply emotional story of self-discovery, family, and love.” —Booklist, starred review

Same Bed Different Dreams
A Novel

“Riotous erudition runs rampant through Park’s new novel, arriving 15 years after his celebrated
debut, Personal Days (2008). Grander lauds are certainly forthcoming for his stupendous tome, a
synergistic reclamation of East-West history, acrobatic sf, and biting sociopolitical commentary
presented as three distinct prongs that brilliantly meld by the book’s end.”—Booklist, starred review

Better Hate than Never

“In the second stellar addition to her Shakespeare-inspired contemporary rom-coms, Liese (Two
Wrongs Make a Right, 2022) puts her own clever spin on The Taming of the Shrew with a pinch
of 10 Things I Hate About You thrown in for good measure. The result is a sweetly sexy love
story that not only includes a paean to the joys of fall flavors, particularly in the form of
doughnuts, but also addresses the challenges of living with ADHD with insight and compassion.”—Booklist, starred review

From a Far and Lovely Country
No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency (24)

“…largely a comic novel, enlivened by Precious’ reflections, Grace’s jockeying for status, and part-time mechanic and apprentice detective Charlie’s struggles to overcome his unreliability. A total delight.” —Booklist, starred review


This House of Grief
The Story of a Murder Trial

“Garner chronicles conflicting physical evidence, controversial medical opinions, and contentious personal betrayals. Throughout, she infuses her account with a mesmeric blend of pathos and skepticism that, despite the known conclusion, will keep readers in suspense.” —Booklist, starred review

Klan War
Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction

“By documenting what really happened in the bloody and vicious post–Civil War South and how it nullified official government policy, this history resonates on many levels.” —Booklist, starred review

A City on Mars
Can we settle space, should we settle space, and have we really thought this through?

“The wife-and-husband writing team who penned Soonish (2017), a biologist and a cartoonist, respectively, take on the rough realities of space settlement in their immersive and entertaining examination of how close humanity actually is to living among the stars.” —Booklist, starred review

The Black Angels
The Untold Story of the Nurses Who Helped Cure Tuberculosis

“This confluence of histories, encompassing public health, urban development, race, class, and social upheaval was too significant for Smilios to pass up, no matter how difficult the research might prove to be. She blends all of the threads she followed into a big blistering narrative that takes readers into the lives of an exceptional group of individuals whose personal stories are as compelling as the disease they confronted was deadly. Informative, enthralling, and sometimes appalling, this is American history at its best.” —Booklist, starred review

50 Years of Ms.
The Best of the Pathfinding Magazine That Ignited a Revolution

“This thoughtfully curated and zestful celebration of the first 50 years of Ms. would be fascinating under any circumstances, but given the renewed assaults on women’s rights it’s all the more compelling.” —Booklist, starred review

Opposable Thumbs
How Siskel & Ebert Changed Movies Forever

“Singer interviews producers and those who were close to the men, providing an expansive portrait of how two movie critics became unlikely stars themselves. The book ends with a rundown of some of the films that Siskel and Ebert gave glowing reviews to that have now entered relative obscurity.” —Booklist, starred review

Some People Need Killing
A Memoir of Murder in My Country

“Evangelista unravels the web of dehumanization and everyday failures that led to Duterte’s rise, leaving the reader with few answers and an unsettling picture of the future. Analytical, ambitious, and told with empathy, this will stand as a definitive historical account of the Philippines’ drug war.” —Booklist, starred review

Star Crossed
A True WWII Romeo and Juliet Love Story in Hitlers Paris

“This harrowing story of love lost is based on interviews and a personal archive of letters and sketches…which gives the story a sense of immediacy and relays the human cost of the war.”—Library Journal, starred review

The Asking
New and Selected Poems

“Hirshfield’s mindfully measured poems, inquiries into the mysteries and fundamentals of being
alive, of being human, are essential works…Hirshfield’s exquisitely formed, intricate reckonings incandesce in this
necessary collection of selected poems from her nine previous books of poetry, from Alaya
(1982) to Ledger (2020), and an opening set of 33 powerful new poems.” —Booklist, starred review

Tupac Shakur
The Authorized Biography

“Ultimately, Tupac’s outsized personality, his love
of literature (he scribbled poetry throughout his trial and read Shakespere and Sun Yat Sen in
jail), and dedication to Black liberation shine throughout this passionate portrait of a profoundly
influential artist.”—Booklist, starred review

Graphic Novels

Where Is Anne Frank

“Oscar-nominated film director Folman unequivocally succeeded in transforming one of the
world’s most beloved books into Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation (2018). In 2021, he
debuted a remarkably inventive, companion animated film, Where Is Anne Frank, which now
arrives as a gorgeous graphic novel.”—Booklist, starred review

Jack Kirby
The Epic Life of the King of Comics [A Graphic Biography]

“Scioli wisely doesn’t “do” Kirby, artistically, but crowds his pages with densely captioned panels,
rendering characters and colors with a vintage glow, conjuring a beloved, dog-eared Golden Age
comic, bringing us into Kirby’s milieu and era. And it’s Kirby’s voice telling us this story,
illuminating the remarkable human behind the unforgettable heroes.”—Booklist, starred review