Starred Reviews for John Sandford, Sophie Cousens, Denise Williams, and Rachel Maddow

By Elizabeth Camfiord | September 27 2023 | Starred Reviews

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


A Demon's Guide to Wooing a Witch

” Hawley proves she is a bewitching romance maven with this follow-up to the excellent A Witch’s Guide to Fake Dating a Demon (2023)… Sizzlingly sexy, endlessly imaginative, and laugh-out-loud funny, this is one of the most enjoyable paranormal romances of the year.”—Booklist, starred review

Game On

This funny, sexy, and geeky romance features Samara, an avid gamer, and Aron, a gaming-company CEO…Glass tackles weighty topics, including chronic illness, neurodivergence, and misogynoir, providing meaningful and affirming look at these experiences in an organic way.Library Journal, starred review

Judgment Prey

“The sequel to Righteous Prey reunites Davenport and Flowers in an intricate crime novel. The strong characters, known for their deep friendship and jokey relationship, will continue to appeal to fans of the long-running series.”—Library Journal, starred review

The Frozen River
A Novel

“Spanning the winter of 1789–90 in Hallowell, Maine, from the freezing of the Kennebec River to
its late thaw, Lawhon’s outstanding sixth novel is based on the actual life of frontier midwife
Martha Ballard, who recorded daily diary entries about her household and career…Lawhon’s first-rate tale should entrance
readers passionate about early America and women’s history.”—Booklist, starred review

The Kingdom of Sweets
A Novel of the Nutcracker

“Johansen (The Queen of the Tearling, 2014) transforms a beloved holiday classic into a dark tale
of vengeance…Fans of artistically influenced, realistic historical fiction wrapped in moral allegory will relish
Natasha’s Nutcracker-adjacent narrative.”—Booklist, starred review

The Names of the Things That Were There

“Known mostly to U.S. audiences for his novel Burning Patience, the inspiration for the film Il Postino/The Postman, Chilean-born Skármeta is a prominent member of Latin America’s post-boom generation. Touted as the best of his short fiction output—an honor they deserve—these 13 stories were previously published in Spanish in five separate collections as far back as 1967 before being consolidated in chronological order under the present cover.”—Library Journal, starred review

A novel

“Espionage thrillers are notably high octane, but Carpenter (Red, White, Blue, 2018)
takes a refreshingly cerebral, literary, and cunningly cinematic approach in her exploration of
personal moral ambiguity playing out in the world of international intrigue.”—Booklist, starred review

Raiders of the Lost Heart

“This sexy, engaging romance leads readers through the wilds of academia and sets them down in a realistic archaeological dig… With its well-crafted, interesting characters and intriguing storyline, this debut novel will fly off shelves.”—Library Journal, starred review

Technically Yours

“In flashback-laden, dual-POV style, Williams (Do You Take This Man) uploads her best yet contemporary romance, full of complex characters, the highs and lows of being a Black woman in STEM, and plenty of steam.”—Library Journal, 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


A Cultural History

“Lebanese British journalist Hankir (editor, Our Women on the Ground) writes with boldness and care as she documents many stories regarding eyeliner, whether it’s about her mother’s ritualistic application of it or the power women found throughout history by using it to reveal details about themselves.” —Library Journal, starred review

The Manuscripts Club
The People Behind a Thousand Years of Medieval Manuscripts

“De Hamel’s book is lavishly illustrated and unfailingly engaging. It is a love letter to collectors across nearly 10 centuries, written by an expert, imbued with passion for his subject.”—Library Journal, starred review

Mother, Nature
A 5,000-Mile Journey to Discover if a Mother and Son Can Survive Their Differences

“In the 1970s, Jenkins’s parents walked from New Orleans to Oregon on foot; it became a famous story that was captured in various magazines, including National Geographic, and eventually in a book that sold more than 12 million copies. In 2020, Wilderness magazine executive editor Jenkins (Like Streams to the Ocean) endeavored to retrace his parents’ steps on a road trip with his mother as a way to strengthen their relationship and to bridge a divide so commonly seen in modern America: the polar opposition on views of sexuality, contextualized against the backdrop of religion and politics. During the journey, Jenkins, a liberal gay man, and his mother, a conservative Christian woman, are able to find what many people struggle to achieve: a way to peacefully coexist.“ —Library Journal, starred review

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

“Despite their conclusion that humanity isn’t quite ready for life in space, the Weinersmiths’ passion and enthusiasm shine through every page of this absorbing, lively exploration.”—Booklist, starred review

An American Fight Against Fascism

“There’s a
focused awe in discovering something historic that has contemporary relevance, and Maddow’s
sublime research into the precursors of current existential threats is astonishingly deep. She
finds rabbit holes even rabbits are unaware of, conveying her wonderment with a jaunty “hey,
look at this” enthusiasm.”—Booklist, starred review

To Free the Captives
A Plea for the American Soul

“Former U.S. poet laureate Smith digs into her personal history to come to terms with our current
social and political climate in her elegant new memoir. Through research, personal memories,
and examination of spiritual practices, she searches for understanding and guidance through the
painful and tumultuous present as the country grapples with persistent and insidious racism
against Black Americans.”—Booklist, starred review