Starred Reviews for Tommy Orange, Tana French, Ali Hazelwood, Lauren Markham, Percival Everett, and more!

By Elizabeth Camfiord | December 22 2023 | GeneralStarred 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

“In Cheeks’s engrossing debut, a Black family faces financial hardships and debates the merits of a new reparations program Cheeks seamlessly threads the themes of resentment, forgiveness, and legacy through the multilayered narrative. Readers will be moved.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

A novel

“Orange follows up his PEN/Hemingway-winning There There with a stirring portrait of the fractured but resilient Bear Shield-Red Feather family in the wake of the Oakland powwow shooting that closed out the previous book. The sequel is wider in scope, beginning with stories of the family’s ancestors before catching up to the present.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

A Modern Reimagining of Persuasion

“Edwards (Jane & Elizabeth, 2023) perfectly captures the contemplative tone of Austen’s Persuasion and delivers a superbly nuanced heroine who finally breaks free from taking care of everyone else in her life at the expense of herself. Combine this with a sublimely evoked Canadian small-town setting in all its autumnal glory, a charming plot that
embraces everything from dealing with family expectations to the relationship wisdom embedded in Taylor Swift songs, and a bracing sense of wit, and you have the perfect read for Austen fans and every reader who enjoys artfully executed love stories.”—Booklist, starred review

” This enthralling tale of political machinations, family secrets, enduring friendship, and the allure and fear of people who are “other” is a not to be missed romance.”—Booklist, starred review

A Novel

“A family’s happiness is “swallowed by a fire that blazed up to the sky” in this haunting tale of devastating trauma in present-day Greece from the author of the bestselling The Beekeeper of Aleppo (2019)…The contemporary story about the life-altering impact of a climate-driven disaster on a girl and her parents will speak to YAs, who will also appreciate the examination of personal and collective accountability for climate change.”—Booklist, starred review

A Novel

“Crummey’s characters leap off the page. The exquisite period language
is lyrical yet unrelentingly portentous, and the insults are of Shakespearean caliber. There are cretinous henchmen, villainous pirates, and innocent, preyed-upon knaves. There is a devastating storm and a pandemic. The cumulative misfortune falls somewhere between biblical and Dickensian as Crummey masterfully builds the suspense while tempering the intensity with instances of selfless devotion. Crummey has quietly established himself as one of our best
writers.”—Booklist, starred review

A novel

“While in many ways a far cry from Khong’s wonderfully spare debut, Goodbye Vitamin (2017), this plot-rich, spiraling, multigenerational epic possesses the same heartrending humanity and deceptively subtle portrayal of characters’ unseen depths—so impossible to relate, so essential to everything. As in life, the love is in the details.”—Booklist, starred review

A Novel

Huckleberry Finn, acclaimed by many as a great American novel, has also been sharply criticized for its racist portrayal of Jim, the childlike “Negro slave” Huck befriends on their riverboat journey. In an astounding riposte, the much-lauded Everett (Dr. No, 2022) rewrites the story as a liberation narrative, told from Jim (or rather James’) point of view.”—Booklist, starred review

“As in his classic novel Erasure, Everett portrays in this ingenious retelling of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn a Black man who’s mastered the art of minstrelsy to get what he needs from gullible white people…Everett has outdone himself.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Talabi returns (after Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon) with a jaw-dropping collection of 16 afrofuturist stories uniquely blending mythology and technology in settings ranging from far-future Lagos (“Debut”) to a Martian drilling rig (“Blowout”)…Beautiful, vibrant, and electrifying, this has the makings of a modern classic.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

A Novel

“The entire complex cast of characters from The Searcher (2020) are back in all their eccentric glory, with Cal and Lena in a comfortable relationship. French’s characterizations are brilliant, as always, and surprising strengths and vulnerabilities make for an often amusing, yet ominous and somber tale. The atmosphere is rich as the reader is reminded that this is the “real” Ireland and not the one idealized by the “plastic Paddies.” Masterfully written.”—Booklist, starred review

“Beautiful, vivid prose and nuanced characters crescendo into the pulsating pace of a thriller. Sacheri masterfully weaves conflict and humanity in this taut historical novel perfect for readers of Manuel Puig’s Kiss of the Spider Woman (1976) and Isabel Allende’s La casa de los espíritus (1982).”—Booklist, starred review

Las Indignas (the unworthy) is a dystopian novel that could very well exist in the same universe as Bazterrica’s Tender Is the Flesh (2020), where humans are scraping by in a world decimated by natural catastrophes, pollution, and insidious AI…Petty rivalries and pranks provide a semblance of normalcy until a mysterious and enchanting newcomer reawakens the numbed narrator to the blatant abuse she endures, pushing her to a breaking point.”—Booklist, starred review

“In Mayfield’s powerful debut, four Black vigilantes in New Jersey seek justice for the racially motivated killing of their leader’s younger cousin…Well-rounded, sympathetic characters drive the propulsive narrative, which makes room for thoughtful discussions of such topics as Black identity, racial justice, and reparations. Mayfield’s lucid prose, breakneck pacing, and confident handling of controversial subject matter make him a writer to watch.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

A Novel

“Pulitzer finalist Link (White Cat, Black Dog) makes a dazzling full-length debut that proves her gloriously idiosyncratic style shines just as brightly at scale…This is a masterpiece.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review


On Borders and Belonging

“Journalist Markham (The Far Away Brothers) blends memoir, history, and reportage in a wide-ranging and unflinching account of Moria, an overcrowded refugee camp on the Greek island of Lesbos that burned to the ground in September 2020…Interspersed throughout are powerful ruminations on ancient Greece as the birthplace of classical Western ideals and the myth-making process inherent to all migration stories. Readers will be thoroughly engrossed.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

Unlocking Memory's Power to Hold on to What Matters

“Ranganath, a psychology professor at the University of California Davis, debuts with a riveting overview of how memory works…Approachable and enlightening, this is worth seeking out.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

“In this potent compendium, Callahan (In the African-American Grain), Ralph Ellison’s literary executor, updates his 1995 collection of Ellison’s short nonfiction…The pieces offer crucial insight into Ellison’s philosophy and fiction, and the social analysis proves he still has much to offer contemporary discussions of literature, history, and race. The result is an intellectual feast.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review

A Life

“Dearborn deepens our appreciation for McCullers herself and her daring, resonant works, chronicling the writing and reception of each, including The Heart is a Lonely Hunter and A Member of the Wedding, each shaped by the author’s profound understanding of “otherness,” unbound imagination, lyricism, and “intensity.” A landmark biography.”—Booklist, starred review

Dispatches from a Life in the Press

“In this collection of short and long pieces culled from more
than 50 years of reporting, Trillin presents a clever, wry, piercing, and even poetic love song to journalism and the writers, editors, columnists, and readers who show, with every word, that they are the people’s champions.”—Booklist, starred review

What Science Reveals About Diet, Insulin, and Successful Treatments

“Based on Taubes’ analysis, dramatically limiting carbohydrate calories should be the featured bill of fare for most diabetic individuals. Like a Michelin-star chef, Taubes has prepared a tantalizing offering spiced with sound science and heavy on fat calories.”—Booklist, starred review

How Algorithms Flattened Culture

“Fans of the burgeoning genre of Big Tech ethnography will appreciate Chayka’s astute historical analysis and philosophical rumination on the subject, all “filtered” expertly with his own biography as a millennial who grew up amid the explosion of the socially fixated web.”—Booklist, starred review

On Basketball and Ascension

“Abdurraqib keeps multiple balls in the air as he swerves, spins, and scores, and every thoughtfully considered and vividly described element and emotion, action and moment, ultimately, connects. An exhilarating, heartfelt, virtuoso, and profound performance.”—Booklist, starred review


“This is a nuanced, opinionated memoir written and narrated by one of the greatest entertainers ever, EGOT-winning Barbra Streisand…Listeners will also likely enjoy her highly personal reflections on working with and knowing others such as Brando, Redford, Wyler, and her husband, James Brolin.”—Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

“But beyond her capable reading, what really elevates this to star status are the clips from such familiar songs as “Silent Night,” “Happy Days Are Here Again,” and “Stoney End,” among others. The icon sings…and speaks.”—Booklist, starred review

A novel

“A unique and entertaining title for devotees of classic locked-room mysteries as well as those literary fiction readers who have yet to unlock the clever craftsmanship and ingenuity of genre fiction.”—Booklist, starred review

A Novel

“Julianne Moore performs this pandemic novel told in three sections. Each section is set on April 5th of a different year… Moore’s narration is engrossing and moves easily among the different characters’ points of view, giving each family member emotional depth and development. This moving family story will stay with listeners long after Moore has delivered the last word.”—Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

“Risa Mei gives an energetic performance of this young adult romance… Mei transforms her voice to fit each of the story’s characters. Her candor and spiritedness perfectly complement the rebellious Kiki. Set in Indonesia with plenty of dramatic subplots, this is a great listen for Asian TV drama fans and young adult romance fanatics.”—Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award

Age 12 and up