Starred Reviews for Jodi Picoult, Jon M. Chu, Alice Notley, Kevin Barry, and more!

By Kate McManus | May 22 2024 | Starred Reviews

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


The God of the Woods
A Novel

The God of the Woods is an exploration of the differences between the haves and the have-nots and the stifling roles for women of all ages mixed with a police procedural and a family drama.” —Booklist, starred review

By Any Other Name
A Novel

“Picoult’s many, many fans will pounce on her latest incisive, potstirring
tale, while the Shakepearean theme will attract even more readers.” —Booklist, starred review

Things Don't Break on Their Own
A Novel

“A gripping book about families, loyalty, lies, and love that is at once
heartwarming and horrifying.” —Booklist, starred review

This Great Hemisphere
A Novel

“Askaripour is a skilled worldbuilder, imbuing this imagined society with fascinating detail and (often sadly) relatable divisions and issues. The page-turning prose and standout characters will appeal to a wide range of readers.” —Booklist, starred review

The Road to the Country
A Novel

“Obioma remarkably imbues breathtaking beauty into the (quotidian) horrors of war. Beyond geographical and historical specificities here, the world’s harrowing, ongoing conflagrations underscore the timeless urgency of Obioma’s latest triumph.” —Booklist, starred review

A novel

“All of the sf/f fan-favorite Bacigalupi hallmarks are here: deep character development and astounding world-building, but this time with dragons.” —Booklist, starred review

Someone Like Us
A novel

“Mengestu emphasizes his characters’ fears of deportation, of being pulled over by police, and their utter exhaustion as work and anxiety rob them of sleep. A moving, memorable novel.” —Booklist, starred review

A Novel

“At first glance, khipus (or quipus) look like messy strings with raggedy knots, but they are the material vestiges of a sophisticated Inca system of communication. In her first novel, Cornejo Villavicencio (The Undocumented Americans, 2020) introduces brazen, smart Catalina, who is as tangled, textured, and cryptic as the khipus that thread throughout this tale… Catalina demands her due from friends, lovers, professors, and familia in Cornejo Villavicencio’s bravura bildungsroman.” —Booklist, starred review

Long Island Compromise
A Novel

“Brodesser-Akner is a steady, imaginative, insightful writer, and there are riotous passages, haunting dybbuks, and unseen twists that make it thoroughly discussable. Readers will get lost and found in its universe of wealth, family, faith, and other fallible securities.” —Booklist, starred review

“Generational trauma has never been so funny as when Brodesser-Akner writes it. This book is a must-read for those who like witty, observational novels, family sagas, and sharp dialogue and characterization.” —Library Journal, starred review


A Novel

“Debut author Wood has expertly mixed romance with mystery in a novel that leaves more questions than answers. This fast-paced thriller will work well for book clubs and fans of the unreliable narrator trope.” —Library Journal, starred review


Final Cut

“A stunningly illustrated exploration of alienation, obsession, and the experience of yearning for connection with another human being, particularly when one feels that they are only capable of expressing themselves through art.” —Library Journal, starred review


The Heart in Winter
A Novel

“Award-winning Barry’s (City of Bohane) newest, a genre-blending novel with romance and adventure to spare, is set in 1890s Montana, where Tom Rourke, a feckless young Irishman, earns a sketchy living working as a photographer’s assistant, selling dope, and writing letters of proposal to prospective brides on behalf of illiterate miners… Barry writes like a charm; every sentence sparkles.” —Library Journal, starred review


Talking to Strangers

“This latest from best-selling Barton (Local Gone Missing) is a twisty and highly satisfying nail-biter that will have her fans and new readers burning the midnight oil.” —Library Journal, starred review


Business Casual

“This final and fourth book in the “Lovelight” series, after Mixed Signals, is a knockout. Keep the entire series stocked to keep up with demand.” —Library Journal, starred review


The Truth According to Ember

“With relatable storylines about identity, family, and self-worth and endearing characters, this steamy rom-com is a strong debut and a must-have for romance collections.” —Library Journal, starred review


The Lost Story
A Novel

“Readers will find this an absolutely immersive pleasure to read. Shaffer delivers an unforgettable and nostalgic experience, especially for fans of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis or fairy-tale retellings.” —Library Journal, starred review


The Black Bird Oracle
A Novel

“Marked by Harkness’s deft evocations and appreciation of learning, this is a book to treasure. The portentous ending, rife with new story threads and threats, will leave readers hoping that she doesn’t wait another six years to continue the series.” —Library Journal, starred review

One on One
A Novel

“Harrow’s breathtaking debut delves deep into the raw emotions of grief and the pure beauty of rediscovering joy in an exquisite tale of second chances, featuring an enemies-to-lovers romance.” —Library Journal, starred review

Full Speed to a Crash Landing

“Readers looking for a wild romp of a sci-fi caper story, complete with long games, big plans, wild heists, and epically flirtatious banter, are going to fall in love with Ada Lamarr every bit as much as Agent Rian White does in this first of a projected trilogy from Revis (Museum of Magic). Perfect for fans of Valerie Valdes and Constance Fay.” —Library Journal, starred review


Magic Pill
The Extraordinary Benefits and Disturbing Risks of the New Weight-Loss Drugs

“This is not a simple book about weight loss. Instead, Hari explores obesity-related medical concerns and the risks of drugs such as Ozempic, all the while peppering the book with anecdotes designed to remind readers that the choices they make about weight loss often have far less to do with the number on the scale than they do with the stories they have been told about their bodies.” —Library Journal, starred review

Dac Biet
An Extra-Special Vietnamese Cookbook

“Dishes ranging from fish-sauce caramel chicken wings, rice salad with clams, fried shallots and lemongrass, and Southeast Asian jambalaya (featuring Dungeness crab, Creole seasoning, and jasmine rice) will leave readers salivating and wishing for a warm plate to appear immediately before them. Nguyen captures the attention of both palates and minds in this superb blend of food, memories, and history.” —Booklist, starred review

A Memoir

“In this sharply candid anatomy of a relationship and spellcasting remembrance, Ciment reflects on the dubious start to their union
and how their roles switched over time. By turns stinging, hilarious, and poignant, this is rare and luminous testimony to creativity, commitment, and love over all.” —Booklist, starred review

Other Rivers
A Chinese Education

“Throughout, Hessler shares the words of his students—variously curious, skeptical, tired, and wise—in what is, at heart, a meditation on teaching and learning from one’s students.” —Booklist, starred review

A Passionate Mind in Relentless Pursuit
The Vision of Mary McLeod Bethune

“Mary McLeod Bethune is an African American icon, especially in her home state of Florida, where she founded the girls school that would become Bethune Cookman University. Yet today she is vaguely recalled as “an educator” rather than for her courageous activism and political organizing for African American and women’s rights… Rooks’
redefining biography is essential reading.” —Booklist, starred review

A Memoir of Seeing and Being Seen

“A thoughtful, candid, and affecting read for anyone with an interest in the impact of the tech industry on Hollywood and the Asian American experience.” —Booklist, starred review

Becoming Earth
How Our Planet Came to Life

“Jabr, contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and Scientific American, delivers a beautifully written, exquisitely detailed, and finely researched examination of life and its symbiotic relationship with Earth.” —Booklist, starred review

Being Reflected Upon

“A rich and bracing visit with one of our best poets; highly recommended.” —Library Journal, starred review

Cue the Sun!
The Invention of Reality TV

“A detailed, engaging focus, interpretation, and historical commentary on the evolution and reception of reality shows. A must-read for social scientists and reality TV aficionados.” —Library Journal, starred review

Sharks Don't Sink
Adventures of a Rogue Shark Scientist

“Readers certainly do not need to be scientists to enjoy this exceptional, well-written book, but it’s an excellent title for people, especially women and people of color, who are considering a career in marine science. This heartfelt story offers insight into both the stresses and excitement that await them.” —Library Journal, starred review

The Bean Book
100 Recipes for Cooking with All Kinds of Beans, from the Rancho Gordo Kitchen

“Authoritative, welcoming, and wide-ranging, this is a key title for all collections.” —Library Journal, starred review

Prairie Man
My Little House Life & Beyond

“Butler adeptly chronicles his trajectory into television, film, and Broadway and as a producer, and he’s candid about his personal and career achievements and missteps. He is as charming a writer as an actor. Fans will enjoy this behind-the-scenes look at his life and career…” —Library Journal, starred review


The Phoenix Bride
A Novel

“Brilliantly narrated by Hardingham and Haynes, this lush historical novel smoothly incorporates complicated topics into a quiet, hopeful tale.” —Library Journal Starred Review