Starred Review Round-Up (3/16/22)

We’re seeing stars! These titles all received multiple starred reviews:

FOUR TREASURES OF THE SKY by Jenny Tinghui Zhang
ISBN 9781250811783 | on sale 4/5/22

An Indie Next pick!

“Zhang delves into the history of violence and prejudice against Chinese people in the U.S. with her debut, a lyrical and sweeping Bildungsroman…The result is fierce and moving.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Zhang’s blend of history and magical realism will appeal to fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ THE WATER DANCER (2019) as well as Amy Tan’s THE VALLEY OF AMAZEMENT (2013).”–Booklist, starred review

PAY DIRT ROAD by Samantha Jayne Allen
ISBN 9781250804273 | on sale 4/19/22

A Library Journal Debut of the Month!

“Annie’s brooding voice stands out. Fans of Southwestern atmospheric mysteries will appreciate this debut with a strong sense of place by Allen, winner of the 2019 Hillerman Prize.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Annie grows before our eyes, and the Texas landscape, with its falling-apart houses and bedraggled bars, comes alive in this remarkable novel, reminiscent of Larry McMurtry’s THE LAST PICTURE SHOW.”–Booklist, starred review

CUSTOMS: Poems by Solmaz Sharif
ISBN 9781644450796 | on sale 3/1/22

“Following the National Book Award finalist LOOK, Sharif’s second collection is alternately scathing, funny, resigned, and transcendent…A bold and uncompromising book with virtuosic emotional range; highly recommended.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Sharif demonstrates remarkable talent in her ability to so deftly portray the traumatizing balance required to live in the West with deep roots in Iran.”–Booklist, starred review

“Sharif’s commanding voice reverberates throughout this complex and confident collection.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE GREATEST INVENTION: A History of the World in Nine Mysterious Scripts by Silvia Ferrara
ISBN 9780374601621 | on sale 3/1/22

“This fascinating book bursts with new information and ideas…In the tradition of the best popular science writing, Ferrara expresses complex ideas in language understandable and appealing to the educated layperson.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Encountered at the right time, this book could ignite a passion, even change a life.”–Booklist, starred review

HER COUNTRY: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed to Be by Marissa R. Moss
ISBN 9781250793591 | on sale 5/10/22

“Moss’s clear and accessible writing is a delight, deftly capturing the lyricism of the genre.”–Library Journal, starred review

“This must read for music fans displays Moss’ extensive knowledge of Nashville’s Music Row scene…HER COUNTRY speaks (sings, really) volumes about the rise of female artists in country music, and how far they still have to climb.”–Booklist, starred review

THE LAST DAYS OF THE DINOSAURS: An Asteroid, Extinction, and the Beginning of Our World by Riley Black
ISBN 9781250271044 | on sale 4/26/22

“Black avoids the pitfall of overdramatizing, instead bringing the global disaster to life in elegant prose…This is top-drawer science writing.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A real-life, natural history page-turning drama that is necessary reading for almost anyone interested in the history of life.”–Library Journal, starred review

ELEKTRA by Jennifer Saint
ISBN 9781250773616 | on sale 5/3/22

“Out of a canonical myth, Saint has built a commanding story of rebellious women.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“It’s an emotion-laden story of revenge and rage driven by loss…Both readers who know the Greek myths well and readers who only know glimmers of the story will enjoy this new, epic retelling, perfect for fans of Madeline Miller’s CIRCE (2018).”–Booklist, starred review

FIERCE POISON: A Barker & Llewelyn Novel by Will Thomas
ISBN 9781250624796 | on sale 4/12/22

“[I]ntricately plotted, humorous, atmospheric, and rich in multidimensional characters…A superb mystery that’s sure to appeal to a wide range of fans.”–Booklist, starred review

“The leads’ friendship enriches a gripping plot that builds to a clever and satisfying resolution. Pastiche-averse Sherlockians looking for a baffling puzzle set in their favorite period will be rewarded.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

ISBN 9781250788832 | on sale 5/10/22

“In this stellar novel, Vo (THE CHOSEN AND THE BEAUTIFUL, 2021) turns Hollywood into a fairyland…Pair that vivid world with the stubborn, passionate Luli and a pace that turns from slow and delightfully sexy to vast and terrifying with the turn of a page and you have the brilliantly searing SIREN QUEEN.”–Booklist, starred review

“Vo’s hypnotic prose blends metaphor with magic so seamlessly that reality itself becomes slippery. Her dazzling voice, evocative scene setting, and ambitious protagonist make this a knockout.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE LETTERS OF THOM GUNN edited by Michael Nott, August Kleinzahler, and Clive Wilmer
ISBN 9780374605698 | on sale 5/24/22

“Gunn’s letters are a testament to his vitality and enthusiasm for a cornucopia of experiences embraced with gusto and eloquently shared.”–Booklist, starred review

“The editors’ footnotes are illustrative rather than intrusive, and the robust collection is packed with life and vigor. This should help bring Gunn and his work to a new generation of readers.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

MA AND ME by Putsata Reang
ISBN 9780374279264 | on sale 5/17/22

“In wringing compassion from her complicated legacy, Reang offers a nuanced mediation on love, identity, and belonging. This story of survival radiates with resilience and hope.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Food, language, family, career, displacement, community, and love form a powerful web in this brave, deep think of a life-telling about expectations and the stories that bind us to, and divide us from, those we love.”–Booklist, starred review

THE FAVOR by Nora Murphy
ISBN 9781250822420 | on sale 5/31/22

“Strikes an unsettling chord from the beginning and never lets go.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“An audacious and completely successful thriller.”–Booklist, starred review

SECRET CITY: The Hidden History of Gay Washington by James Kirchick
ISBN 9781627792325 | on sale 5/31/22

“Readers who enjoy inside-the-Beltway thrillers or American history, particularly regarding civil rights, will have a common interest in this fascinating and comprehensive work.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Kirchick’s history is an inspiring and overdue tribute to the brave individuals who fought for acceptance in a city and government long pitted against them.”–Booklist, starred review

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