Starred Review Round-Up (4/14/22)

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

IF AN EGYPTIAN CANNOT SPEAK ENGLISH by Noor Naga
ISBN 9781644450819 | on sale 4/12/22

“The short chapters keep the pages turning during the first two sections as the narrative heads toward the inevitable catastrophe, and the meta-fictional third section helps readers process what may have disturbed or offended in the story itself…Extraordinary.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Naga’s writing in the book’s first two parts is gripping, but the final section, metafictional and darkly funny, is an absolute master class. She deals with important issues with a gimlet eye and a rare sensitivity—it would be a massive understatement to call this novel a must-read.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

GEOGRAPHY IS DESTINY: Britain and the World: A 10,000-Year History by Ian Morris
ISBN 9780374157272 | on sale 6/7/22

“Morris provides a very comprehensive history of Britain while keeping readers engaged…A satisfying read for both readers new to British history and those looking for a new take.”–Library Journal, starred review

“Written with verve and wit, this compulsively readable overview of British history is full of fascinating lore and incisive analysis.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

LIBERALISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS by Francis Fukuyama
ISBN 9780374606718 | on sale 5/10/22

“Essential reading for all students of political science. Fukuyama’s scholarly, yet approachable work is highly recommended for any reader interested in understanding the current political environment.”–Library Journal, starred review

“A deceptively slender but rich argument in favor of conserving liberal ideals—and liberal government.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

THE KEY TO DECEIT: An Electra McDonnell Novel by Ashley Weaver
ISBN 9781250780508 | on sale 6/21/22

“In this thoroughly ingenious blend of rom-com and spy cozy…Ellie is wonderfully resourceful and divinely funny. Let’s hope this expertise-and-romance-filled series continues for a very long time.”–Booklist, starred review

“Weaver does a sensational job of evoking 1940 London and populates the story with endearing characters, none more so than Ellie, who’s gutsy, smart, and completely unwilling to be outmaneuvered or left behind when danger presents itself.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

THE GATEKEEPER by James Byrne
ISBN 9781250805768 | on sale 6/7/22

“Though the author, who’s worked for decades in journalism and politics, has written this thriller under a pseudonym, it is clear that they know how to write a gripping and compelling story…Dez has a bright future ahead, and this one is a true keeper.”–Library Journal, starred review

“It’s hard to believe this is Byrne’s first novel: it’s so sure-handed, so cleverly written, so very difficult to put down…In a genre packed with burly, think-on-your-feet heroes, Dez is something new and fresh. He leaps off the page and into our imaginations.”–Booklist, starred review

CULT CLASSIC by Sloane Crosley
ISBN 9780374603397 | on sale 6/7/22

“The accounts of Lola’s reckoning with her romantic history are thoroughly hilarious (describing the rush of boyfriends past, she narrates, ‘I experienced these men as no one is supposed to experience them, as if being propelled from a T-shirt gun’), and the details of online dating, which made her ‘the victim of a metric ton of rejection,’ are also sharply perceptive.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The story is plenty engaging, but it’s Crosley’s analytical acumen and gift for the striking metaphor that really gives the book life.”–Kirkus Reviews, starred review

TWO NIGHTS IN LISBON by Chris Pavone
ISBN 9780374604769 | on sale 5/24/22

“Pavone has that special ability to construct plots that are artworks in their own right, marvels of architecture and intelligence. He’s at it again in this jaw-dropping thriller…Another jewel in an already-bedecked crown.”–Booklist, starred review

“Pavone skillfully layers plot details, often shifting points of view, all the way to the end of this superior, elegantly crafted yarn. The enigmatic central character, whose moral compass is set a bit differently than most, sets this above the pack.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

HATCHET ISLAND by Paul Doiron
ISBN 9781250235138 | on sale 6/28/22

“Following DEAD BY DAWN (2021), Doiron again delivers what we’ve come to expect from this series: brilliant characterizations, relentless action and suspense, and an intricately plotted narrative. The perfect vacation read.”–Booklist, starred review

“The author is especially good at conveying the island’s creepy atmosphere, and the taut plot features numerous shocking twists while further developing an already complex lead. Doiron is writing at the top of his game.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

ELSEWHERE by Alexis Schaitkin
ISBN 9781250219633 | on sale 6/28/22

“Schaitkin (SAINT X, 2020) has written a compelling, poetic, and chilling novel that examines fate and fear.”–Booklist, starred review

“Schaitkin gives the goings-on great substance by digging into the complicated feelings brought on by motherhood and the judgments from others, all the while delineating the mothers’ utter joy, frustrations, and love for their children. This is a standout.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

SLEEPWALK by Dan Chaon
ISBN 9781250175212 | on sale 5/24/22

“This strange and compelling plot features Chaon’s (ILL WILL, 2017) signature imaginative flair and brilliant pacing to create an ominous tension infused with sly wit.”–Booklist, starred review

“As ever, Chaon expertly fuses the dystopian nightmares of technology and crime with fascinating characters who cross a hellscape to find each other. This is his best one yet.”–Publishers Weekly, starred review

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