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  • Galley Talk: Week of 6/6/11

    In 22 years of bookselling, I find that readers remain endlessly fascinated with an insider look at the book business—precisely what Vincent McCaffrey offers in A Slepyng Hound to Wake (Small Beer Press, July), the sequel to his splendid 2009 yarn, Hound. (The title is a quote from Chaucer.) I'd call them "biblio-noirs" rather than biblio-mysteries: the deeds are dark even though bookhound Henry Sullivan becomes involved in what first seem academic rather than criminal matters. How likely is it that the possible ripping-off (okay, plagiarism) of a bestselling author could lead to murder?

  • Galley Talk: Week of 5/23/11

    With Rules of Civility (Viking, July), Amor Towles follows two young women making their way in 1938 New York City. A chance meeting with an enigmatic young businessman launches the pair into areas of society heretofore closed, where they encounter characters both charming and repellent. With echoes of Fitzgerald, Towles's debut evokes the era of prewar Manhattan, from the workplace politics of a law office to the alcohol-fueled lawn party of the Long Island gin-and-horses set.

  • Galley Talk: Week 0f 5/16/11

    When confronted with the raw numbers of dead, the volume of destruction, the disruption to ordinary life, there is no doubt that war is a brutal, destructive, and dehumanizing process. But it is in particular stories that we see the true cost of each life lost and the ripples extending outward from that loss.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 5/2/11

    I positively loved Silver Sparrow (Algonquin Books, May), in which Tayari Jones has crafted a compelling novel of two girls living parallel lives.

  • GalleyTalk: Week of 4/25/11

    You may think you know vampires, and you may think you know Cleopatra, but in Maria Headley's inventive and sweeping historical fantasy, Queen of Kings (Dutton, May), the rulers of ancient Egypt and Rome grapple with bloodlust, magic, and betrayal in ways you'd never expect.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 4/11/2011

    When I read Laura Dave’s The First Husband (Viking, May), I saw myself in Annie, the protagonist, and was reminded of the many times I looked in foreign lands for what could only be found by looking within myself.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 3/21/11

    David Thorne’s The Internet Is a Playground: Irreverent Correspondences of an Evil Online Genius (Tarcher, Apr.) is the funniest book I’ve read in years.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 3/7/11

    In What Happened to Goodbye (Viking, May) Mclean and her father leave their unhappy past behind them after the girl's parents divorce. Teenage Mclean is able to reinvent herself while moving from town to town—four in two years.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 2/28/2011

    Gabrielle Hamilton's sumptuous chef memoir, Blood, Bones, & Butter (Random House, Mar.) satisfies like an earthy, exhilarating ragout. Learning the art of brasserie cooking from her mother, she spends a decade working in warehouse catering kitchens, while journaling astutely.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 2/14/11

    There are plenty of stories about love at first sight, but Attachments (Dutton, Apr.) is a heartfelt tale about friendship, trust, and falling for someone before you meet them.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 1/24/11

    For us voracious historical mystery readers, it feels like striking gold to discover a thriller that features characters who are smart and independent yet not jarringly modern—better yet if it's the first in a series.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 1/17/11

    As readers and booksellers, we're always delighted when a book affects us in one overarching way, but when it does so in three or four ways it's something to behold. Life, on the Line (Gotham, Mar.) pinned me to my chair.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 1/10/11

    Christina Meek, Davis-Kidd Booksellers, Memphis, Tenn. on A Discovery of Witches

  • Galley Talk: Week of 1/3/11

  • Galley Talk: Week of 12/20/10

    Readers heading for the mountain town of Blackwell should check out dessert—apple pie with apples from the famous apple tree that the villagers swear was planted by Johnny Appleseed, or a slice of the mysterious local Apology Cake.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 12/13/10

    On the storm-battered shores of David Vann's Caribou Island (Harper, Jan.), we witness Gary and Irene's long-dead marriage rendered asunder. The brutal environment perfectly reflects the violent nature of the relationship as it's absorbed into the glacial winds.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 12/6/10

    Single mom Susan Maushart's The Winter of Our Disconnect (Tarcher, Jan.) is an engaging and thought-provoking memoir of the six-month experiment she and her three teenagers conducted when they unplugged iPods, laptops, cellphones, and other electronics to create a screen-free household.

  • Galley Talk: 11/8/10

    The disappearance of a teenage girl provides the catalyst for Hannah Pittard's The Fates Will Find Their Way (Ecco, Jan.), a debut novel sure to linger with readers.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 11/1/10

  • Galley Talk: Week of 10/25/10

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