Browse archive by date:
  • Galley Talk: The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier

    I read Nichole Bernier’s The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D (Crown, June) straight through on a weekend. This fabulous debut asks the question, what would you do if your best friend left all her journals when she died to you, and not her husband? How would this choice affect your relationships with everyone involved?

  • Galley Talk: Witness the Night by Kishwar Desal

    Kishwar Desai’s unflinching fiction debut, Witness the Night (Penguin, May), speaks volumes to the heart and mind. Set in a small town in Northern India rooted in Punjabi culture, the book employs an unusual narrative structure incorporating diary entries and e-mails alongside the first-person account of social worker Simran Singh

  • Galley Talk: Afterwards by Rosamund Lupton

    Clear your schedule: you won’t want to stop reading this one once you start! Rosamund Lupton has done it again; if you loved her first novel, Sister, then you’ll truly appreciate the style of storytelling perfected here.

  • Galley Talk: Midnight in Peking

    Midnight in Peking: How the Murder of a Young Englishwoman Haunted the Last Days of Old China (Penguin, Apr. 24), Paul French’s compelling true crime/world history work, centers on the murder of Englishwoman Pamela Werner in a Peking on the verge of falling to the Japanese in WWII.

  • Galley Talk: The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac by Kris D'Agostino

    In The Sleepy Hollow Family Almanac (Algonquin, Mar.), Kris D’Agostino has written a dysfunctional family classic that removes the melodrama found too often in the genre.

  • Galley Talk: Blue Monday by Nicci French

    Crime novels are so much more interesting when the main character is flawed. I whipped through Blue Monday (Viking/Pamela Dorman, Mar.) with its alternating fast-paced action and thoughtful conversations.

  • Galley Talk: The Expats by Chris Pavone

    I hate when life interferes with my reading, but I was finally able to read Chris Pavone’s The Expats (Crown, Mar.). In my early days as a mystery junkie, I read a lot of spy novels—Ludlum, le Carré, etc.—so I feel qualified to say I loved this debut.

  • Galley Talk: So Damn Lucky by Deborah Coonts

    Deborah Coonts’s Lucky O’Toole is a quick-witted, hardworking gal in a Vegas club with a knack for finding dead bodies. In her third caper, So Damn Lucky (Forge, Feb.), the first chapter ends with a magician dying as he attempts an old Harry Houdini trick.

  • Galley Talk: Heft by Liz Moore

    The last line of Liz Moore’s novel is still rounding through my head weeks after I finished it, and I think it will be for a long time. Heft (Norton, Jan.) is a gorgeous book that will completely break your heart and then stitch it back together.

  • Galley Talk: The Magic Room by Jeffrey Zaslow

    Jeffrey Zaslow has a remarkable ability to select a familiar topic—female friendship, for example, as in The Girls from Ames—and pursue that topic until he mines the diamonds, the stories, hidden beneath the surface.

  • Galley Talk: From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant

    From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant (Viking, Jan.) is a bold novel—bold in its style, its thesis, and its story. While Alex Gilvarry’s narrative and characters are big and playful, the underlying premises are deadly serious.

  • Galley Talk: Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

    Jean Patrick Nkuba, a young Rwandan 800-meter phenom, trains for the Olympics under the watch of his Hutu coach as Hutu-Tutsi violence escalates, in Running the Rift (Algonquin, Jan.).

  • Galley Talk: The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes

    I’ve liked Charles Mann’s earlier books as well as The River of Doubt, Turn Right at Machu Picchu, and Lost City of Z, and we do a good job hand-selling all of them. But none have had the impact of Scott Wallace’s The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes (Crown, Oct.).

  • Galley Talk: Holy Ghost Girl

    In Holy Ghost Girl (Gotham, Oct.), Donna Johnson’s unapologetic treatment of her childhood immersed in the Pentecostal tent-meeting movement is flawless. She is honest in her retelling of events, yet her tone is even and sympathetic.

  • Galley Talk: Hillary Jordan's When She Woke

    Hillary Jordan’s When She Woke (Algonquin, Oct.) is not only one of the best books of the year, but it’s everything the dystopian genre was made for—a politically relevant gauntlet of human misery caused by the terrible norms of state and culture.

  • Galley Talk: Sebastian Barry’s On Canaan’s Side

    Picking up Sebastian Barry’s On Canaan’s Side (Viking, Sept.) my breathing immediately slowed as I immersed myself in his glorious, musical way of arranging words and sentences then paragraphs and chapters.

  • Galley Talk: 'Emory's Gift'

    When a boy crosses paths with a grizzly bear in Emory's Gift (Forge, Aug.), the result is a parable for our time. W. Bruce Cameron, author of A Dog's Purpose, returns with a poignant new take on the human-animal connection.

  • Galley Talk: Ready Player One

    Looking for someone to be the hero of my summer, I found him in Wade Watts, the protagonist of Ernest Cline's Ready Player One (Crown, Aug.)—the Odysseus of '80s pop culture and my new everyman.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 7/25/11

    In The Family Fang (Ecco, Aug.), Kevin Wilson presents a slyly hilarious novel that's part social satire, part detective story, and part just plain good storytelling. Wilson's debut novels tells of two performance artists, Caleb and Camille Fang, who marry, have kids, and involve their children in their boundary-pushing art.

  • Galley Talk: Week of 7/11/2011

    For readers languishing after finishing Stieg Larsson's trilogy, Danish author Jussi Adler-Olsen may prove to be the antidote. In The Keeper of Lost Causes (Dutton, Aug.), Carl Morck was wounded in a shootout that killed one of his partners and left the other paralyzed.

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