Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's latest, Americanah, follows the trials and tribulations of Ifemelu, a middle-class Nigerian immigrant to America. Reviewer Jennifer Reese calls Americanah a "rich and gloriously detailed tapestry ... hung on the sturdy scaffolding of a sweet love story."
Colorful characters from across the class divide tell their stories of a social contract in tatters.()
Author Ethan Rutherford has had trouble sleeping since reading Daphne du Maurier's Don't Look Now.()
May 16, 2013 Claire Messud's The Woman Upstairs is about a lonely third-grade teacher who falls in love with the family of one of her students. Reviewer Lionel Shriver says the book so bursts with rage and desire that it barely squeezes between hard covers.
May 16, 2013 A dirty deed and official cover-up drive the plot in John le Carre's A Delicate Truth. The novel sets its sights on old-boy corruption and corporate criminality at the heart of the "Deep State," but critic Alan Cheuse finds this latest effort lacks the tension of le Carre's Cold War novels.
May 15, 2013 The new book from Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a knockout of a novel about immigration that transcends genre. It's everything from a coming-of-age novel to a romance to a comic novel of social manners to an up-to-the-minute meditation on race.
May 15, 2013 Some novels you read to find out what happens next, and some you read to linger in the moment. In Tom Drury's Pacific, plot takes a back seat to sharp observation and deadpan wit. The book juxtaposes scenes of teenaged Micah as he moves to Hollywood, with stories set in Micah's heartland hometown.
May 15, 2013 After six years, author Walter Mosley breathes life back into his detective hero Easy Rawlins — thought dead after crashing his car off a cliff. Easy embarks on another case, but as the lines blur between death and dying, he may discover answers to questions he hadn't thought to ask.
May 20, 2013 Chimamanda Adichie's Americanah is about a young Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S. It's a story of relocation, far-flung love and life as an outsider. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says that despite the author's talent, much of the storytelling feels flat.
May 14, 2013 Benjamin Percy's new literary werewolf novel, Red Moon, is packed with vivid, gory-lush description and heavy allegory about a world where "lycans" are a persecuted minority. But reviewer Nick Mancusi says the book gives short shrift to character development.
May 13, 2013 Albert Camus' Algerian Chronicles, finally available in translation, collects essays, columns and speeches from the writer's days as a young journalist. Camus was criticized for his moderate approach to the French-Algerian war, but reviewer Jason Farrago says Chronicles is a guide to "how to be just in a difficult world."
May 12, 2013 Andrzej Szczypiorski's The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman is a book set in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Author Courtney Angela Brkic says reading it helped her understand her father, whose family had lived through the second world war.
May 9, 2013 Lucas Mann's Class A combines baseball and sociology in this chronicle of a farm team from a fading Iowa factory town. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Mann "uses the full tool kit of literary nonfiction" in a book that "encompasses nostalgia, hope and failure."
May 8, 2013 In the multilayered graphic novel Red Handed, an ace detective solves a series of odd and seemingly unrelated crimes, only to find that they're all part of a grand design. Critic Glen Weldon admires artist Matt Kindt's mastery of the comics medium.
May 7, 2013 Full of sex, intrigue and clues based on Victorian poetry, Elanor Dymott's Every Contact Leaves a Trace is a literary mystery about a murder at Oxford University. This tale of a clueless husband who discovers his wife's true nature too late reminds critic Maureen Corrigan a little of Gone Girl.
May 6, 2013 Anthony Marra's debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, takes place in war-torn Chechnya — a world of perpetual violence, fear and exploding land mines. But reviewer Meg Wolitzer says the characters are so vivid and the language so brilliant you want to stay there.
May 6, 2013 The latest novel from three-time National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin takes inspiration from Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge.
May 5, 2013 Ahmadou Kourouma's Allah Is Not Obliged recounts the story of a child soldier in Liberia. Author A. Igoni Barrett says in this book, horror and humor become bedfellows, making for a heartbreaking yet laughter-filled read.