July 31, 2013 Goliarda Sapienza's sprawling, posthumously published epic, The Art of Joy, follows the life of Modesta, born in Sicily on the first day of the 20th century. Reviewer Maria Russo says the book lacks editing, but that ultimately doesn't matter to a story of such "scale and seductive libertinism."
July 30, 2013 Maggie Shipstead mocks the pretensions of New England WASPs, while Jessica Lott executes unexpected riffs on the student-professor relationship plot. Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two stellar fiction newcomers.
July 30, 2013 Juan Gabriel Vasquez' new novel, The Sound of Things Falling, is a sophisticated vision of the way the Colombian drug trade unravels lives. Reviewer Marcela Valdes says Vasquez shies away from stock drug war imagery in favor of a quieter, more sophisticated approach.
July 23, 2013 David Gilbert's new novel & Sons chronicles the life of a Salinger-like writer and, yes, his troubled sons, against the backdrop of the New York literary world. Reviewer Mary Pols says the book is "seductive and ripe with both comedy and heartbreak."
July 18, 2013 Adelle Waldman's debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., recounts a relationship's demise from the perspective of Nate, a young writer-type. Reviewer Lidia Jean Kott says Waldman is most incisive, however, when she gets out of Nate's head and comments about life in New York and class privilege.
July 17, 2013 Steven T. Seagle's new graphic novel, Genius, follows once-golden physicist Ted as he grapples with family troubles and malaise at work. Reviewer Glen Weldon says Genius is an "achingly felt portrait of man coming to terms with the role chance plays in human lives."
July 11, 2013 An autobiographical exploration of fatherhood and faith, Jeffrey Brown's A Matter of Life is his most personal work to date — which says a lot, given the confessional cartoonist's revealing past works. Reviewer Jody Arlington finds this new book both wise and hilarious.
July 10, 2013 Charlie Huston's new thriller is a fast-paced and action-packed tale of a retired assassin who rejoins the game to protect a roboticist as she tracks a computer virus. But reviewer Alan Cheuse says "the action comes bracketed with a load of rhetoric," which ultimately put him to sleep.
July 9, 2013 Novelist Kate Christensen has written a food memoir like no other. Although the author's food writing is enchanting, says reviewer Maria Russo, the sloppy, thrilling, innovative Blue Plate Special isn't really about food. It's more concerned with the heartbreak that shapes a creative life.
July 5, 2013 Tash Aw's Five Star Billionaire, set in Shanghai, explores the dynamic tumult of that city. Reviewer Ellah Allfrey says that Aw, with gentle compassion and keen understanding, shows his characters succumb to the lure of a city where everything seems possible.