Jan 20, 2021

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News from all over the USA

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Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Kidnapped’ is not just an adventure tale, it’s a timely novel about politics and dissent

By By Michael Dirda
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  • Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Kidnapped” appeared in 1886, the same year as “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and just three years after “Treasure Island.”
  • Yet “Kidnapped” is also more than just exciting and more than just a kids’ book; it’s a thoughtful novel about politics and dissent, rich in moral complexity, and, for a reader in 2021, weirdly contemporary at times.
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Review: Uplift or minstrelsy? A novel asks hard questions about early Black entrepreneurs

By Rigoberto González
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  • In her engrossing second novel, “ The Rib King,” Ladee Hubbard zeroes in on a group of Black servants in a well-to-do home in Washington, D.C.; then she pans out to the city streets, illustrating how an intricate network of competing interests vied for the chance to take advantage of the growing population’s labor and creative prowess.
  • Through Jennie’s encounters with groups religious, political and even artistic — not to mention loan sharks — every surviving member of the Barclay staff resurfaces, each one bringing her one step closer to the infamous Rib King, who is now seen as a minstrel, an embarrassing remnant of a romanticized past.
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Bestsellers List Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021

By The California Independent Booksellers Alliance
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  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Putnam: $26) A young woman living on her own becomes a murder suspect.
  • 8. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab (Tor: $27) In 1714 France, a desperate young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever but is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
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In ‘The Center of Everything,’ a woman with a brain injury tries to make sense of her thoughts — and her past

By By Ellen Akins
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  • “When Polly was a child, and thought like a child, the world was a fluid place,” Jamie Harrison’s new novel begins.
  • And it is really the way Polly thinks — about her children and her childhood, her memories and imaginings, her immediate circumstances and her place in the world, even the toothsome dishes she prepares (with occasional lapses lately) — that makes this book so engaging.
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