Book Review

Veteran bookseller Sarah Bagby shares her experience and insight into the literary world. You also listen to Sarah's book reviews through iTunes. Listen or subscribe here

Novelist and short story writer Adam Haslett’s new novel Imagine Me Gone portrays a family of five whose story is tragic, loving, and at times, gut-wrenching. In the 1960s Margaret faces a choice when her fiancé John is hospitalized for depression. Such is her sense of commitment and love that she marries John and they have three children.

Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter and producer, and most recently an executive producer, writer, and show runner for the TV series Fargo. Hawley is also a writer of novels, and his latest, Before the Fall, is a thrill ride of a book, a perfect summer beach read.   

Three time periods, three cities, and one gorgeous painting, in a smart and well crafted novel: The Last Painting of Sara De Vos by Dominic Smith.

Richard Russo is a magnificent storyteller whose delightfully flawed characters are the people who often go unseen. In his new novel, Everybody’s Fool, Russo resurrects such characters from his beguiling 1993 novel Nobody’s Fool picking them up 10 years later, still in the fictional small upstate New York town of North Bath.   


When my 25-year-old daughter told me that one of her high school acquaintances who showed so much promise became addicted to heroin, I wondered how that happened. Veteran journalist and storyteller Sam Quinones explains it all in his gripping book Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic.

Stephanie Craig

Debut author Jung Yun was born in South Korea and raised in the US. Her dark novel of assimilation, Shelter, is a no holds barred look at the devastating effects of anger and violence as it is inflicted within and upon two generations. In general it is a look at families, but in particular the novel looks at the desperation and redemption in the relationships in three generations of fathers and sons. What price must a son pay for past sins of a father; what kind of father is an inadequate son; and when does desperation get to the point of choosing between redemption and abandonment?

Brigitte Lacombe

Jean Stein’s new book West of Eden: An American Place is told in the oral form tradition she used in her 1982 bestselling oral biography, Edie: An American Biography.

Ed O’Malley is the CEO and founder of the Kansas Leadership Center. Amanda Cebula is the program development director. Together they have written a book on Leadership that teaches—or refreshes—skills for anyone to be a leader. Your Leadership Edge: Lead Anytime, Anywhere presents a step-by-step process designed to break down barriers in order to create change.

Diane Rehm has hosted The Diane Rehm Show on WAMU in Washington, D.C.—distributed by NPR—since 1979; the show has a weekly listening audience of 2.5 million. Currently, it is broadcast on KMUW and nearly two hundred other stations, on Sirius Satellite Radio, and internationally by Armed Forces Radio Network.

© Dario Lasagni

Reading any novel by Elizabeth Strout is an opportunity to let immaculate sentences, uncanny insight into what it means to be human, and surprising, life-changing incidents permeate your entire being.