Book Review

Journalist and book reviewer Suzanne Tobias reviews the latest books and such for KMUW on air and right here. Discover new reviews on alternate Mondays. You can also listen to KMUW book reviews through iTunes. Listen or subscribe here

Book Review: 'Shout'

Mar 18, 2019

Author Laurie Halse Anderson first wrote about sexual assault in her groundbreaking novel, Speak, which came out in 1999 and opened the door for a national dialogue about rape culture and consent.

Dave Cullen produced a masterpiece of investigative journalism with his 2009 book, Columbine, which took him 10 years and chronicled the events surrounding the mass murder at Columbine High School in Colorado.

His new book, Parkland, details another horrific school shooting. 

What’s the most irritating question a writer can be asked?

According to Maurice Swift, the amoral protagonist in John Boyne’s new novel, A Ladder to the Sky, the answer is simple: Where do you get your ideas?

By now you’ve no doubt seen – or at least heard about – Netflix’s post-apocalyptic survival film “Bird Box.” The movie has captured audiences, spurred memes and given rise to another dangerous internet “challenge,” as people wander around or even drive blindfolded, inspired by scenes depicted in the film.

Sometimes a book grabs you and won’t let go. That’s the case with Ghost Wall, a tense, provocative, explosion of a novel by British author Sarah Moss.


Another turn of the calendar is a great time to think about how you’d like to enrich your life. So why not resolve to read more in 2019?

The goal sounds simple, but it’s easy to get caught up in the chaos of life and forget about reading. So here are a few tips that might help:

“Books saved my life.”

“Reading takes apart your world and expectations and rearranges them.”

“Reading is not antisocial but the most social act we can imagine, inviting us to see, hear, feel, taste, smell someone else's life from the inside.”

“It’s lovely to read in the bathtub.”

Book Review: 'Friday Black'

Dec 10, 2018

The short stories in Friday Black, by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, who was just named one of the five-under-35 authors to watch by the National Book Foundation, are wholly original in their depiction of what it feels like to be young and black in America.

Book Review: 'Where The Dead Sit Talking'

Nov 26, 2018

Brandon Hobson, a member of the Cherokee Nation Tribe, lives in Ponca City, Oklahoma, and teaches writing. His novel Where the Dead Sit Talking was a finalist for the National Book Awards. It’s a coming of age story set in rural Oklahoma in the late 1980s.

Book Review: 'Dry'

Nov 12, 2018

Award-winning author Neal Shusterman wrote the new Young Adult novel Dry in collaboration with his son. In it, they’ve turned a drought-plagued Southern California into a dystopian region when access to the Colorado River is entirely cut off, and made this a thrill-ride of a novel.