Book Review

Journalist and book reviewer Suzanne Perez 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: 'The Air You Breathe'

Aug 20, 2018

The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles is a tale of the long and complicated friendship of two women. 

Review: Laura Lippman's 'Sunburn'

Aug 6, 2018

This commentary originally aired February 19, 2018.  

Inspired by the noir novels of James M. Cain, Laura Lippman assiduously delivers a masterpiece of the form in her steamy novel Sunburn. An alleged secret stash of cash from a questionable insurance settlement, apparently amoral characters, and ulterior motives all mixed up because of a fervid love affair simmer over a steady flame, until everything combusts.

Book Review: 'Our Towns'

Jul 23, 2018

The new book by The Atlantic correspondent James Fallows and his wife, linguist and writer Deborah Fallows, titled Our Towns, is a compelling look at local communities and how they function--for better or worse-- in a time of national political dysfunction.

Book Review: 'There There'

Jul 9, 2018

Every so often, a book comes along that has everyone in book world talking about how amazing it is before it’s even been published. Sometimes, that book actually lives up to the early hype. There There, the debut novel by Tommy Orange, lives up to it and more.

Book Review: 'Pretend I'm Dead'

Jun 25, 2018

Whiting Award Winner Jen Beagin introduces us to a beguilingly damaged character in her debut novel, Pretend I’m Dead

Book Review: 'A Place For Us'

Jun 11, 2018

Fatima Farheen Mirza opens her debut novel A Place for Us with a wedding. Part of an Indian-American Muslim family, bride Haida is secure knowing her ever-supportive mother is watching over her; Huda, a typical middle child, is the least visible, trying to blend in, but sidelined most of the time; and youngest son Amar’s fraught tension with his father and on-and-off competition with his elder sister is shown through his mother’s worry. 

Book Review: 'The Lost Family'

May 28, 2018

The Lost Family, Jenna Blum’s new novel, transports and immerses the reader in the 1960-1980s suburbs and city of New York. The title refers to myriad losses families experience.

Peter Raskin, a German-Jewish émigré and survivor of Auschwitz, lost his family during a Nazi roundup. Harboring guilt for not saving them, he maintains an impenetrable wall around his heart. But while secrets we keep and grief we ignore seem innocuous and ours alone, the consequences for others can be injurious.

Book Review: 'The Ensemble'

May 14, 2018
Darcie Burrell

Aja Gabel’s debut novel, The Ensemble, begins in 1994 and follows the Van Ness string quartet through 18 years of practice, performance, and competition. The characterization sings, knowledge of music is passed melodically to the reader, and the dissonance of competing egos and ambition is based on Gabel’s own exposure to the world of classical music.

Book Review: 'Brown'

Apr 30, 2018
kevinyoungpoetry.com

April is National Poetry Month. With one day left, there is still time to get in a final fix, and one need look no further than Kevin Young’s new collection Brown: Poems. From poems about Brown V. Board of Education to James Brown and John Brown, to the multitude of shades of brown skin, this volume fully illustrates Young’s special kind of genius.

Book Review: 'Asymmetry'

Apr 16, 2018

Lisa Halliday’s debut, Asymmetry, is an experiment in the form of the novel, and an exploration of the multilayered life of an artist. It’s made up of three sections: Folly, Madness, and a Coda.

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