Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from April 6–10 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Do No Harm, by Henry Marsh
Brain surgery is risky business, even with modern technology—paralysis, stroke, and bleeding are devastating complications. Little wonder that the first chapter in this amazing account of an English neurosurgeon’s three-decade career begins, “I often have to cut into the brain and it is something I hate doing.”
Cuckoo Song, by Frances Hardinge
Few authors can evoke a twinned sense of terror and wonder better than Hardinge. After a perilous dunk in the river Grimmer that she can’t recall, Triss is unsettled by the strangeness of familiar spaces and people. Triss remembers her life, but it doesn’t feel quite . . . hers.
In the Unlikely Event, by Judy Blume
In her first adult novel since Summer Sisters (1998), celebrated children’s and young adult author Blume tells the story of three generations of an Elizabeth, New Jersey, family: her protagonist, 15-year-old Miri; Miri’s mother, Rusty; and Miri’s grandmother, Irene.
Temple Boys, by Jamie Buxton
Flea is a street kid in first-century Jerusalem, and when he hears rumors of a renowned magician coming to the city, he thinks it’s the perfect pickpocketing opportunity. That magician is Jesus, called Yeshua, in the novel, and when Flea tries to pilfer a coin purse from one of his followers, he finds himself caught up in a terrifying conspiracy.
Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali
In her best-selling books, Infidel (2007) and Nomad (2010), each a magnetizing blend of harrowing autobiography and religious and political inquiry, Hirsi Ali forthrightly condemns the brutality of sharia law and violent jihad, which, as she reiterates here at length, are firmly rooted in the Qur’an, not departures from a religion of peace as so many claim them to be.