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 July 27–31 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday, July 27th
The Double Life of Liliane, by Lily Tuck
Tuck won the National Book Award for The News from Paraguay (2004), a brilliantly imagined fictional transport back to eighteenth-century Paraguay during the dictatorship of Francisco Solano López. Her new novel refracts autobiographical situations through a fictional lens to reveal a rich spectrum of details about the life of a female writer, Liliane (not too difficult to read “Lily” here), who has led a life full of exceptional experiences well worth following regardless of whether in fictional or nonfictional format.
Tuesday, July 28th
The Nonsense Show, by Eric Carle
Challenging readers to believe six impossible things before breakfast, Carle creates fun and laughter in this homage to the surrealist artist René Magritte. Forming part of a loose trilogy with The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse (2011) and Friends (2013), Carle’s latest renders fanciful illustrations of absurd creations. A centerfold leopard-tiger sports a front half of spots and back half of stripes.
Wednesday, July 29th
The Billion-Dollar Spy, by David E. Hoffman
Pulitzer Prize–winning author Hoffman (The Dead Hand, 2009), using declassified documents from the CIA, interviews, and other accounts, here details the last years of U.S.–USSR Cold War espionage. How to trust those wanting to pass information along, when the KGB seemed to have eyes everywhere and a man on every corner?
Thursday, July 30th
Lair of Dreams, by Libba Bray
A mysterious sleeping sickness is taking hold of New York City, destroying its victims from the inside out. But rumors of illness can’t dampen the spirits of flapper and party-girl extraordinaire Evie O’Neill, or the “Sweetheart Seer,” as she is now famously known on her radio show. Diviners are the cat’s pajamas, don’t you know?
Friday, July 31st
Juba!, by Walter Dean Myers
Having plumbed the archives for information about the nineteenth-century dancing sensation known as Juba, Myers pieces together a fictionalized account of his extraordinary life in this posthumous novel. Set in the Five Points district of New York City, the story begins with teenager William Henry Lane’s dream of becoming a dancer.