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 August 31–September 4 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday, August 31
Orbiting Jupiter, by Gary D. Schmidt
Masterful is the word to describe Schmidt’s latest, the deeply moving story of a 14-year-old boy who is an out-of-wedlock father with one desire: to see his baby daughter, though laws and rules and regulations militate against this. The boy, Joseph, has a checkered past: he once took some pills he shouldn’t have and subsequently tried to kill a teacher. Accordingly, he has spent time in a correctional facility where he has been savagely beaten and abused.
Tuesday, September 1
The Witches: Salem, 1692, by Stacy Schiff
In 1692, the Massachusetts Bay Colony executed 14 women, 5 men, and 2 dogs for witchcraft. The ensuing terror cut a wide swath through the colony, affecting residents of all ages and educational backgrounds. Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Schiff (Vera, 1999; Cleopatra, 2010) chronicles the surrounding events, painting a vivid portrait of a homogenous, close-knit network of communities rapidly devolving into irrational paranoia.
Wednesday, September 2
It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, and Get Going!, by Chelsea Clinton
Activist and vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, the author invites readers to take a hard look at the world and guides them in ways to make it a better place. The book’s subtitle encompasses the scope of what Clinton is trying to do: help readers get informed through often eye-opening facts about topics as varied as poverty, gender equality, the environment, endangered species, and community health.
Thursday, September 3
My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life, by Ruth Reichl
For seven decades, Gourmet magazine dominated its market, the go-to source for worldwide food and travel. Then the Internet revolution brought it down, and the audience it had cultivated turned to snappier graphics, less magisterial cooking advice, and casually entertaining food television. Reichl came to the magazine after establishing a national reputation as restaurant critic for the New York Times.
Friday, September 4
The Girl in the Spider’s Web, by David Lagercrantz
In our 2008 review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was published in the U.S. after Stieg Larsson’s death, we lamented the fact that there would be only three books in which to watch “the charismatic Lisbeth Salander take on the world.” That, of course, turned out to be a mistaken assumption.