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Reviews of the Week: Mary Gaitskill, Jennifer Ashley, Garth Nix, and More

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 September 7–11 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.

The MareTuesday, September 8

The Mare, by Mary Gaitskill

In her first novel since Veronica (2005), Gaitskill tells the story of Dominican American teen Velveteen “Velvet” Vargas who, as part of the Fresh Air Fund, travels from her Brooklyn home to upstate New York. There she spends summers with her host family: Paul, an academic, and Ginger, an artist who longed for children of her own. As Velvet navigates the cultural and economic divide between her fiery, fearful mother and her educated hosts, Ginger makes a brilliant move by introducing Velvet to the world of horses.

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall AsleepWednesday, September 9

The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep, by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin

It makes sense that the biggest originally self-published best-seller since 50 Shades of Grey appeals to that other inescapable adult human drive: to get kids to conk out. But Adam Mansbach’s Go the Fuck to Sleep (2011) this is not. Behavioral scientist Ehrlin bases his picture book on “powerful psychological techniques” meant to speed little ones to the Land of Nod.


The Stolen Mackenzie BrideThursday, September 10

The Stolen Mackenzie Bride, by Jennifer Ashley

Malcolm “Mal” Mackenzie doesn’t care that Lady Mary Lennox is betrothed to another man. It doesn’t worry Mal one bit that Mary’s father is loyal to the English king and hates all Scotsmen with a vengeance. These are merely obstacles that Mal must overcome to achieve his ultimate goal of making Mary his. The first step in Mal’s plan is to charm Mary senseless while he helps her sister elope.

Newt's emeraldFriday, September 11

Newt’s Emerald, by Garth Nix

Lady Truthful Newington cannot wait to turn 18. Once of age, she will be introduced to fashionable London society and be shown the Newington Emerald, which she will one day inherit. Unfortunately, a mighty storm blows through on her birthday, dowsing the lights just as the emerald is revealed, and giving a thief—or “naughty storm-sprite”—the perfect cover to steal the gem.






About the Author:

Sarah Grant is the Marketing Associate for Booklist. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Grant.

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