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Reviews of the Week: Byron Motley, Ransom Riggs, Lawrence Ferlinghetti 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 21–25 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.

Embracing CubaMonday, September 21

Embracing Cuba, by Byron Motley

Anyone who has the pleasure of perusing the arresting pages in this right-on-time photograph album will see the source of our enthusiasm. Presenting exciting news for travelers, Washington recently announced that diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba would soon be normalized.

Library of SoulsTuesday, September 22

Library of Souls, by Ransom Riggs

The third installment in the Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children series sees Jacob and Emma journey to the wights’ headquarters in Devil’s Acre to rescue Miss Peregrine and the other captured peculiars—and save them from a fate worse than death. Giving a nod to Charon, ferryman to the underworld, they arrive in this hellish time loop via a boat piloted by Sharon, who serves as their occasional guide.


PacificWednesday, September 23

Pacific, by Simon Winchester

Even viewed within the limitations of a map of the world, the Pacific Ocean is awesomely vast—an endless sea of blue with only a few tiny islands, atolls, and archipelagoes between the American and Asian mainlands. Winchester, the acclaimed author who has previously written a “biography” of the Atlantic Ocean, here is concerned less with the geography and more with the culture, past and present, of the humans who inhabit these lands.

illuminaeThursday, September 24

Illuminae, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

High-school students Kady and Ezra have just broken up with each other when Kerenza IV, their mining outpost planetary home, is suddenly attacked by a rival company using both traditional and biological weapons. In the scramble to get off the planet, they are separated, ending up with a waning number of Kerenza survivors on two different space vessels that are trying to outrun one remaining BeiTech dreadnough.


Writing across the LandscapeFriday, September 25

Writing across the Landscape: Travel Journals, 1960–2010, by Lawrence Ferlinghetti

Ferlinghetti is a mighty literary force as a poet (A Coney Island of the Mind, 1958; Time of Useful Consciousness, 2012) and cofounder of San Francisco’s storied City Lights Booksellers and Publishers. He is also a former U.S. Navy captain who participated in the WWII Normandy invasion and was sent to Nagasaki right after the bomb was dropped, an artist (his vigorous, emotive sketches are on display here), humanist, activist, and avid traveler.



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

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