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 March 21–25 below, so you can revisit the best of the week.
Monday, March 21
Dictator, by Robert Harris, read by David Rintoul
Who would have thought that acclaimed Roman orator Cicero could be so fascinating and that his fictional biography could be so entertaining? Harris pulls that off and more in this final volume of his trilogy covering the life of this brilliant (and egotistical) politician and lawyer. Though the story is Cicero’s, it is told by his faithful slave (and, later, freed companion), Tiro. Rintoul portrays Tiro as intelligent, perceptive, and a master of witty understatements.
Tuesday, March 22
The Nest, by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
The four adult Plumb siblings—suave Jack, artsy Bea, playboy Leo, and meek Melody—have been waiting until Melody’s fortieth birthday, when they are supposed to receive their inheritance. The nest egg that the dysfunctional siblings are all counting on disappears, however, when an inebriated Leo gets in a major car accident with an underage waitress, and their estranged mother empties the fund to pay off the damages. Leo makes a vague promise to return the money, so they give him three months to figure something out.
Wednesday, March 23
The Glittering Court, by Richelle Mead
Mead merges Elizabethan and frontier worlds as a backdrop for the picture-bride tale of the young Countess of Rothford, Osfridian royalty whose family has run out of money. When her grandmother arranges a marriage to a wealthy and humorless distant cousin, our heroine takes the name of one of her maids, Adelaide, and assumes Adelaide’s identity at the Glittering Court, a training school for commoners to learn the ways of high society.
Thursday, March 24
Ink and Bone, by Lisa Unger
Unger returns to the Hollows, New York, a small town that positively vibrates with supernatural activity. Finley Montgomery is its newest inhabitant, moving in with her grandmother Eloise, a well-known psychic who works with Jones Cooper, the local private investigator. Several children who have gone missing in town, with Abbey the most recent of them. Her parents are distraught and their marriage is on the brink when, in a final attempt at any sort of closure, Abbey’s mother hires Cooper to find her missing daughter.
Friday, March 25
Free-Range Farming, by Trina Mickelson
The Growing Green series investigates the ins and outs of conscientious eating and agriculture, and this entry puts free-range farming under the microscope. The text begins with a look at commercial farming, comparing the benefits of increased production and lower costs with negatives like pollution and animal cruelty.