Every weekday, we feature a different review on Booklist Online that highlights starred reviews, high-demand titles, and / or titles especially relevant to our current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from July 18 through July 22 below so that you can revisit the week’s best books.
Monday, July 18
Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
Patchett’s seventh novel (This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage, 2013) begins with the opening of a door. Fix Keating expected all the guests, including many fellow cops, who are crowded into his modest Los Angeles home to celebrate his younger daughter Franny’s christening, but why is deputy district attorney Bert Cousins, a near-stranger, standing at the threshold clutching a big bottle of gin?
Tuesday, July 20
Word of Mouse by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
Children’s literature offers a long tradition of clever mice who accomplish amazing feats—as in Robert C. O’Brien’s Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH (1971), Avi’s Poppy(1995), and Kate DiCamillo’s The Tale of Despereaux (2003)—and Patterson and Grabenstein’s Isaiah seems destined to join them. An educated, genetically engineered blue mouse from the Lamina Lab, Isaiah becomes separated from his family during a botched escape and ends up alone and on the run.
Wednesday, July 21
The Voyeur’s Motel by Gay Talese
The controversy surrounding The Voyeur’s Motel centers on Gay Talese’s complicity in the wrongdoings of his subject, voyeur Gerald Foos—namely, Foos’ watching of visitors to his Colorado motel engage in all sorts of very private activity, including but not limited to various sexual acts, crimes against personal hygiene, and at least one murder.
Thursday, July 22
The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee
In 2118 Manhattan, high society is literally sky-high—on the thousandth floor of the Tower, where the Fuller family has its penthouse. Avery Fuller, a genetically engineered queen bee high-school student, lives there with her parents and adopted brother, Atlas. Her circle of high-dwelling friends includes Leda (who’s fighting drug addiction) and Eris (who’s just learned she’s the product of her mother’s affair).
Friday, July 23
American Heiress by Jeffrey Toobin
On February 4, 1974, two women and one man burst into the Berkeley, California, apartment that Patricia Hearst, heir to the fortune of newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, shared with her fiancé, Steven Weed. They clubbed Weed and dragged a thrashing, screaming, 19-year-old Hearst into the trunk of their car. This was the start of a prolonged, violent, and sometimes absurd cross-country odyssey.