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 August 8 through August 12 below so that you can revisit the week’s best books.
Monday, August 8
Time Travel, by James Gleick
Against Kingsley Amis’ skeptical assertion that “time travel is inconceivable,” Gleick adduces impressive evidence that the phenomenon has tantalized novelists, philosophers, poets, scientists, moviemakers, and even cartoonists as a transformative possibility.
Tuesday, August 9
The Reader, by Traci Chee
Sefia’s father drilled her on what to do if they were ever in danger, but she never expected to return home one day and find him brutally murdered. She escapes with one vital thing: a heavy square wrapped in cloth, containing bound pages with intricate symbols. It’s a book, but reading in Sefia’s kingdom is a skill limited to an elite few, and now that this precious volume is in her possession, she’s in grave danger.
Wednesday, August 10
The Motion of Puppets, by Keith Donohue
Donohue’s masterpiece of psychological horror will change the way you look at puppets forever. Kay, an acrobat, and her husband, Theo, a French professor, are spending the summer in the old portion of Quebec City while Kay performs and Theo translates the biography of the pioneering photographer of motion, Eadweard Muybridge (whose macabre and intriguing real life adds wonderful depth to the story).
Thursday, August 11
Nemesis, by Anna Banks
In the kingdom of Serubel, Princess Sepora has the peculiar talent of secreting precious metal from her hands, which is essential to her father’s war efforts; but she prefers running away to building more weaponry. Prince Tarik is the newly crowned king of Theoria, and his immediate worries include a mysterious plague that is killing his people and the imminent threat of an attack from Serubel. When Sepora turns up as a very reluctant member of Tarik’s inherited harem, sparks fly.
Friday, August 12
Spellbreaker, by Blake Charlton
Leandra Weal is not only the warden of Ixos but also the daughter of two powerful magicians, and she is in trouble. She has obtained a prophetic spell that indicates she will either murder someone she loves or die herself. Unsure of what’s to come, she begins her investigation, only to have a chronic disease flare up while the Ixonian Archipelago seems to be falling apart.