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 October 31 through November 4 below, so that you can revisit the week’s best books.
Monday, October 31
The Witch’s Vacuum Cleaner and Other Stories, by Terry Pratchett
It’s no surprise that this collection of 14 short stories, a companion to Dragons at Crumbling Castle (2015), is a charmer designed to plaster a smile on any kid’s face. Penned by a 17-year-old Pratchett and originally published in his local newspaper, these whimsical tales already bear this prolific author’s hallmark humor and imagination.
Tuesday, November 1
Books for Living, by Will Schwalbe
Each chapter about a beloved book is a finely crafted, generously candid, and affecting personal essay. In this warmly engaging, enlightening, and stirring memoir-in-books and literary celebration, Schwalbe reminds us that reading “isn’t just a strike against narrowness, mind control, and domination; it’s one of the world’s greatest joys.”
Wednesday, November 2
The Secret History of Twin Peaks, by Mark Frost
More than 25 years after it was ignominiously cancelled, the cult TV show Twin Peaks is set to return. In anticipation, co-creator (with David Lynch) Frost presents this long-awaited novel, which takes the form of a mysterious dossier discovered by the FBI at an active crime scene. Assembled by a personage known only as the Archivist, it aims to reveal the true nature of the “darkness in the woods” that surrounds the seemingly idyllic town of Twin Peaks, Washington.
Thursday, November 3
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down, by Jeff Kinney
Everyone’s favorite middle-schooler, Greg Heffley, continues to get himself into trouble (mild) and concoct schemes (generally candy-related) in his eleventh outing in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. As Halloween looms near, its spooky, sugary influence can be felt in most of his diary’s entries.
Friday, November 4
The Chemist, by Stephanie Meyer
Let’s call her Alex, though she has many names. One such name is “the Chemist”—her moniker at the government agency responsible for high-tech torture, which formerly employed her. Now they want her dead: she knows too much. Years into Alex’s hiding, they contact her to help them stave off a massive biological terror event that will kill hundreds of thousands.