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 November 7 through 11 below, so that you can revisit the week’s best books.
Monday, November 7
The Men in My Life: A Memoir of Love and Art in 1950s Manhattan, by Patricia Bosworth
Looking back to her rampaging twenties, Bosworth chronicles how she repressed her grief and guilt, recklessly threw herself into harrowing situations, and embraced exhilarating opportunities, all of which she describes with stunning immediacy and valiant candor. Bosworth endured violent and destructive relationships, an illegal abortion, and depression while pushing herself relentlessly to excel as a model, achieve coveted admission to the Actors Studio, perform on Broadway and in soap operas and film, and learn to write.
Tuesday, November 8
The Murderer’s Ape, by Jakob Wegelius
Sally Jones is an engineer, a shipmate, a friend, and a gorilla. Though she understands English, she doesn’t speak it, and many people assume she is just another animal. Sally Jones and her constant companion, Captain Henry Koskela (called the Chief), made many sea voyages until a stop in Lisbon results in the Chief being imprisoned for the murder of a man named Alphonse Morro. This story was originally published in Sweden to great critical acclaim, and numerous black-and-white drawings throughout add to its unusual appeal.
Wednesday, November 9
Transit, by Rachel Cusk
In the wake of a divorce, a writer moves with her two young boys to London, where she begins the task of rebuilding an old house, along with her sense of self. We first met Cusk’s protagonist at the beginning of her divorce process in the critically acclaimed Outline (2015), and as we come across her now, she is in transition, just beginning to navigate her new world, post-marriage. A masterful second installment to a promising
Thursday, November 10
Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing, by Kay A. Haring
Artist Keith Haring gained worldwide fame in the 1980s for his joyful drawings, most notably of bold, chalk-outlined people. In this picture-book biography, Keith’s sister offers up a loving sketch of a boy so passionate about art that he drew on any surface he could find, from canvas to buildings. Always upbeat, this story is a celebration of art and life.
Friday, November 11
Mars: Our Future on the Red Planet, by David Leonard
“The Red Planet calls,” says award-winning space journalist Leonard David. Mars has always been the subject of speculation and study, and the more sophisticated our technologies, the more ambitious our dreams about exploring our planetary neighbor not only via robotic rovers, but also in person, boots in the dust. An exciting and informative chronicle of the accelerating early stages of the epic quest to directly explore Mars.