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 February 21 through 24 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.
Tuesday, February 21
Between Them: Remembering My Parents, by Richard Ford
Illustrated with family photographs, Ford’s remembrance of his parents is a masterful distillation of sensuous description, psychological intricacy, social insights, and a keen sense of place. Ford’s reflections are bright with wit, edgy with candor, and lustrous with extraordinary poignancy and love.
Wednesday, February 22
The Legend of Rock Paper Scissors, by Drew Daywalt
The expansive cast of inanimate objects are rendered with realistic depth and naturalistic colors, but their hammy, expressive faces and grandiose declarations catapult them to cartoonish heights. The earnest gravity of the fighters’ quests paired with the mundane setting and melodramatic tone are perfectly balanced to produce a brand of purely absurd, sidesplitting humor that kids will gobble up.
Thursday, February 23
Earthly Remains, by Donna Leon
Yes, the soul-destroying demands of fighting for justice in a fundamentally unjust world have been taking their toll on Venetian police commissario Guido Brunetti, and, yes, an uncharacteristically rash action during an interrogation has earned him a two-week leave of absence, but, Guido, really, shouldn’t you know that the heroes of crime-fiction series can’t take vacations? Leon’s multifaceted portrait of a man overburdened with human tragedy emerges forcefully here, as the lagoon itself, beautiful on the surface but containing the seeds of its own destruction, stands as a gripping metaphor for the bad choices and intractable dilemmas that infect us all.
Friday, February 24
Royce Rolls, by Margaret Stohl
Imagine Keeping Up with the Kardashians as a satirical novel. The plot isn’t overly subtle—readers will figure out what’s happening before the show’s “audience” does—but it’s still fun, full of jabs at Hollywood stardom (and at Stohl’s other books). Anyone who ridicules celebrity TV shows while secretly watching them will get a kick out of this.