Reviews of the Week: with Richard Ford, Drew Daywalt, Donna Leon, and Margaret Stohl

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.

between them remembering my parents - richard fordTuesday, 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.

 

 

the legend of rock paper scissors - drew daywaltWednesday, 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.

early remains - donna leonThursday, 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.

royce rolls - margaret stohlFriday, 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.

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About the Author:

Charlotte Chadwick is currently an intern for Booklist. A senior at Lake Forest College, she is studying creative writing and print and digital publishing. When she isn't writing short stories, there's nothing she enjoys more than drinking coffee and dodging questions about her post-grad plans.

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