Reviews of the Week: June is Audiobook Month Special Edition (and new books from Naomi Klein and Jeremy McCarter)

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 June 26 through 30 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.

Monday, June 26

 Norse Mythology, by Neil Gaiman, read by the author

Prepare to be transported into the realm of the ancient Norse gods, and who better to tell their tales than Gaiman? This paean to the Nordic gods will resonate with his many fans, including those enjoying the television serialization of his American Gods, as well as fans of Marvel Comic’s Thor film series. Written in a conversational tone, this retelling honors the mythic Norse background with a modern-day accent all Gaiman’s own as the gods of Asgard take on an intimate, breezy informality.


Tuesday, June 27

 The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, read by Banhi Turpin

In this masterfully performed audiobook, Turpin narrates from the point of view of 16-year-old Starr Carter. Turpin’s voice is expressive of the raw pain and heartbreak that tears through Starr as she witnesses Khalil’s shooting and when she recounts memories of another friend, killed by a stray bullet at age 10. Turpin also brings life to Starr’s family and friends from both her neighborhood and school. This book will stay with listeners long after its final chapters.


Wednesday, June 28

 Young Radicals, by Jeremy McCarter

Five young Americans agitate for change in the tumultuous 1910s and are changed by the resistance they encounter. Though this is, ultimately, about the fragmentation of a political movement, “We ought to be braced by the example of the young radicals,” McCarter writes, for “battles for ideals” are never final. The success of Hamilton: The Revolution, which McCarter coauthored with Lin-Manuel Miranda, will drive considerable demand.




Thursday, June 29

No is Not Enough, by Naomi Klein

In her 2007 best-seller, The Shock Doctrine, Klein alerted people, as the subtitle put it, to the rise of “disaster capitalism.” Ten years later, she asserts that the disaster, personified in the Trump administration, is here. Corporations have completed the coup they began decades ago, barely trying to cover the havoc they wreak. Institutions that are supposed to protect the citizenry are shaky. This book, which chronicles how we got where we are, is not going to make anyone suffering from dislocation, even fear, in the era of Trump feel better until, perhaps, the final chapters.


Friday, June 30

 The Lonely Hearts Hotel, by Heather O’Neill, read by Julia Whelan

Two young orphans, Pierrot and Rose, growing up in Depression-era Montreal turn the city into a surreal, postmodern landscape with a touch of magic realism. Narrator Whelan lets them have free rein, without dramatizing the horrors of orphanage life, the underworld in Montreal that sucks them both in and threatens their love, nor the loss they feel as they try to survive apart.




About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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