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Reviews of the Week, with David Lagercrantz, Andy Weir, Michael Currinder and More!

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 August 28 through September 1 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.

 

September 8

 Running Full Tilt by Michael Currinder

By the time Leo is a junior, his family has moved three times due to his older brother, Caleb, who has autism and other cognitive disabilities. Leo has grown accustomed to his brother’s lower functioning behavior, but Caleb is now prone to attacking Leo physically for unknown reasons. Leo literally starts long-distance running to get away from Caleb. But when tragedy strikes, Leo and his family face some hard truths. The writing is low-key; Leo has learned to rein in his emotions and feelings about Caleb, and the first-person narrative demonstrates this restraint yet provides vivid and detailed descriptions. Currinder’s novel is poignant and powerful, with a story that is greater than the sum of its parts.

 

 

 The Chicago Cubs: Story of a Curseby Richard Cohen

This is but one in what is already a succession of books on the Chicago Cubs’ historic 2016 World Series championship—books that include Scott Simon’s My Cubs and David Kaplan’s The Plan—but it might be the best, since it’s both a deeply satisfying historical account of that colorful franchise and a compelling, all-too-painful personal narrative of one longtime, besotted Cubs fan. “Why? Why were the Cubs so bad for so long?” Cohen writes. “The Cubs were not good because they focused on the wrong things,” Cubs president Theo Epstein, perhaps the most qualified to offer an explanation, told Cohen. Who knew that all it took to break a 108-year-old curse was plain old common sense—and talent?

 

 

 The Girl Who Takes an Eye for an Eye, by David Lagercrantz

The legacy of Lisbeth Salander lives on in the fifth installment of the Millennium series. Once again, Lagercrantz succeeds in carefully staying true to the framework created by the late Stieg Larsson in his original trilogy, and fans can continue to follow their favorite hacker heroine from obscurity to notoriety to unsought fame and unwanted attention. Here readers find Salander in a maximum-security prison serving a two-month sentence for the unlawful use of property and reckless endangerment following the events of The Girl in the Spider’s Web (2015). Lagercrantz never eases on the pace as seemingly disparate characters are introduced and cross-connected and plot elements multiply. In this new world where everything is suspect, including proclaimed facts, it is the dragons that protect and avenge the downtrodden.

 

 Artemisby Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara grew up in Artemis, the only city on the moon. She’s a young, misanthropic, underachieving genius who side-hustles as a smuggler. One day, she takes on a job that proves too dangerous and finds herself wrapped up in murder and an interplanetary struggle for control over a new technology worth billions. This exciting, whip-smart, funny thrill-ride boasts a wonderful cast of characters, a wide cultural milieu, and the appeal of a striking young woman as the main character. It’s one of the best science fiction novels of the year—but to make it clear, Artemis is not The Martian (2011) redux. Weir’s sarcastic humor is on full display, but Jazz delivers it with an anger that Watney (The Martian’s protagonist) never had. The Martian appealed to a broad audience beyond regular sf fans, and Weir’s second novel will be in high demand, thanks to that, though it may not be to everyone’s taste.

 

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About the Author:

Enobong Essien is a fall/winter intern with 'Booklist'.

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