Reviews of the Week, with Matt Taibbi, Libba Bray, Rachel McKibbens, 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 October 2 through October 6 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.


October 2

 Sit, by Deborah Ellis

A verb, a command, and organizing concept, Ellis’ title gives readers something to think about as each of the included short stories obliquely or directly centers on a chair, bench, or space of rest. In this way, young people around the world are linked. ful readers who appreciate Ellis’ other globally aware works, like her well-known Breadwinner series. An excellent choice for all collections.





October 3

 Before the Devil Breaks You, by Libba Bray

Ghost attacks are on the rise in this third volume of the Diviners quartet, which picks up soon after Bray’s gang of preternaturally gifted teens puts an end to the sleeping sickness infecting New York City in Lair of Dreams (2015). The King of Crows, who haunted the pages of the previous novels, comes into sharper focus here, as the Diviners learn of his ugly origins and violent purpose—all tied to the city’s ghosts and the secret government program Project Buffalo.


October 4

 blud, by Rachel McKibbens

In her bewitching third collection, activist, educator, and poetry-slam legend McKibbens confronts the two-sided burden of blood, spotlighting both the traumas we inherit and those we pass down. Drawing from Mexican proverbs, harrowing family histories, and her own childhood, McKibbens explores violence and love, mental illness and motherhood.





October 5

 I Can’t Breathe: A Killing on Bay Street, by Matt Taibbi

Eric Garner was arrested for selling “loosies” on a Staten Island street corner on July 17, 2014. An NYPD cop put Garner in a choke hold that led to his death minutes later. Garner’s video-recorded protest as he was held face down on the pavement became a rallying cry in the Black Lives Matter movement. Journalist Taibbi takes the stark outline of this brutal moment and explains what put Garner on the corner that day and what fatal forces intersected there.


October 6

 Miles Away from You, by A. B. Rutledge

Eighteen-year-old Miles—“an atheist, a pacifist, a vegetarian, and a clingy, pansexual queer”—isn’t doing too well. Vivian, a young trans woman and Miles’s sort-of-ex-girlfriend, has been in a coma for more than a year since overdosing on Vicodin, and her parents are unwilling to take her off life support. Unwilling to continue with the lawsuit his moms encouraged him to file against Vivian’s parents, Miles suffers an emotional downward spiral.




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