Reviews of the Week, with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Nnedi Okorafor, Jeffrey Eugenides 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 14 through August 18 so that you can revisit the week’s best books.


August 14

 Akata Warrior, by Nnedi Okorafor

This highly anticipated sequel to Akata Witch (2011) begins a year after Sunny unearthed secrets pertaining to her heritage and joined the secret Leopard Society. The lush world and high-stakes plot are fun, imaginative, timely, and authentic.






August 15

 Elizabeth and Zenobia, by Jessica Miller

Elizabeth’s best friend Zenobia (others might claim she’s imaginary, but she’s vividly real to Elizabeth) is utterly convinced there’s a ghost at Witheringe House, and she’s determined to use all her divining skills to find it. Elizabeth is terrified at the prospect, but she joins the hunt anyway.


August 16

A Legacy of Spies, by John le Carré

Smiley himself only appears briefly at the end of this tale, leaving his loyal assistant, Peter Guillam, to carry the water through a series of demeaning interviews with the service’s new breed of ass-covering flunkies, all on high alert when the threat of legal action erupts. That’s not Peter’s only problem.





August 17 

 We Were Eight Years in Power, by Ta-Nehisi Coates

However stunned the nation was to see a Donald Trump presidency follow that of Barack Obama, MacArthur fellow Coates (Between the World and Me, 2015) sees historical parallels that make the severe swing seem more predictable. Coates’ always sharp commentary is particularly insightful as each day brings a new upset.

August 18

 Fresh Complaintby Jeffrey Eugenides

Pulitzer Prize–winning Eugenides’ first story collection, and his first book since The Marriage Plot (2011), is gifted with the strong voices and luminous prose his novels are known for. Stories probe aging and agency, sex and death, with Eugenides’ trademark wit and deadpan grace.






About the Author:

Carolyn Kelly is currently an intern for Booklist. A senior at Princeton University, she is studying English. When she isn’t reading a wide array of literature to try and decide what work to write about for her undergraduate thesis, she can be found trying to win tickets in the Hamilton lottery.

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