Reviews of the Week, with Amy Siskind, Clare Mackintosh, Julian Barnes, and More!

Every weekday we feature a different review on Booklist Online. These reviews are notable for different reasons—they may be starred, or high-demand, or especially relevant to the current issue’s spotlight. We’ve collected the reviews from March 12–16 below.

 

Monday, March 12

 Let Me Lie, by Clare Mackintosh

Anna Johnson’s parents committed suicide within months of each other, diving from the same cliff near Eastbourne, England. A year later, Anna is struggling to reconcile her grief with the joys of new motherhood when she receives an anonymous letter: “Suicide? Think again.” It’s all Anna needs to fly to the police station; she’s always known that her parents weren’t suicidal. Murray Mackenzie, a retired detective volunteering at the station’s front desk, is unable to ignore his twitching intuition at hearing Anna’s story.

 

 

 

Tuesday, March 13

 Obsidio, by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Another countdown. Commercial giant BeiTech’s invading forces are trapped in a seven-month orbit around the politically unstable mining colony of Kerenza IV, pushing to restore their ship’s power so they can get home; meanwhile, the surviving Kerenza colonists are hanging onto their lives and families by a thread. Elsewhere, battered survivors of other BeiTech aggressions are aboard the gunship Mao, on a collision course with Kerenza that will either save or kill them all. The concluding volume in the Illuminae Files offers the same combination of unlikely heroes, space opera tropes, and arresting illustrations that have fueled the series’ stratospheric popularity.

 

Wednesday, March 14

 The Only Story, by Julian Barnes

In his newest mesmeric novel, Barnes, as in his Man Booker Prize-winner, The Sense of an Ending (2011), portrays an older man, Paul, looking back at his early life. The title refers to how we all have one love story we tell that defines our lives as well as to the old conception of the novel as a literary form that explores love. In this instance, Paul details how at 19, toward the end of the 1960s in leafy Surrey, just outside London, he fell in love with Susan McLeod, a 48-year-old married woman, at a tennis club.

 

 

 

Thursday, March 15

 Out of Left Field, by Ellen Klages

It’s 1957 and the end of an era for fifth-grader Katy Gordon’s beloved San Francisco Seals, who will be replaced next year by the Giants, the first major league team to play in San Francisco. A skilled pitcher, Katy gets scouted for her local Little League team, only to find out she’s barred from playing—­because she’s a girl—which sets her off on a quest to prove to them that girls are perfectly capable of playing baseball. Whether it’s researching at the library at UC Berkeley, where her mom is a chemistry professor, or writing letters to women who played on women-only baseball teams in the 1940s, Katy uncovers the truth.

 

Friday, March 16

The List, by Amy Siskind

For anyone who, after a year of the Trump administration, asks, “How did we get here?” Siskind provides the answer. A former Wall Street executive and currently president of the New Agenda, an organization that works on economic and gender issues, among other concerns, Siskind decided after the 2016 election to make a list of how the political, governmental, societal, and geopolitical landscape was changing—a way to keep track of how Trump’s actions, large and small, were reshaping the country. Her online Weekly List quickly went viral, and now it’s in book form, as a first draft of history.

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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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