Starred Review

The Cathedral

by Ben Hopkins

Ben Hopkins's debut novel, The Cathedral, immerses readers in the cutthroat world of 13th-century Rhineland. In the town of Hagenburg, the construction of the titular cathedral draws together residents from all walks of life. A farmer apprentices as a stonecutter to work on the cathedral. The bishop's treasurer chases the funding while wrestling with the politics of the church and the Holy Roman Empire. But this is a time of massive cultural shifts. Money is becoming more important than land as a source of

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Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear

by Carl L. Hart

Carl L. Hart is engaging and informative in his campaign against the War on Drugs. As a professor of psychology at Columbia University and a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, he wields impressive expertise on the effects of chemicals on the human brain. As a Black man, husband, father and recreational drug user, he's also well-acquainted with the misinformation and political agendas that unnecessarily complicate the relationship between adults and their leisure activities.


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Concrete Rose

by Angie Thomas

In this impressive, highly dramatic prequel to Angie Thomas's much celebrated The Hate U Give, Black 17-year-old Maverick Carter must choose between gang life and domestic life when he becomes a father.

Maverick is the son of "Li'l Don" Adonis, the incarcerated leader of the King Lords gang. Despite his father's legacy, Mav operates at the gang's bottom ranks. He and best friend King also sell drugs behind the gang's back to make fast cash. Then Mav--who is in love with a young woman named Lisa--finds out

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Shelf Discovery

If I Disappear

by Eliza Jane Brazier

In this alluringly unsettling thriller, a fangirl travels to a Northern California ranch to look into the disappearance of her favorite podcaster.

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Deep into the Dark

by P.J. Tracy

A veteran suffering from PTSD becomes the prime suspect in several murders in this gripping combination of psychological thriller and police procedural.

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American Daughter

by Stephanie Thornton Plymale

A successful designer and teacher finally deals with her tortured past and horrific mother in a memoir full of twists and revelations on the way to redemption.

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The Lost Manuscript

by Cathy Bonidan, trans. by Emma Ramadam

Cathy Bonidan's heartfelt epistolary novel traces the 30-year journey of a manuscript that has a surprising and inspiring impact on everyone who reads it.

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Flatiron Books: The Narrowboat Summer by Anne Youngson

Media Heat

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

CBS This Morning: Cicely Tyson, author of Just as I Am: A Memoir (HarperCollins, $28.99, 9780062931061).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House: A Novel (Harper Perennial, $17, 9780062963680).

Monday, January 25, 2021

Fresh Air: John Colapinto, author of This Is the Voice (Simon & Schuster, $28, 9781982128746).

Ellen: Priyanka Chopra Jonas, author of Unfinished: A Memoir (Ballantine, $28, 9781984819215).

Thursday, January 21, 2021

KCRW's Bookworm: Eileen Myles, author of For Now (Why I Write) (Yale University Press, $18, 9780300244649).

Fresh Air: Daniel Lieberman, author of Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding (Pantheon, $29.95, 9781524746988).

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Wendy Williams: Tommy Davidson, co-author of Living in Color: What's Funny About Me: Stories from In Living Color, Pop Culture, and the Stand-Up Comedy Scene of the '80s & '90s (Kensington, $15.95, 9781496712967).

Thursday, January 14, 2021

KCRW's Bookworm: Alan Felsenthal and Peter Cole discuss Take Arms Against a Sea of Troubles: The Power of the Reader’s Mind over a Universe of Death by Harold Bloom (Yale University Press, $35, 9780300247282).

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