Starred Review

These Precious Days: Essays

by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett (This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage) ties together the 22 essays in These Precious Days in surprising ways, building to moving moments with layers of complexity.

In the opening piece, "Three Fathers," a photograph captures the author with her biological father and two stepfathers. Patchett's father recalls that Mike, her aspiring-writer stepfather, said to the other two men, "You know what she's doing, don't you? She's going to wait until the three of us are dead and then she's going to write

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The Everybody Ensemble: Donkeys, Essays, and Other Pandemoniums

by Amy Leach

With The Everybody Ensemble: Donkeys, Essays, and Other Pandemoniums, Amy Leach (Things That Are) takes readers on a playful, rigorous, mind-bending romp through human nature, the natural world, spirituality and more. Her perfectly singular voice sings the most surprising notes in an imaginative blend of silliness and seriousness.

This sophomore collection of 23 essays opens with the title piece, in which the narrator welcomes all 20 quintillion animals to the Everybody Ensemble. Leach glories in lists

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Red and Green and Blue and White

by Lee Wind, illus. by Paul O. Zelinsky

A community, inspired by a friend's show of support, acts in solidarity after a hate crime targets a Hanukkah celebration in this vibrant and compassionate picture book from Lee Wind and Paul O. Zelinsky.

Best friends and neighbors Isaac and Teresa have much in common, including their love of decorating for winter holidays. A bird's-eye view of their night-darkened neighborhood shows Isaac's house standing out: "On a block dressed up in Red and Green, one house shone Blue and White." Later that night, a stranger

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Shelf Discovery

The Writer's Cats

by Muriel Barbery, trans. by Alison Anderson, illus. by Maria Guitart

The philosophical whimsy of four cats cleverly influences the literary life of acclaimed French author Muriel Barbery.

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The Gilded Cage

by Lynette Noni

In this fierce follow-up to The Prison Healer, Kiva, escaped from prison, is ready to reclaim the throne for her bloodline, but her growing feelings for the prince complicate things.

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No One Else

by R. Kikuo Johnson

R. Kikuo Johnson's penetrating graphic novel insightfully encapsulates a Maui family's multi-generational struggles after the sudden death of its oldest member.

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Margaret K. McElderry Books: Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong

Media Heat

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

CBS This Morning: Lisa Damour, author of Under Pressure: Confronting the Epidemic of Stress and Anxiety in Girls (Ballantine, $17, 9780399180071).

Good Morning America: Jessica Seinfeld, author of Vegan, at Times: 120+ Recipes for Every Day or Every So Often (Gallery Books, $29.99, 9781982149574).

Tamron Hall: Carla Hall, author of Carla and the Christmas Cornbread (Denene Millner Books/Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781534494695).

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Tamron Hall: Alan Cumming, author of Baggage: Tales from a Fully Packed Life (Dey Street, $27.99, 9780062435781).

Monday, November 22, 2021

Good Morning America: Diana Gabaldon, author of Go Tell the Bees That I Am Gone: A Novel (Outlander Book 9) (Delacorte Press, $36, 9781101885680).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Rep. Adam Schiff, author of Midnight in Washington: How We Almost Lost Our Democracy and Still Could (Random House, $30, 9780593231524).

Thursday, November 18, 2021

KCRW's Bookworm: Diane Williams, author of How High?--That High (Soho Press, $25, 9781641293068).

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Fresh Air: Nikole Hannah-Jones, co-author of The 1619 Project: Born on the Water (Kokila, $18.99, 9780593307359).

Good Morning America: Sarah Winman, author of Still Life (Putnam, $27, 9780593330753).
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