“Koontz crafts a story shifting between reality and imagination, highlighted by distinct descriptions. . . . Bibi’s a believable protagonist surrounded by interesting bit players. . . . Koontz’s setting, with California coastal fog a metaphor for illness and for knowledge beyond understanding, makes real the often surrealistic narrative. . . . [Ashley Bell] cuts between the fantastical and the believable to dissect evil, explore the power of imagination, and probe the parameters of consciousness.”
…a great, indelible book…that is as intimate and illuminating as Atul Gawande's Being Mortal, to cite only one recent example of a doctor's book that has had exceptionally wide appeal…I guarantee that finishing this book and then forgetting about it is simply not an option. There is so much here that lingers, and not just about matters of life and death…Part of this book's tremendous impact comes from the obvious fact that its author was such a brilliant polymath. And part comes from the way he conveys what happened to him—passionately working and striving, deferring gratification, waiting to live, learning to die—so well. None of it is maudlin. Nothing is exaggerated. As he wrote to a friend: "It's just tragic enough and just imaginable enough." And just important enough to be unmissable.
A debut from Washington, D.C., attorney Punke describes the perilous adventures of a 19th-century frontiersman bent on revenge. … A good adventure yarn, with plenty of historical atmosphere and local color.
…powerful and melancholy…Strout articulates for her readers—albeit often circumspectly, perhaps the only way—the Gordian knot of family, binding together fear and misery, solace and love…There is not a scintilla of sentimentality in this exquisite novel. Instead, in its careful words and vibrating silences, My Name Is Lucy Barton offers us a rare wealth of emotion, from darkest suffering to…simple joy.