This Week’s Hot Reviews

Oscar
Mauricio Segura, trans. Donald Winkler | Biblioasis | 9781771962254 | June 2018
“An enchanting and lyrical novel of the tragic consequences losing a loved one may have—and the dangers of impulsively grasping at greatness.”—World Literature Today, Nota Benes selection

Zion’s Fiction: A Treasury of Israeli Speculative Literature
Sheldon Teitelbaum, editor | Mandel Vilar Press | 9781942134527 | September 2018
“[A]  remarkably varied and engaging collection. . . . Zion’s Fiction is not only an excellent collection of speculative fiction from Israel but also a book that makes us think anew about the real challenges the world must face in the future.”—World Literature Today

Things That Make White People Uncomfortable
Michael Bennett with Dave Zirin | Haymarket Books | 9781608468935 | April 2018

“[Bennett] exudes bravado and confidence, and doesn’t care if it’s unacceptable. . . . He loves football, he loves his teammates, he loves hating quarterbacks, but ‘the league itself, the violence you put your body through to play, is not fun.’ He writes about CTE, the lack of integration in the NFL with respect to owners and coaches, anthem protests and activism, and how his wife and three daughters inform his feminism. And he’s very witty.”—Shelf Awareness for Readers

Praise Song for the Butterflies
Bernice L. McFadden | Akashic Books | 9781617756269 | August 2018
“This is a novel brave enough to cast an unblinking eye on one of the most disturbing chapters in the ongoing history of female oppression, and humane enough to have found the means for a redemptive and fulfilling read.”—New York Journal of Books

Isako Isako
Mia Ayumi Malhotra | Alice James Books | 9781938584947 | September 2018
“The strength in Isako Isako lies in the tributaries of its different voices, how they are arranged together, how they echo each other and, finally, how they run aground into the same voice, the same story.”—KQED.org

After the Winter
Guadalupe Nettel, trans. Rosalind Harvey | Coffee House Press | 9781566895255 | September 2018
“Nettel has fashioned a powerful and luminous novel, one that portrays absence, presence and human imperfection with a unique and penetrating voice.”—Ploughshares

Öræfi: The Wasteland
Ófeigur Sigurðsson, trans. Lytton Smith | Deep Vellum Publishing | 9781941920671 | October 2018
“Readers who are willing to yield to Öræfi, to open themselves to the unpredictable, will find in these pages one of the most vivacious, most ferociously inventive novels available in any language today.”—Splice

Hometown Pasadena
Colleen Dunn Bates, editor | Prospect Park Books | 9781938849992 | August 2018
“Regarded as the go-to Pasadena resource since its first edition dropped nearly 13 years ago, Hometown Pasadena is the masterstroke of Prospect Park Books publisher and editor Colleen Dunn Bates and features the work of multiple acclaimed neighborhood writers and notable locals.”—Arcadia Weekly

River
Esther Kinsky, trans. Ian Galbraith | Transit Books | 9781945492174 | September 2018
“Kinsky’s prose has a hypnotic quality . . . it encourages reflection, opens up avenues for fresh observations of our own surroundings, however familiar, and inspires renewed appreciation of the small and precious memories we carry with us from our pasts, our childhoods and our travels.”—Music & Literature

A House in the Jungle
Nathan Gelgud | Koyama Press | 9781927668627 | September 2018
“Gelgud lets this story unfold with a precise, comical deadpan that rejects traditional paneling in favor of a more free-form flow. . . . Each moment becomes a building block for what follows, and Gelgud peppers these depictions with some calm psychedelics to bring outwards what we couldn’t possibly see otherwise.”—Comics Beat

Seven Pablos
Jorge Luján, illus. Chiara Carrer, trans. Mara Lethem | Enchanted Lion Books | 9781592702534 | June 2018
“One of my favorite titles in 2018 is this exquisite, poignant view of humanity’s differences and commonalities. . . . The plainspoken yet eloquent text delivers but a morsel of a boy’s story, sparks our curiosity, teases our hearts, before fluttering on to the next. . . . Italian artist Chiara Carrer’s powerful graphite drawings ground each page in strength and dignity. . . . A quiet stunner for ages 5 through adult.”—Orange Marmalade Books

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