What Should You Read Next? Here Are the Best Reviewed Books of the Week


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Salman Rushdie’s Knife, Caoilinn Hughes’ The Alternatives, Caleb Carr’s My Beloved Monster, and Doris Kearns Goodwin’s An Unfinished Love Story all feature among the Best Reviewed Books of the Week.

Brought to you by Book Marks, Lit Hub’s home for book reviews.



The Alternatives Cover

1. The Alternatives by Caoilinn Hughes

4 Rave • 3 Positive • 1 Mixed

“Exuberant … Hughes’s prose is like a virtuosic jazz number—loose, free and surprising. Despite the boundless spirit of the narrative, her authorial command rarely wavers … A funny novel. Wit and humor percolate, like a simmering pot, throughout the scenes. On the sentence level, rhythm and cadence propel Hughes’s effortless prose … A bold, beautiful, complex novel, and I can’t wait to read what Hughes writes next. She, too, is an unstoppable force.”

–S Kirk Walsh (The New York Times Book Review)

Linden, Gillian_Negative Space Cover

2. Negative Space by Gillian Linden
(W. W. Norton and Company)

3 Rave • 3 Positive

“The prose throughout is lapidary, sharp. Linden is spare with the metaphors so that when they come, they stick and crystallize affectingly in your brain … Negative Space beautifully executes a good amount of what feels imperative; acutely, assuredly, it mirrors a particular world back to us. That might sound easy, but it isn’t. Even more so because depicting absence, making it feel concrete and alive, often renders a book hollow and shapeless, and Linden’s has both shape and heft.”

–Lynn Steger Strong (The New York Times Book Review)

Sunjeev Sahota_The Spoiled Heart Cover

3. The Spoiled Heart by Sunjeev Sahota

4 Rave • 1 Positive
Read an excerpt from The Spoiled Heart here

“Me again, banging on about Sunjeev Sahota. I won’t stop until you read him … Finds a timeless imprint in the hot metal of the moment. The story explores identity politics, that complicated intersection of race, gender and sexual orientation that, depending on your point of view, promotes equity or sanctifies discrimination. It’s the kind of treacherous novel that Philip Roth might have written … Sahota throws so many disparate parts into this story that it’s something of a miracle when they begin to coalesce … [A] brilliant novel.”

–Ron Charles (The Washington Post)




1. Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder by Salman Rushdie
(Random House)

6 Rave • 3 Positive • 1 Mixed • 1 Pan

“Rushdie’s triumph is not to be other: despite his terrible injuries and the threat he still lives under, he remains incorrigibly himself, as passionate as ever about art and free speech as ‘the essence of our humanity.’ At one point he quotes Martin Amis: ‘When you publish a book, you either get away with it, or you don’t.’ He has more than got away with this one. It’s scary but heartwarming, a story of hatred defeated by love. There’s even room for a few jokes.”

–Blake Morrison (The Guardian)

Caleb Carr_My Beloved Monster: Masha, the Half-Wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me Cover

2. My Beloved Monster: Masha, the Half-Wild Rescue Cat Who Rescued Me by Caleb Carr
(Little Brown and Company)

3 Rave • 3 Positive

“Devastating and beautiful, by turns a fascinating book of animal psychology and a personal memoir of unrelenting trauma, it dares us to take a journey into love and pain … Written in poetic, mournful, and delicate prose, My Beloved Monster is a love story and a requiem.”

–Brandy Schillace (The Wall Street Journal)

Kearns Goodwin, Doris_An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s Cover

3. An Unfinished Love Story: A Personal History of the 1960s by Doris Kearns Goodwin
(Simon & Schuster)

2 Rave • 4 Positive • 1 Mixed

“The tension in the book is provided by the tensions of the era—LBJ versus RFK, white versus Black, young versus old, tradition versus experimentation, Richard Nixon versus Hubert Humphrey. But it also is marked by the gentle tension between a woman who saw romance in the struggles and torment of Lyndon Johnson and a man tied tightly to the Kennedys … Above all, this book is a reminder of the uncashed check of American promise … A love story, to be sure. But also a tragic story, of hopes dashed and dreams unfulfilled. Sit down and weep.”

–David Shribman (The Boston Globe)

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Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lambert
Nicole Lamber is a news writer for LinkDaddy News. She writes about arts, entertainment, lifestyle, and home news. Nicole has been a journalist for years and loves to write about what's going on in the world.

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