A delightful selection of playful and compelling works.

BREAKING & ENTERING

NEW AND SELECTED POEMS

A compilation of poems spanning more than three decades.

Goldberg’s works tackle a variety of themes that touch on the Renaissance, contemporary women’s issues, fairy tales, fables, and romantic and family relationships. This compilation is divided into six sections, with each corresponding to the time frame when the poems were published. Interestingly, the book starts with the poet’s most recent body of work, then jumps back to 1986, and from there proceeds chronologically with selections from previously published collections. The first and newest section explores events of day-to-day life, moving from concrete details to more global issues: “How beautiful it is by the sea, even though / there is war in the air.” The author uses familiar references, such as Penelope in the Odyssey or Marilyn Monroe, to discuss the ways women have been perceived by men throughout time, then presents these perceptions from women’s perspectives. In “Marilyn,” the speaker notes that “So many / girls like to make themselves stupid, or lose / on purpose, like this girl in college, also blond”; she also expresses her own preference for men “who hoarded secrets” over those who don’t know “how to spar or crack / a joke.” In the sections that follow, the author effectively employs an assortment of forms, incorporating dialogue, character descriptions that resemble those in a play, and letters, among other narrative devices. The third section, which is appropriately titled “Cautionary Tales,” puts intriguing spins on traditional fairy tales, as in “The Woodcutter,” which explores the life of the hunter from “Snow White.” One of the book’s most notable features is the variety of voices and characters that the poet uses to engage the reader right up to the very end. Lush descriptions and images appear throughout, and the poems flow beautifully.

A delightful selection of playful and compelling works.

Pub Date: Jan. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-944585-46-4

Page Count: 184

Publisher: WordWorks

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2022

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 25

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY

An unhappy woman who tries to commit suicide finds herself in a mysterious library that allows her to explore new lives.

How far would you go to address every regret you ever had? That’s the question at the heart of Haig’s latest novel, which imagines the plane between life and death as a vast library filled with books detailing every existence a person could have. Thrust into this mysterious way station is Nora Seed, a depressed and desperate woman estranged from her family and friends. Nora has just lost her job, and her cat is dead. Believing she has no reason to go on, she writes a farewell note and takes an overdose of antidepressants. But instead of waking up in heaven, hell, or eternal nothingness, she finds herself in a library filled with books that offer her a chance to experience an infinite number of new lives. Guided by Mrs. Elm, her former school librarian, she can pull a book from the shelf and enter a new existence—as a country pub owner with her ex-boyfriend, as a researcher on an Arctic island, as a rock star singing in stadiums full of screaming fans. But how will she know which life will make her happy? This book isn't heavy on hows; you won’t need an advanced degree in quantum physics or string theory to follow its simple yet fantastical logic. Predicting the path Nora will ultimately choose isn’t difficult, either. Haig treats the subject of suicide with a light touch, and the book’s playful tone will be welcome to readers who like their fantasies sweet if a little too forgettable.

A whimsical fantasy about learning what’s important in life.

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-52-555947-4

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: July 14, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1, 2020

Did you like this book?

Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.

Reader Votes

  • Readers Vote
  • 67

Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT

  • New York Times Bestseller

  • IndieBound Bestseller

THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME

When a devoted husband and father disappears, his wife and daughter set out to find him.

Hannah Hall is deeply in love with her husband of one year, Owen Michaels. She’s also determined to win over his 16-year-old daughter, Bailey, who has made it very clear that she’s not thrilled with her new stepmother. Despite the drama, the family is mostly a happy one. They live in a lovely houseboat in Sausalito; Hannah is a woodturner whose handmade furniture brings in high-dollar clientele; and Owen works for The Shop, a successful tech firm. Their lives are shattered, however, when Hannah receives a note saying “Protect her” and can’t reach Owen by phone. Then there’s the bag full of cash Bailey finds in her school locker and the shocking news that The Shop’s CEO has been taken into custody. Hannah learns that the FBI has been investigating the firm for about a year regarding some hot new software they took to market before it was fully functional, falsifying their financial statements. Hannah refuses to believe her husband is involved in the fraud, and a U.S. marshal assigned to the case claims Owen isn’t a suspect. Hannah doesn’t know whom to trust, though, and she and Bailey resolve to root out the clues that might lead to Owen. They must also learn to trust one another. Hannah’s narrative alternates past and present, detailing her early days with Owen alongside her current hunt for him, and author Dave throws in a touch of danger and a few surprises. But what really drives the story is the evolving nature of Hannah and Bailey’s relationship, which is by turns poignant and frustrating but always realistic.

Light on suspense but still a solid page-turner.

Pub Date: May 4, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-5011-7134-5

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: Feb. 10, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

Did you like this book?

more