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Nancy Marie Brown's The Real Valkyrie is called "stirring ... passionate ...undoubtedly entertaining...A fine lesson in Old Norse culture and history" by Kirkus Reviews. "Highly recommended," according to Medievalists.net. Scott Weidensaul, author of New York Times bestselling A World on the Wing, says: "Once again, Brown brings Viking history to vivid, unexpected life--and in the process, turns what we thought we knew about Norse culture on its head. Superb."
Seb Falk's The Light Ages has been named a Best Book of 2020 by The Telegraph, The Times, and BBC History Magazine and is shortlisted for the Hughes Prize, awarded by the British Society for the History of Science to the best (history of science) book accessible to a general audience, published in English in the last two years. The Wall Street Journal calls the book "magnificent...[Falk lets] us inhabit, for a spell of seven finely crafted chapters, the vibrant mind of a 14th-century Benedictine monk, John Westwyk." Alex Orlando from Discover Magazine says: "Falk's bubbling curiosity and strong sense of storytelling always swept me along. By the end, The Light Ages didn't just broaden my conception of science; even as I scrolled away on my Kindle, it felt like I was sitting alongside Westwyk at St. Albans abbey, leafing through dusty manuscripts by candlelight."
Marcia Chatelain's Franchise is awarded the 2021 Pulitzer Prize in History. It is a New York Times' Critics Pick of 2020 and a Smithsonian Scholars' Top Book. The Times in their review describes the book as "smart and capacious....[Chatelain] gives this important book an empathetic core as well as analytical breadth." Kirkus calls it "an eye-opening and unique history lesson." Franchise is the winner of the Hagley Prize in Business History and the 2021 Organization of American Historians Lawrence W. Levine Award. Library Journal says it's "invaluable for those studying the intersections of race, economics, and business in the United States."
Egill Bjarnason's How Iceland Changed the World is described by the New York Times as a "joyously, peculiar book." The Wall Street Journal describes it as "a chronicle ... breezily and likably unfolded." Jane Smiley says: it is "not only surprising and informative. It is amusing and evocatively animates a place that I have been fascinated with for most of my life. Well worth the read!" A.J. Jacobs reports that "Egill Bjarnason has written a delightful reminder that, when it comes to countries, size doesn't always matter. His writing is a pleasure to read, reminiscent of Bill Bryson or Louis Theroux. He has made sure we will never take Iceland for granted again."
The Wall Street Journal says Emily Midorikawa's Out of the Shadows "offers up a tapestry of complex characters with conflicted motivations" and The New York Times says her "chosen Spiritualists are a colorful bunch, and her lively writing makes their careers fun to follow." The book gets a starred Bookpage and is also featured in The New Yorker.
Hala Alyan's The Arsonists' City is a Most Anticipated Title of 2021 from Buzzfeed, Refinery29, Lit Hub, The Millions, The Rumpus, Write or Die Tribe and Palm Beach Daily News. Also named a Most Anticipated Title by a Woman of Color for 2021 by R.O. Kwon in Electric Literature. The New York Times calls it "breathless" and says "Alyan turns paragraphs into poetry." Entertainment Weekly describes the book as "revolutionary in its freshness." It is a Belletrist Book Club Pick. The book gets a starred Publishers Weekly review, and a starred Kirkus. Read Publishers Weekly's feature profile entitled "Hala Alyan's New Novel Unpacks the Meaning of Home".
Catherine Flowers, author of Waste: One Woman's Fight Against America's Dirty Secret, is awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. The New York Times highlights Waste as one of 16 Books to Watch for in November and gives it a glowing review. She is profiled in Esquire Magazine for her work on environmental justice.
The Language of Butterflies by New York Times' bestselling author Wendy Williams' is "informative and illuminating," according to Science Magazine. It is given a starred review in both Booklist ("[Williams'] enthusiasm is convincing and contagious") and Bookpage ("Informative, thought-provoking...Williams is a consummate storyteller, and her narrative seamlessly integrates scientific facts with vivid portraits of characters as colorful as the butterflies that intrigue and inspire them").
"Incisive and approachable...this brisk chronicle delivers meaningful context," says Publishers Weekly about Michael Schuman's Superpower Interrupted: The Chinese History of the World. "Of considerable interest to students of world trade, geopolitics, and history," according to Kirkus.
Amanda Eyre Ward and Jardine Libaire's book, The Sober Lush: A Hedonist's Guide to Living a Decadent, Adventurous, Soulful Life--Alcohol Free, is excerpted in The Lily (Washington Post), under the headline "How self-quarantine feels a lot like getting sober. Here's how we find beauty in the struggle."
The House on Fripp Island by Rebecca Kauffman is a best beach read, according to Entertainment Weekly. This "keen, atmospheric follow-up to The Gunners explores class, friendship, and dark family secret...inevitably, events spiral to a shocking conclusion. Kauffman's characters leap off the page....Readers will devour this suspenseful summer drama," according to Publishers Weekly. Kirkus says "our assumptions about whose tensions, desires, rages, and shy longings might erupt into murder are provoked and reversed right up until the final pages, when the mystery of Fripp Island is revealed....An entertaining and ultimately tender book."
Muhammad H. Zaman's Biography of Resistance is described, in starred Kirkus review, as "a vivid portrayal of our fight against an opponent that has been around for more than 3 billion years." The Wall Street Journal praises the book, saying the author's "sense of urgency is irresistible." The author is awarded a Guggenheim.
Amanda Eyre Ward's The Jetsetters is a New York Times' best-seller, and Reese's Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick. It is named one of the Best Beach Reads of 2020 by Parade, O: The Oprah Magazine, and Good Housekeeping. It is also a New York Times' Editors Choice ("A widow takes her three grown children on the Mediterranean cruise she wins in an essay contest. At the heart of Ward's comic story of family estrangement and long-buried trauma is the adage 'There's no such thing as a free ride' - but her novel's ultimate destination is both surprising and transporting") and the New York Times Book Review says "Ward nails how family expeditions are ruined and saved, over and over again, by fleeting moments of connection and the consensus to survive without killing one another."

Frans de Waal wins the PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award for Mama's Last Hug. The book is a New York Times' Notable; an Amazon Best Book of 2019; a Kirkus Best Book; A Science News Favorite; a Library Journal Best Book. It is a New York Times' best-seller and gets a rave front-page New York Times Sunday Book Review. It gets a starred Kirkus ("a book that will surely make readers want to grab someone's arm and exclaim, 'Listen to this!") and starred Publishers Weekly ("illuminating--and remarkably moving") and starred Booklist ("A captivating survey of animal and human emotions").
Mira Jacob's Good Talk is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and longlisted for the Pen America Literary Award. It is one of 10 Best Books of 2019, according to Publishers Weekly (where Mira graces the cover of the Magazine), the Chicago Tribune, and The New York Public Library. Also a top 10 Graphic Book according to the New York Times. Named a Best Book of 2019 by The New York Times (A NYT's Notable), Time Magazine, Esquire, The Times Literary Supplement, Buzzfeed, Kirkus, and Library Journal.
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