Starred Review

Mary Toft; or, the Rabbit Queen

by Dexter Palmer

"Is truth... a matter of consensus, subject to debate, subject to alteration?" Mary Toft; or, The Rabbit Queen by Dexter Palmer (Version Control) follows a woman who, implausibly, gives birth to rabbits and who, as she struggles to control the narrative of her own body, challenges the beliefs of a patriarchal society.

In 1726, in the village of Godalming, England, surgeon John Howard and his apprentice, Zachary, attend to a woman giving birth. Horrifyingly, bloody rabbit parts emerge instead of a

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Jakarta

by Rodrigo Márquez Tizano, trans. by Thomas Bunstead

"A labyrinth, he concluded, is nothing but a way of seeing," Mexico City-born editor and journalist Rodrigo Márquez Tizano writes near the end of Jakarta, the dense yet slender lulu of a first novel translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead.

Outraged and outrageous, disgusted and disgusting, every bit a miniature labyrinth in itself, Jakarta offers a way of seeing, over its 160 pages. Tizano summons the past, present and future of Atlantika, an invented Latin American city continually beset with

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What's Next?

by Timothy Knapman, illus. by Jane McGuinness

Daddy Badger patiently answers his Baby's barrage of questions in Timothy Knapman and Jane McGuinness's What's Next, an inquisitive, sensory-filled exploration of the forest.

Baby Badger is new to the world and curious as can be. After a thorough examination of his cozy underground home, he asks Daddy Badger, "What's next?" "There's a whole forest up above us," Daddy tells him, and together they venture aboveground to explore the nighttime, discovering the "softest moss to roll in," the tasty "bluebell bulbs"

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Shelf Discovery

Queen of Bones

by Teresa Dovalpage

A Cuban refugee returns to Havana to confront unfinished relationships from two decades past, but reconnecting with friends and lovers yields tragic consequences.

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Bone Talk

by Candy Gourlay

A Filipino boy on the verge of manhood in 1899 must face mortal enemies, colonial brutality and his own headstrong, immature self to help save his remote village from annihilation.

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Byr): Vroom! by Barbara McClintock

Media Heat

Thursday, December 12, 2019

KCRW's Bookworm: Chris Ware, author of Rusty Brown (Pantheon, $35, 9780375424328).

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Daily Show: Lupita Nyong'o, author of Sulwe (Simon & Schuster, $17.99, 9781534425361).
 
Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Samantha Power, author of The Education of an Idealist: A Memoir (Dey Street Books, $29.99, 9780062820693).

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Fresh Air: Peter Bergen, author of Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos (Penguin Press, $30, 9780525522416).

Monday, December 9, 2019

Late Show with Stephen Colbert: Tom Brokaw, author of The Fall of Richard Nixon: A Reporter Remembers Watergate (Random House, $27, 9781400069705).

Late Night with Seth Meyers: Michael Lewis, author of The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy (Norton, $16.95, 9780393357455).

Thursday, December 5, 2019

KCRW's Bookworm: Lawrence Weschler, author of And How Are You, Dr. Sacks?: A Biographical Memoir of Oliver Sacks (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $28, 9780374236410).
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