BY SEAN CLARK
[In this feature, we highlight a handful of the best book reviews appearing over the weekend in major newspapers. Follow it here.]
Holy crap it’s been a while. Any-who, now that I’m free to read again, let’s get sharing.
Nature’s Nether Regions, by Menno Schilthuizen. Reviewed by Tess Taylor (Barnes and Noble Review).
Yup, it’s a book all about the diverse rainbow of animal junks in the world. Read the review.
Rules of Summer, by Shaun Tan. Reviewed by Sarah Harrison Smith (New York Times).
The best kids’ books, to my mind, are the ones people might think are too heavy for children. Seems like a solid indicator that the book is asking children to consider something of more consequence than sharing on the playground. So I love lines like this in a review:
Though boys in the real world play roughly, and like to imagine adventures in which they are the lone survivors of a catastrophe, the dystopian setting of “Rules of Summer” may disturb readers more than they — or their parents — would like.
Tan’s The Arrival is a beautiful picture book that came out years ago and manages to touch on some heavy themes without a single word of text. Also this one’s got demonic rabbit monsters with fuchsia eyes hunting down the world’s children or something. Awesome.
Music at Midnight: The Life and Poetry of George Herbert, by John Drury. Reviewed by Michael Dirda (Washington Post).
There’s actually nothing special about this review of a book that’s basically lit-crit of a relatively obscure poet who died 5 centuries ago. I just really like that Dirda has reached the point where he basically reviews whatever he feels like for WaPo. Good on him.
Quickly: This Amazon – Hachette thing is getting pretty ugly. Maybe I’d care more if it were somebody else and not Hachette, I have a hard time drumming up any sympathy for the James Patterson factory. British schools aren’t teaching books by American authors anymore, instead are doubling down on the whole dead white (British) man thing, which will surely do wonders for their students’ world views.