‘A Master of Djinn,’ ‘The Atmospherians,’ and 74 Other Exceptional Titles | Starred Reviews, May 2021

Essential titles reviewed in our May 2021 print issue, spanning mystery & suspense, SF/fantasy, romance, fiction, social sciences, and more.









Abbott, Megan. The Turnout. Putnam.

Barclay, Linwood. Find You First. Morrow.

Cobb, May. The Hunting Wives. Berkley.

Chiarella, Jessica. The Lost Girls. Putnam.

Laber, Jeri. The Russian Key. Arcade Publishing: Skyhorse.

Marcott, Lindsay. Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost. Thomas & Mercer: Amazon.

Newman, T. J. Falling. Avid Reader.

Talton, Jon. City of Dark Corners. Poisoned Pen.



Burke, Sue. Immunity Index. Tor. 

Chambers, Becky. A Psalm for the Wild-Built. Tor.com.

Clark, P. Djèlí. A Master of Djinn. Tor.com.

Okungbowa, Suyi Davies. Son of the Storm. Orbit.

Wagers, K. B. Hold Fast Through the Fire. Harper Voyager.



Balogh, Mary. Someone To Cherish. Berkley.

Lauren, Christina. The Soulmate Equation. Gallery.



Benedict, Marie & Victoria Christopher Murray. The Personal Librarian. Berkley.

Brodie, Emma. Songs in Ursa Major. Knopf.

Cleeton, Chanel. The Most Beautiful Girl in Cuba. Berkley.

Daoud, Kamel. Zabor, or The Psalms. Other.

Dunn, Matt. Pug Actually. Mira: Harlequin.

Finkbeiner, Susie. The Nature of Small Birds. Revell.

Fuller, Claire. Unsettled Ground. Tin House.

Khartash, Faysal. Roundabout of Death. New Vessel.

Mbougar Sarr, Mohamed. Brotherhood. Europa.

McElroy, Alex. The Atmospherians. Atria.

Nelson, Caleb Azumah. Open Water. Black Cat: Grove Atlantic.

Oakley, Colleen. The Invisible Husband of Frick Island. Berkley.

Richards, Emilie. The House Guests. Mira: Harlequin.

Shipstead, Maggie. Great Circle. Knopf.

Williams, Beatriz. Our Woman in Moscow. Morrow.

Zeniter, Alice. The Art of Losing. Farrar.



Charney, Noah. The Devil in the Gallery: How Scandal, Shock, and Rivalry Shaped the Art World. Rowman & Littlefield.

Davidson, Lucy. Conscious Crafts: Pottery; 20 Mindful Makes To Reconnect Head, Heart & Hands. Leaping Hare.

Milward, John (text) & Margie Greve (illus.). Americanaland: Where Country & Western Met Rock ’n’ Roll. Univ. of Illinois. 

Persley, Nicole Hodges & Monica White Ndounou. Breaking It Down: Audition Techniques for Actors of the Global Majority. Rowman & Littlefield.

Rushdie, Salman. Languages of Truth: Essays, 2003–2020. Random. 

Wood, Katelyn Hale. Cracking Up: Black Feminist Comedy in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Century United States. Univ. of Iowa. 



Amar, Akhil Reed. The Words That Made Us. Basic.

Anderson, Carol. The Second: Race and Guns in a Fatally Unequal America. Bloomsbury.

Broome, Brian. Punch Me Up to the Gods. Houghton Harcourt.

Burton, Orville Vernon & Armand Derfner. Justice Deferred: Race and the Supreme Court. Belknap.

Elias, Christopher M. Gossip Men: J. Edgar Hoover, Joe McCarthy, Roy Cohn, and the Politics of Insinuation. Univ. of Chicago.

Ellsworth, Scott. The Ground Breaking: An American City and Its Search for Justice. Dutton.

Fagan, Kate. All the Colors Came Out: A Father, a Daughter, and a Lifetime of Lessons. Little, Brown.

Fairbanks, Amanda M. The Lost Boys of Montauk: The True Story of the Wind Blown, Four Men Who Vanished at Sea, and the Survivors They Left Behind. Gallery.

Ferguson, Niall. Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe. Penguin Pr.

Ferling, John E. Winning Independence: The Decisive Years of the Revolutionary War, 1778–1781. Bloomsbury.

Gordon-Reed, Annette. On Juneteenth. Liveright.

Johnson, Katherine, with Joylette Hylick & Katherine Moore. My Remarkable Journey. Amistad.

Malik, Nesrine. We Need New Stories: The Myths That Subvert Freedom. Norton.

Otele, Olivette. African Europeans: An Untold History. Basic.

Pard, Chantale. Anime Clubs for Public Libraries: A Practical Guide for Librarians. Rowman & Littlefield.

Parkinson, Robert G. Thirteen Clocks: How Race United the Colonies and Made the Declaration of Independence. Univ. of North Carolina. 

Perry, Grace. The 2000s Made Me Gay: Essays on Pop Culture. St. Martin’s Griffin.

Sentilles, Sarah. Stranger Care: A Memoir of Loving What Isn’t Ours. Random.

Slingerland, Edward. Drunk: How We Sipped, Danced, and Stumbled Our Way to Civilization. Little, Brown Spark.

Wong, Kent. Swimming to Freedom: My Escape from China and the Cultural Revolution. Abrams.

You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience, and the Black Experience. Random. ed. by Tarana Burke & Brené Brown.



Dada, Samah. Dada Eats Love to Cook It: 100 Plant-Based Recipes for Everyone at Your Table. Rodale.

King Arthur Baking Company. The King Arthur Baking Company’s All-Purpose Baker’s Companion. Countryman Pr.

Lawson, Nigella. Cook, Eat, Repeat: Ingredients, Recipes, and Stories. Ecco: HarperCollins.

Miller, Adrian. Black Smoke: African Americans and the United States of Barbecue. Univ. of North Carolina.

National Audubon Society. National Audubon Society Birds of North America. Knopf.

National Audubon Society. National Audubon Society Trees of North America. Knopf.

Rogers, Adam. Full Spectrum: How the Science of Color Made Us Modern. Houghton Harcourt.

Schmidle, Nicholas. Test Gods: Virgin Galactic and the Making of a Modern Astronaut. Holt.

Simard, Suzanne. Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest. Knopf.

Stanley, Jessamyn. Yoke: My Yoga of Self-Acceptance. Workman.



Byrne, Joseph P. & Jo N. Hays. Epidemics and Pandemics: From Ancient Plagues to Modern-Day Threats. Greenwood.

DeMello, Margo. On the Job: An Encyclopedia of Unique Occupations Around the World. ABC-CLIO.



Bastone, Cara. Flirting with Forever. Harlequin Audio.

Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619–2019. Books on Tape. ed. by Ibram X. Kendi & Keisha N. Blain.

Gailey, Sarah. The Echo Wife. Macmillan Audio.

Hungry Hearts. Books on Tape. ed. by Jennifer Rudolph Walsh.

Kendrick, Stephen & Paul Kendrick. Nine Days: The Race To Save Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life and Win the 1960 Election. Tantor Audio.

Masood, Syed M. The Bad Muslim Discount. Books on Tape.

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