Stephanie Shapiro - The Buffalo News

Share this article

print logo

Stephanie Shapiro


FICTION The Chateau By Paul Goldberg Picador 400 pages, $26 "God save the czar!" shouts Bill, a newly unemployed Russian-American Washington Post reporter. Recently fired for insubordination, he endures a plethora of trials as "The Chateau" builds to a bizarre conclusion. The slogan is mild enough among the residents of the crumbling condo in Miami Beach. An…

Gusto

FICTION Manhattan Beach By Jennifer Egan Scribner 448 pages, $22 Underwater, we float (and sink) rather than walk. Enough sensory deprivation occurs to make the world look the same at first, whether our eyes are open or closed. We hear nothing. The only scent we discern is the tinny compressed air of the diving helmet. The sea in question is New York Harb…

Gusto

FICTION No Saints in Kansas By Amy Brashear Soho Teen 320 pages, $18.99 Truman Capote left New York City for Holcomb, Kansas, as soon as he heard about the murder of a Holcomb farmer, his wife and the two youngest of their four children. In November 1959, just a year after publishing "Breakfast at Tiffany's," Capote was casting about for a new writing projec…

Gusto

FICTION Deadfall By Linda Fairstein Dutton 400 pages, $28 LInda Fairstein's newest thriller opens with Alexandra Cooper, still in her blood-drenched clothes, sitting dazed in the morgue, reliving the impact of her dead boss' body knocking her onto the stone steps of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Of course, Fairstein will reward her heroine with the happ…

Gusto

FICTION The Changeling By Victor Lavalle Spiegel & Grau 436 pages, $28 Forget the movies by the same name -- Clint Eastwood's 2009 police procedural starring Angeline Jolie or George C. Scott's 1980 horror film set in Canada. For all the critical respect they have earned, they share little with the work at hand beyond the title and genre. This "Changelin…

Gusto

FICTION All the Dirty Parts By Daniel Handler Bloomsbury 144 pages, $22 Well, actually not all the dirty parts available via online pornography are here, but enough likely to be used by relatively naive high school boys keep the action moving. And yes, the author's real name is Handler, so giggle if you must. Even more ironic, Daniel Handler also has writ…

Gusto

FICTION South Pole Station By Ashley Shelby Picador 362 pages, $26 No sooner had "South Pole Station" gone on sale early this summer than real-life scientists announced a trillion-ton iceberg had broken off an Antarctic ice shelf and is floating around the Weddell Sea. An ice shelf is thousands of square miles of floating ice. The newly split-off berg its…

Books

FICTION Since We Fell By Dennis Lehane Ecco 420 pages, $27.99 Readers carried away by a  good novel can enjoy the idea that it might become a movie. Dennis Lehane goes them one better: He wrote the novel "Since We Fell" and parts of the screenplay at the same time. And why not?  His "Mystic River" and a handful of other best sellers plus work as a staff writ…

Gusto

NONFICTION It's Up to the Women By Eleanor Roosevelt Nation Books 256 pages, $23 By Stephanie Shapiro Nearly 85 years later, Eleanor Roosevelt's tips for Americans trying to get through the hard times of 1933 hold up fairly well. Many still are practical, despite the differences in our times and hers. Her husband was not yet sworn in for his first term…

FICTION Running By Cara Hoffman Simon & Schuster 276 pages, $26 By Stephanie Shapiro She writes like an angel and creates corners of hell for her characters to inhabit. The result in "Running" is that Cara Hoffman has mastered her craft and produced a full-fledged work of art. As the teen-age drifter Bridey says of herself and her two companions --…

FICTION Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows By Bali Kaur Jaswal HarperCollins 304 pages, $26.99 A former co-worker who learned bare-knuckle politics in Boston during the Kennedy years had a little tradition he (may or may not have) observed when leaving one job for another: “Leave a few little bombs ticking here and there, then sit back and watch as they go of…

NONFICTION Pretend I'm Not Here: How I Worked with Three Newspaper Icons, One Powerful First Lady, and Still Managed to Dig Myself Out of the Washington Swamp By Barbara Feinman Todd William Morrow/HarperCollins 304 pages, $27.99 Barbara Feinman Todd learned journalism from the best -- and the worst, ethically speaking -- and shines up her literary finesse a…

TRUE CRIME My Sweet Angel By John Glatt St. Martin's Press 418 pages, $27.99 Five years old, little Garnett Spears writhed and screamed in pain as his body tried to shake off the poisonous amounts of salt his mother had poured directly into his stomach feeding tube. Any other child might have spit it out or vomited to stop the abdominal pain and the heada…

Books

MEMOIR My Life, My Love, My Legacy By Coretta Scott King, as told to the Rev. Dr. Barbara Reynolds Henry Holt and Company 358 pages, $30 "On Thanksgiving Night 1942, when I was fifteen years old, white racists burned our house to the ground," Coretta Scott King reveals first in this inspiring and still shocking memoir. Her father had built the house with hi…

Books

FICTION The Nix By Nathan Hill Knopf 628 pages, $24.95 Of course, John Irving likes "The Nix" and compares Nathan Hill to Dickens. How could he not? Hill's manic energy and astounding breadth of knowledge put him right in Irving's footsteps and perhaps beyond Dickens in historical scope. Hill starts with the everyday, wanders off into every possible kind …