Alibi V.13 No.38 • Sept 16-22, 2004 

Speed Reader

The Circus in Winter

Cathy Day
Harcourt
hardcover
$23

Many of these finely crafted stories revolve around circus life in a small Indiana town in the late 1800s and early 1900s. According to advance readers, Day, who grew up among circus folk herself, injects a lot of beauty and authenticity into her debut collection.

The Half Brother

Lars Saabye Christensen
Arcade
hardcover
$27

By most accounts, Christensen has delivered a complex dynastic novel covering several decades in the history of an Oslo family. A dense, ambitious but enjoyably readable literary novel.

She Smiled Sweetly

Mary-Ann Tirone Smith
Henry Holt
hardcover
$25

This is the third Smith mystery starring FBI agent Poppy Rice. She Smiled Sweetly has Rice tracing connections from a pregnant corpse discovered in Boston Harbor all the way to the highest echelons of political power in the nation's capital.

Welcome to Lizard Motel: Children, Stories and the Mystery of Making Things Up

Barbara Feinberg
Beacon Press
hardcover
$23

Feinberg's son hated most of the books assigned to him in school, so she decided to read a bunch of them herself. She soon discovered that the books mainly told morose tales designed to expose children to the cruelties of real life. Welcome to Lizard Motel is Feinberg's polemic examining our culture's disturbing ideas about the nature of childhood.