Valentine's Day Reading

Hello, darling readers! In honor of Valentine's Day, we'll be featuring two reviews on the site this morning. And because we understand that this is the kind of holiday that inspires mixed emotions, our book choices come from two very different places on the literary spectrum:

Cartoon Marriage: Adventures in Love and Matrimony by The New Yorker's Cartooning Couple, by Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin

If the mere thought of Valentine's Day fills your heart with sunshine and joy, we suggest picking up a copy of Liza Donnelly and Michael Maslin's Cartoon Marriage. Donnelly and Maslin are both contract cartoonists for The New Yorker, and their book is a lighthearted collection of more than 200 single-panel cartoons about love and marriage, tied together by a handful of multi-panel original cartoons about their lives together. Touching on everything from sex to child-rearing to the perils of family camping trips, Cartoon Marriage skips merrily along, finding humor even in darker subjects like infidelity and divorce. (Just skip those if you prefer your Valentine's Day to be 100% sweetness and light.) Both artists stick to The New Yorker's tried-and-true formula of simple lines and a black and white palette, but their affection for their subject manner—as well as each other—is evident in every panel.

[Review copy provided by publisher.]

Hush, by Kate White

If, on the other hand, the idea of Valentine's Day makes you downright queasy, you might be better off pre-ordering your copy of Hush, the first standalone novel from Kate White. Sure, there's a heart on the cover, but trust us: the mushiness stops there. White's heroine is Lake Warren, a recently divorced woman struggling to retain primary custody of her children. Ignoring her lawyer's suggestion that she avoid any hint of impropriety that might jeopardize her case, Lake tumbles into bed with a handsome doctor—but when her paramour ends up with his throat cut within twelve hours of their liaison, Lake realizes that she may have risked more than a nasty court battle with her ex.

Hush offers a fast, adrenaline-packed take on the “woman in peril” genre, giving readers a healthy dose of drama and suspense. White's book frequently strains credulity—despite belonging to a pack of wealthy New Yorkers, none of the apartments in her book seem to have effective video security in their entrances, for instance—and it features a scene involving a shaved cat that is, like, super disturbing, but readers who don't mind a little mindless nail-biting are sure to enjoy themselves.

[Review copy provided by publicity agent.]
Posted by: Julianka


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