All Stars 2003

Fiction titles which received three or more starred reviews from major review sources.

Annotated lists of books receiving at least one starred review from one of four major review sources: Booklist, Kirkus, LJ and PW. The review source assigns the star.
  • Brick Lane
    Author: Ali, Monica
    Publisher: Scribner $ 25 ISBN: 0743243307
    star Kirkus star LJ star PW
    A stunningly accomplished debut and already an international sensation--the story of one outsider's quest to find her voice. What could not be changed must be borne. And since nothing could be changed, everything had to be borne. This principle ruled her life.
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts
    Updated 6.25.03
  • Oryx and Crake
    Author: Atwood, Margaret
    Publisher: Doubleday $ 26 ISBN: 03885503857
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    With command of her material and with her sharp wit and dark humor, Atwood projects a conceivable future of the world, a place left devastated in the wake of ecological and scientific disaster, and populated by a cast of characters who will continue to inhabit dreams long after the book is closed.
    Updated 4.7.03
  • Drop City
    Author: Boyle, T.C.
    Publisher: Viking $ 25.95 ISBN: 0670031720
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    Boyle has proven himself to be a master storyteller who can do just about anything. But even his most ardent admirers may be caught off guard by his ninth novel, for Boyle has delivered something completely unexpected: a serious and richly rewarding character study that is his most accomplished and deeply satisfying work to date.
    Updated 1.3.03
  • A Son of War
    Author: Bragg, Melvyn
    Publisher: Arcade $ 25.95 ISBN: 1559706864
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    This novel takes up where The Soldier's Return left off, following the lives of the Richardson family from 1947 to the mid-1950s. If the earlier novel focused on the father, Sam, the sequel gives equal emphasis to the son, Joe, who is eight as the story opens and an adolescent as it closes.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Fiction Stars
    Updated 8.13.03
  • The Guards
    Author: Bruen, Ken
    Publisher: Minotaur $ 23.95 ISBN: 0312303556
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    In this mesmerizing work of crime fiction, an ex-member of The Guards--Ireland's police force--is approached in a Galway bar by a dazzling woman with a strange request and a rumor about his talent for finding things.
    Link: Guardian article - Down the mean streets of Galway
    Updated 12.23.02
  • A Memory of War
    Author: Busch, Frederick
    Publisher: Norton $ 25.95 ISBN: 0393049787
    star PW star Kirkus star Booklist
    Psychologist Alexander Lescziak has a life of quiet sophistication, until a new patient declares that he is the doctor's half-brother, the product of a union between Lescziak's Jewish mother and a German prisoner of war.
    Updated 1.06.03
  • A Whistling Woman
    Author: Byatt, A. S.
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26 ISBN: 0375415343
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    The triumphant conclusion to Byatt's dazzling quartet of novels about English life is set in the late 1960s as the world begins to split. While Frederica--the spirited heroine of the novels--falls into a career in television in London, tumultuous events in her home county of Yorkshire threaten to change her life and those of the people she loves.
    Updated 12.2.02
  • Long For This World
    Author: Byers, Michael
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin $ 24 ISBN: 039589171x
    star PW star LJ star Kirkus
    Byers' award-winning debut collection, The Coast of Good Intentions, won universal praise for its mature wisdom and deeply affecting characters. Now his exhilarating first novel showcases his extraordinary gifts in the suspenseful story of a geneticist grappling with an astonishing discovery.
    Updated 4.8.03
  • Persuader
    Author: Child, Lee
    Publisher: Delacorte $ 24.95 ISBN: 0385336667
    star PW star Kirkus star Booklist
    Introducing Persuader, Child's most electrifying suspense novel yet--featuring his utterly unique hero, ex-Army cop Jack Reacher. This time Reacher goes undercover to investigate the disappearance of a federal agent from a drug dealer's home.
    Updated 3.31.03
  • Lost Light
    Author: Connelly, Michael
    Publisher: Little Brown $ 25.95 ISBN: 0316154601
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW star LJ
    The bestselling author of City of Bones and Chasing the Dime brings lone wolf Harry Bosch out of retirement and on a wild excursion into evil, seeking the truth about a cold case that still haunts the LAPD, movie studios--and Bosch himself.
    Updated 3.31.03
  • The Furies
    Author: Eberstadt, Fernanda
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26 ISBN: 0375412565
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    In a tale of sexual obsession gone wrong, Gwen Lewis finds herself unable to be a mother without driving away Gideon, the father of her child, while he--determined to save their daughter from Gwen's moneyed values--is driven to spectacular self-destruction.
    Updated 9.22.03
  • The Master Butchers Singing Club
    Author: Erdrich, Louise
    Publisher: HarperCollins $ 25.95 ISBN: 0066209773
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    A brilliant new book by one of America's most acclaimed novelists, in The Master Butchers Singing Club Erdrich creates a fictional world filled with memorable characters who grapple with the worst and best impulses of human nature.
    Updated 12.23.02
  • Our Lady of the Forest
    Author: Guterson, David
    Publisher: Knopf $ 25.95 ISBN: 0375412115
    star LJ star Kirkus star PW
    In a suspenseful and emotionally charged story of faith at a contemporary crossroads, the bestselling author of Snow Falling on Cedars offers a provocative new novel about a teenage girl who claims to see the Virgin Mary.
    Updated 7.28.03
  • Great Fire
    Author: Hazzard, Shirley
    Publisher: Farrar Straus & Giroux $ 24 ISBN: 0374166447
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist star LJ
    This is Hazzard's first novel since The Transit of Venus, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award. The conflagration of her title is the Second World War. In war-torn Asia and stricken Europe, men and women must reinvent their lives and expectations, and learn, from their past, to dream again.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Fiction Stars | World Wars
    Updated 10.7.03
  • The Mammoth Cheese
    Author: Holman, Sheri
    Publisher: Atlantic $ 24 ISBN: 0871139006
    star LJ star PW star Kirkus
    On publication of her last novel, The Dress Lodger, The New York Times declared Holman an author with "an outstanding, generous, and fertile imagination." Now Holman delivers a sharp, contemporary story steeped in history that will captivate a new audience while gratifying readers of her earlier work.
    Updated 6.19.03
  • Where the Truth Lies
    Author: Holmes, Rupert
    Publisher: Random $ 24.95 SBN: 0679452206
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    " Rupert Holmes seats you gently next to an irresistible narrator only to entangle you completely in her twisted, dark, exhilarating troubles. The ensuing thriller crosses a Dickensian world of deceit and destiny with the slipping glory of 1970s New York and Los Angeles. Every character is so alive with delicious secrets that you'll never suspect Where the Truth Lies." --Matthew Pearl, author of The Dante Club
    Suggested Reading: Fiction & Mystery Debuts
    Updated 6.25.03
  • Due Preparations for the Plague
    Author: Hospital, Janette Turner
    Publisher: Norton $ 24.95 ISBN: 039305764x
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    Hospital's electrifying new novel is a tightly woven web of familial and national histories, of sexual and political passions, and of individual and national complicities in the age of terrorism. She probes with astonishing acuity the murky worlds of espionage and intelligence gathering and the painful meaning of survival.
    Updated 5.29.03 What I Loved
    Author: Hustvedt, Siri
    Publisher: Holt $ 25 ISBN: 0805071709
    star PW star LJ star Booklist
    From the author of The Enchantment of Lily Dahl comes a powerful and heartbreaking novel that chronicles the epic story of two families, two sons, and two marriages."
    Updated 2.20.03
  • Deafening
    Author: Itani, Frances
    Publisher: Atlantic $ 24 ISBN: 0871139022
    star PW star LJ star Kirkus
    Elegantly written and profoundly moving, Deafening is a tale of remarkable virtuosity and power, set on the eve of the Great War and spanning two continents and the life and loves of a young deaf woman in Canada named Grania O'Neill.
    Updated 6.19.03
  • The Known World
    Author: Jones, Edward P.
    Publisher: Amistad $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060557540
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    Henry Townsend, a black bootmaker and former slave in antebellum Virginia, becomes a proprietor of his own plantation--as well as his own slaves. This modern masterpiece explores what happens when he dies and "the known world" unravels.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Fiction Stars | African American Stars
    Updated 10.2.03
  • Keeping Watch
    Author: King, Laurie R.
    Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell $ 23.95 ISBN: 0553801910
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist star PW
    After years of rescuing children and on the brink of retirement, Alan Carmichael decides to rescue one last teenager from an abusive parent. But, once the boy is safely hidden, Carmichael begins to doubt his decision to intervene: Has he turned a killer free to kill again?
    Updated 2.4.03
  • Shutter Island
    Author: Lehane, Dennis
    Publisher: Morrow $ 25.95 ISBN: 0688163173
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    The New York Times bestselling author of Mystic River and master of the new noir returns with a scorching psychological thriller set in 1954 at Ashcliffe Hospital--a federal institution for the criminally insane. As a storm threatens to strand U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner Chuck Aule, they stumble into an evil darker than any nightmare.
    Updated 4.9.03
  • The Clarninet Polka
    Author: Maillard, Keith
    Publisher: St Martins $ 24.95 ISBN: 0312308892
    star Kirkus star Booklist star LJ star PW
    This hard-edged, sweet-souled story of a heart's homecoming is deeply and authentically rooted in Polish-American culture. A remarkable novel from an important writer.
    Suggested Reading: Music & Fiction
    Updated 1.3.03
  • As Meat Loves Salt
    Author: McCann, Maria
    Publisher: Harvest $ 15 (paper) ISBN: 015601226x
    star PW star Kirkus star LJ
    A darkly erotic tale of passion and obsession, As Meat Loves Salt is a gripping portrait of 17th-century England beset by war. It is also a moving portrait of a man on the brink of madness. Hailed as a masterpiece, this is a first novel by an original new voice in fiction.
    Updated 11.05.02
  • The Pleasure of My Company: A Novella
    Author: Martin, Steve
    Publisher: Hyperion $ 19.95 ISBN: 0786869216
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist star PW
    From the bestselling author of Shopgirl comes a tender novella of a troubled man who finds love, and life in the most unexpected place.
    Updated 9.22.03
  • The King in the Tree: Three Novellas
    Author: Millhauser, Steven
    Publisher: Knopf $ 23 ISBN: 0375415408
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    From the author of Edwin Mullhouse and the Pulitzer Prize-winning Martin Dressier come three dazzling novellas about the many shapes of love.
    Updated 1.20.03
  • Love
    Author: Morrison, Toni
    Publisher: Knopf $ 23.95 ISBN: 0375409440
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    From the internationally acclaimed Nobel laureate comes a richly conceived novel that illuminates the full spectrum of desire. More than the wealthy owner of the famous Cosey Hotel and Resort, Bill Cosey shapes the yearnings of six women for father, husband, lover, guardian, friend--yearnings that dominate their lives long after his death.
    Suggested Reading: African American Stars
    Updated 9.08.03
  • All Over Creation
    Author: Ozeki, Ruth L.
    Publisher: Viking $ 24.95 ISBN: 0670030910
    star Kirkus star PW star Booklist
    From the author of My Year of Meats comes the story of a Japanese-American prodigal daughter just trying to make sense of it all as the unceasing cycle of all creation continues around her.
    Updated 2.20.03
  • The Time of Our Singing
    Author: Powers, Richard
    Publisher: Farrar $ 28 ISBN: 0374277826
    star Kirkus star Booklist star LJ
    A magnificent, multifaceted novel about a supremely gifted--and divided--family, set against the backdrop of postwar America. The Time of Our Singing is a story of self-invention, allegiance, race, cultural ownership, the compromised power of music, and the tangled loops of time that rewrite all belonging.
    Updated 11.05.02
  • Good Faith
    Author: Smiley, Jane
    Publisher: Knopf $ 26 ISBN: 0375412174
    star Kirkus star Booklist star PW
    From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres comes a masterly novel about some very American seductions: money, sex, and real estate. Good Faith is an extraordinary story about ordinary people caught up in the exotic 1980s version of the American Dream, as greed and financial game-playing explode on Main Street.
    Updated 2.20.03
  • Bay of Souls
    Author: Stone, Robert
    Publisher: Houghton Mifflin $ 25 ISBN: 0395963494
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ
    Stone's fever dream of possession is a remarkable new psychological thriller of razor-sharp intensity: mysterious, erotic, and deeply readable. When a college professor pursues Lara Purcell to her native island of St. Trinity, he is caught unawares in a high-stakes smuggling scheme as his world becomes an ever-shifting phantasmagoria.
    Updated 3.13.02
  • The Force of the Past
    Author: Veronesi, Sandro
    Publisher: Ecco $ 23.95 ISBN: 0066212456
    star Kirkus star LJ star Booklist
    A bizarre stranger enters the life of one Gianni Orzan, then promptly rewrites his entire past in this award-winning Italian novel.
    Updated 2.28.03
  • Fanny: A Fiction
    Author: White, Edmund
    Publisher: Ecco $ 24.95 ISBN: 0060004843
    star Kirkus star PW star LJ star Booklist
    This highly anticipated work is a brilliant novel based on the life of Fanny Wright--Scottish gentlewoman, early abolitionist, plantation owner, and newspaper publisher.
    Suggested Reading: Historical Fiction Stars
    Updated 10.2.03

Starred Review Lists

Books that received at least one starred review from Booklist, Kirkus, LJ, and PW.

2013 Crime Fiction: Jan-June | Fiction: Jan-June | Speculative Fiction

2012 Crime Fiction: July-Dec | Fiction: July-Dec | Speculative Fiction

Hotlists@ Google Docs

Crime Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

Fiction... 2013 | 2012 | 2011

(lists of new and notable books - lists are sortable and can be downloaded)

more stars lists...

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