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A Discovery of Witches

by Deborah Harkness |

REVIEWED BY LISA KAY GREISSINGER

People

PICK

NOVEL

At 579 pages, this novel may look like a doorstop, but don’t let its heft scare you. Harkness, a history professor, has created a wonderfully imaginative grown-up fantasy with all the magic of Harry Potter or Twilight. Historian Diana Bishop-who’s also a witch, though she’s renounced her powers since her parents’ violent deaths-is studying the connection between alchemy and the evolution of science. But when she unearths an enchanted manuscript in one of Oxford University’s libraries, she finds herself being pursued by demons, vampires and fellow witches intent on learning the book’s long-lost secrets. What more could a reader want? A love story, of course, and Harkness provides a delicious one: Handsome Matthew Clairmont, geneticist and vampire, is keen to help Diana solve the manuscript’s puzzle and, ultimately, learn the truth about her own magical heritage. An irresistible tale of wizardry, science and forbidden love, Discovery will leave you longing for the sequel.

The Pioneer Woman

by Ree Drummond |

REVIEWED BY ROBIN MICHELI

MEMOIR

Fans of Drummond’s blog and cookbook will eat up this breathless blow-by-blow chronicle of falling in love with Marlboro Man, a.k.a. her husband, and adapting to life on his ranch. For the uninitiated, though, the gushing over her M.M. and his Wrangler-clad physique may induce toothache. Luckily, generous dollops of self-deprecating humor contribute a welcome tang.

A Tiger in the Kitchen

by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan |

REVIEWED BY BETH PERRY

MEMOIR

After losing her job as a Manhattan fashion writer, Tan visited Singapore to master her family’s recipes. Her prose is breezy, and her descriptions of duck soup and pineapple tarts entice. But the meat in this memoir is what Tan learns about her resilient family, whose members come together both to cook and to heal.