This Week's Best New Books

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What Could Be Saved

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What Could Be Saved

by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz

What Could Be Saved

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Liese O'Halloran Schwarz's What Can Be Saved is a family saga, a mystery and a lush depiction of expat Americans in 1970s Asia that moves seamlessly among decades and between continents.

In 2019, a stranger in Thailand e-mails Laura Preston in Washington, D.C., with a shocking claim: that she knows Philip, Laura's brother, who disappeared in that country more than 40 years earlier. Laura flies to Bangkok, defying her sister Bea's caution that it's a hoax. With this, readers sense the mystery that ... [ Read More » ]

2 of 25
The Lost Manuscript

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The Lost Manuscript

by Cathy Bonidan, trans. by Emma Ramadam

The Lost Manuscript

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French author Cathy Bonidan's English-language debut, The Lost Manuscript, is a moving epistolary adventure that follows four lost people on a mission to find an author. When Anne-Lise Briard discovers a manuscript in her hotel room in Brittany, she's inspired by its contents and decides to return it to the author herself, instead of handing it in at the front desk. The postal system is able to find Sylvestre, the author of the first half of the manuscript, and he and Anne-Lise start exchanging letters. ... [ Read More » ]

3 of 25
Let Me Tell You What I Mean

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Let Me Tell You What I Mean

by Joan Didion

Let Me Tell You What I Mean

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Joan Didion's literary career has spanned more than half a century and has earned her justifiable acclaim. But long before she produced award-winning works like The Year of Magical Thinking, she was delivering articles to publications that included the Saturday Evening Post and the New York Times Magazine. Let Me Tell You What I Mean features 12 of those previously uncollected pieces that together foreshadow Didion's distinctive style and the considerable range of her interests. ... [ Read More » ]

4 of 25
A Complicated Love Story Set in Space

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A Complicated Love Story Set in Space

by Shaun David Hutchinson

A Complicated Love Story Set in Space

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Outlandish adventure and meaningful self-discovery combine in Shaun David Hutchinson's A Complicated Love Story Set in Space, a far-out, genre-bending novel for teens.

"You are in space, floating outside a ship called Qriosity. There is no reason to panic."

Noa begs to differ. One minute the jaded teenager was in bed in Seattle, the next he's in a space suit warning him his "heart rate is exceeding the maximum recommended beats per minute." Noa isn't alone--two other teens are also on the ship, with ... [ Read More » ]

5 of 25
Concrete Rose

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Concrete Rose

by Angie Thomas

Concrete Rose

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In this impressive, highly dramatic prequel to Angie Thomas's much celebrated The Hate U Give, Black 17-year-old Maverick Carter must choose between gang life and domestic life when he becomes a father.

Maverick is the son of "Li'l Don" Adonis, the incarcerated leader of the King Lords gang. Despite his father's legacy, Mav operates at the gang's bottom ranks. He and best friend King also sell drugs behind the gang's back to make fast cash. Then Mav--who is in love with a young woman named Lisa--finds ... [ Read More » ]

6 of 25
If I Disappear

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If I Disappear

by Eliza Jane Brazier

If I Disappear

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"I have been alone for the past year, trapped on my bed in my room, listening to you. I have accomplished nothing, apart from memorizing your every word." As far as obsessive fans go, there are worse than 33-year-old Sera Fleece, who narrates Eliza Jane Brazier's seductively disquieting debut, If I Disappear, as though she's speaking directly to the object of her infatuation.

Sera is sure that something has happened to Rachel Bard--something along the lines of what's befallen the missing women ... [ Read More » ]

7 of 25
Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear

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Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear

by Carl L. Hart

Drug Use for Grown-Ups: Chasing Liberty in the Land of Fear

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Carl L. Hart is engaging and informative in his campaign against the War on Drugs. As a professor of psychology at Columbia University and a research scientist at the New York State Psychiatric Institute, he wields impressive expertise on the effects of chemicals on the human brain. As a Black man, husband, father and recreational drug user, he's also well-acquainted with the misinformation and political agendas that unnecessarily complicate the relationship between adults and their leisure activities. ... [ Read More » ]

8 of 25
Doors of Sleep: Journals of Zaxony Delatree

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Doors of Sleep: Journals of Zaxony Delatree

by Tim Pratt

Doors of Sleep: Journals of Zaxony Delatree

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"Here's the situation. Every time I fall asleep, I wake up in another universe." Twenty-two-year-old Zax hurtles through a complex multiverse in Tim Pratt's Doors of Sleep: Journals of Zaxony Delatree. This imaginative adventure stands on the shoulders of classic science fiction action novels like H.G. Wells's The Time Machine and provides as much entertainment.

Zak can't explain his predicament, but he knows he's been to more than 1,000 separate universes. Luckily, he stumbles on ways to counter ... [ Read More » ]

9 of 25
Deep into the Dark

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Deep into the Dark

by P.J. Tracy

Deep into the Dark

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An emotionally and physically scarred army veteran's attempts to manage civilian life jumpstarts Deep into the Dark, an exciting series launch that also sets a new direction for P.J. Tracy's career. It skillfully melds the psychological thriller with the police procedural while persuasively delving into veterans' issues.

The only soldier to survive a car bombing, Sam Easton returned from Afghanistan with half his face disfigured and deep mental wounds that cause blackouts. Each day is a trial in ... [ Read More » ]

10 of 25
The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication

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The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication

by Alexander Larman

The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication

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If books were food, Alexander Larman's The Crown in Crisis: Countdown to the Abdication would have the nutrients of spinach and the decadence of a chocolate cupcake. History buffs can guiltlessly consume this abdication saga alongside fans of The Crown because underneath the juicy empire-shaking scandal that's at the book's heart, The Crown in Crisis is a marvel of erudition.

When he was the Prince of Wales, Edward VIII fell for Wallis Simpson, a married American woman. Their love endured through ... [ Read More » ]

11 of 25
The Cathedral

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The Cathedral

by Ben Hopkins

The Cathedral

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Ben Hopkins's debut novel, The Cathedral, immerses readers in the cutthroat world of 13th-century Rhineland. In the town of Hagenburg, the construction of the titular cathedral draws together residents from all walks of life. A farmer apprentices as a stonecutter to work on the cathedral. The bishop's treasurer chases the funding while wrestling with the politics of the church and the Holy Roman Empire. But this is a time of massive cultural shifts. Money is becoming more important than land as a ... [ Read More » ]

12 of 25
American Daughter

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American Daughter

by Stephanie Thornton Plymale

American Daughter

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Stephanie Thornton Plymale is the American dream. She has a long, loving marriage, wonderful children, a thriving design business and a position as CEO of the Heritage School of Interior Design. But her poignant and often distressing memoir, American Daughter, does not begin there. Plymale is also "an American nightmare," a child failed by every part of the American system and, most egregiously, by her mother.

American Daughter opens in 1974, with Plymale and her four siblings (from various fathers ... [ Read More » ]

13 of 25
With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Black Community Activism

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With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Black Community Activism

by Laura L. Lovett

With Her Fist Raised: Dorothy Pitman Hughes and the Transformative Power of Black Community Activism

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The 1971 photo is famous: Gloria Steinem and Dorothy Pitman Hughes stare unsmilingly at the camera, suffering exactly no fools, while giving the Black Power salute. In With Her Fist Raised, Laura L. Lovett writes of the less famous of the two women, a take-charge force for change and a harbinger of the intersectional feminism to come.

Born in 1938, Hughes was raised in a sprawling, loving household in Charles Junction, Ga. Knowing that her horizons were limited in the South, Hughes moved to New York ... [ Read More » ]

14 of 25
Walking with Ghosts

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Walking with Ghosts

by Gabriel Byrne

Walking with Ghosts

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Irish actor Gabriel Byrne has maintained a lauded and diverse career on stage and screen for 40 years. And the story of his life--especially his formative years as the oldest child in a poor, hardworking family at a time when Ireland was struggling to find a place in the modern world and the twisty roads he's traveled as a performer--is as fascinating as his long list of credits.

Byrne was born in Dublin in 1950, a time when the Catholic Church anchored the lives of many in Ireland. The church's ... [ Read More » ]

15 of 25
Someday My Duke Will Come

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Someday My Duke Will Come

by Christina Britton

Someday My Duke Will Come

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Christina Britton (A Good Duke Is Hard to Find) proves she has mastered the craft of engaging Regency romance with Someday My Duke Will Come. The second in the Isle of Synne series, this novel (which is dreadfully shocking by Regency standards) can be enjoyed as a standalone, and features Lady Clara Ashford, a determined single woman in her early 30s.

Clara means to never marry. Fifteen years earlier, a rogue took advantage of her innocence, and since then a remorseful Clara has devoted her life ... [ Read More » ]

16 of 25
Sleep Well, My Lady

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Sleep Well, My Lady

by Kwei Quartey

Sleep Well, My Lady

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Kwei Quartey continues his PI Emma Djan series (The Missing American) in Sleep Well, My Lady, an intriguing mystery that centers on the murder of a famous Ghanaian designer. Lady Araba, the mogul of her own fashion label, has had a tumultuous on-and-off affair with talk show host Augustus Seeza for several years. When her body is found in her bed the day before an important runway show, many people are immediately suspicious that Augustus, an alcoholic, was involved.

But Augustus has influential ... [ Read More » ]

17 of 25
Shipped

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Shipped

by Angie Hockman

Shipped

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Angie Hockman's first novel, Shipped, is a smart, crackling romantic comedy narrated by the driven and self-deprecating Henley Rose Evans. The 28-year-old shares her single life and one-bedroom Belltown, Seattle, apartment with a gray tabby. Henley had designs on seeing the whole world until "life happened," and adult bill-paying became her priority. A job at Seaquest Adventures--a boutique cruise ship line--seemed right up her alley and inspired her "big dreams for a shiny, successful career." ... [ Read More » ]

18 of 25
Remote Control

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Remote Control

by Nnedi Okorafor

Remote Control

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World Fantasy Award-winning Nigerian-American sci-fi master Nnedi Okorafor (Binti: Home; Akata Witch) will enthrall readers with this Afrofuturist novella about a Ghanaian girl cursed with mysterious, deadly powers.

Before Ghana comes to know her as Sankofa, the Adopted Daughter of Death, she is Fatima, a malaria-prone five-year-old nicknamed "Starwriter" because she draws constellations and imaginary "sky words" in the soil. After a mysterious meteor shower, Fatima finds a glowing green seed beneath ... [ Read More » ]

19 of 25
Laziness Does Not Exist

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Laziness Does Not Exist

by Devon Price

Laziness Does Not Exist

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There's a reason that revelatory ideas seem to arrive when completing idle tasks like driving a car or taking a shower. In Laziness Does Not Exist, social psychologist Devon Price convincingly argues that people's brains work best when they step away from the constant barrage of notifications, unanswered e-mails and other obligations--in other words, when they allow themselves to be a little bit lazy. Doing this is harder than it sounds. In the United States, much of life is dictated by what Price ... [ Read More » ]

20 of 25
Knock Knock

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Knock Knock

by Anders Roslund

Knock Knock

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At the start of Knock Knock, a heart-pounding thriller by Ander Roslund (co-author of Box 21), young Stockholm police officer Ewert Grens responds to a residential noise complaint. A disheveled five-year-old girl answers the door and Grens discovers a macabre murder scene. The child witness is too young to explain what happened to her family, and the killers were too smart to leave behind any clues. The police place the girl in witness protection, and the murder eventually becomes a cold case. Seventeen ... [ Read More » ]

21 of 25
This Small Blue Dot

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This Small Blue Dot

by Zeno Sworder

This Small Blue Dot

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Zeno Sworder's debut, This Small Blue Dot, a welcome-to-the-world picture book, is funny and serious, uplifting and humbling, visionary and earthy. And sometimes that's on just one page.

The book begins with a girl who looks and sounds about eight addressing a baby (an awfully cute stand-in for the reader): "Welcome to Earth./ There's a lot of strange stuff going on out there, but here are some of the things I've worked out so far." She proceeds to supply some facts and opinions, which are variously ... [ Read More » ]

22 of 25
Starla Jean: Which Came First: The Chicken or the Friendship?

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Starla Jean: Which Came First: The Chicken or the Friendship?

by Elana K. Arnold, illus. by A.N. Kang

Starla Jean: Which Came First: The Chicken or the Friendship?

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A wide-eyed and determined child finds a peckish new friend at the park (much to her family's chagrin) in this playful beginning chapter book from Elana K. Arnold (Red Hood; What Riley Wore) and A.N. Kang (My Big Bad Monster).

A bicycle ride through the neighborhood with her father leads young Starla Jean to discover a chicken scritch-scratching among some trees. "If you can catch it, you can keep it!" her father declares cavalierly. The resolute Starla Jean surprises "the skinniest, ugliest chicken ... [ Read More » ]

23 of 25
Ensnared in the Wolf's Lair: Inside the 1944 Plot to Kill Hitler and the Ghost Children of His Revenge

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Ensnared in the Wolf's Lair: Inside the 1944 Plot to Kill Hitler and the Ghost Children of His Revenge

by Ann Bausum

Ensnared in the Wolf's Lair: Inside the 1944 Plot to Kill Hitler and the Ghost Children of His Revenge

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Ann Bausum's engrossing Ensnared in the Wolf's Lair details Adolf Hitler's sweeping revenge against participants (and their families) in a failed coup and assassination attempt.

Bausum charts Hitler's rise to power and the subsequent resistance by German dissidents that culminated in a failed attack on Hitler at his isolated military outpost, the Wolf's Lair. Trusted associates and community leaders banded together against the regime to mount an assault code-named Operation Valkyrie. When the plot ... [ Read More » ]

24 of 25
Dog Flowers

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Dog Flowers

by Danielle Geller

Dog Flowers

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That Danielle Geller survived to write Dog Flowers seems miraculous. Her raw debut might need a content warning: abandonment, alcoholism, attempted suicide, domestic violence, parental incarcerations, family deaths--much of which is intrinsically linked to her enigmatic, missing mother. In bearing elegiac witness to aching losses, Geller finds surprising paths toward healing rewards.

Laureen "Tweety" Lee was homeless before dying alone of alcohol withdrawal at 49 in a Florida hospital. Geller, her ... [ Read More » ]

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Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping

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Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping

by Matthew Salesses

Craft in the Real World: Rethinking Fiction Writing and Workshopping

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"Why do we believe there is any such thing as 'pure craft'?" writes novelist Matthew Salesses. "When writers identify race and gender and sexuality, etc., as central concerns of writing, it isn't because they have nothing to say about pacing or space breaks. They are doing the hard work other writers avoid, in order to shed light on the nature of craft itself."

Salesses shows that one can teach the finer points of writing by using them to call attention to what is left unsaid: questions about one's ... [ Read More » ]

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