This Week's Best New Books

1 of 26
Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

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Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

by Anne Lamott

Almost Everything: Notes on Hope

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"Some days there seems to be little reason for hope, in our families, cities, and world," admits essayist Anne Lamott (Hallelujah Anyway; Bird by Bird). "Well, except for almost everything." That exception is the impetus for Lamott's essay collection Almost Everything: Notes on Hope. Lamott, who has made a career out of facing the darkness and then looking for the pinpricks of light, brings her pithy, self-deprecating humor to bear on such topics as a friend's alcoholism, the power of stories ... [ Read More » ]

2 of 26
We Sold Our Souls

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We Sold Our Souls

by Grady Hendrix

We Sold Our Souls

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Twenty years ago, Kris Pulaski's dreams were about to come true. She was the fierce lead guitarist for Dürt Würk, a heavy metal band on the precipice of stardom. But today, Kris is 47, managing a Best Western, and about to be kicked out of the family home. Her life has turned into a nightmare.
 
Dürt Würk's lead singer, Terry, wanted fame and fortune--fast. Just as the band completed the album Troglodyte, Terry declared Dürt Würk dead and presented contracts for
... [ Read More » ]

3 of 26
We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory

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We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory

by Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

We Are the Nerds: The Birth and Tumultuous Life of Reddit, the Internet's Culture Laboratory

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When Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian met at the University of Virginia in the early 2000s, each recognized something of himself in the other. Both college students were smart, good with computers and filled with more ambition than most middle-aged CEOs. They also had their differences. Huffman was a quiet, coding savant with a penchant for pranks, and Ohanian was a charming people person. Like Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs, they were an ideal duo for launching a tech start-up. Fate agreed, and in
... [ Read More » ]

4 of 26
Unsheltered

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Unsheltered

by Barbara Kingsolver

Unsheltered

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Barbara Kingsolver's Unsheltered takes place in Vineland, N.J., in two eras: the end of the 1800s and the present day. In alternating chapters, the novel relays the life of 21st-century grandmother Willa Knox and 19th-century science teacher Thatcher Greenwood. Knox has just inherited an old, dilapidated house in Vineland, and lives there with her husband, Iano, and her terminally ill, Donald Trump-loving father-in-law, Nick. Also residing there are her rebellious adult daughter, Tig, and depressed
... [ Read More » ]

5 of 26
A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir

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A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir

by Kurt Eichenwald

A Mind Unraveled: A Memoir

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In a career that's included hundreds of articles in publications like the New York Times and Newsweek and books about the collapse of Enron (Conspiracy of Fools) and other corporate scandals, investigative journalist Kurt Eichenwald has established himself as a dogged and fearless reporter. But no story he's unearthed is as compelling as the one he tells in his traumatic memoir, A Mind Unraveled. In it he focuses on his battle with epilepsy and the equally fierce fight he
... [ Read More » ]

6 of 26
Listen to the Marriage

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Listen to the Marriage

by John Jay Osborn

Listen to the Marriage

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Whether readers will enjoy John Jay Osborn's Listen to the Marriage depends entirely on whether they're intrigued or horrified by the idea of reading a novel that is, essentially, a year-long transcript of one couple's marital counseling sessions.
 
If that description sends them screaming, they should stay away. But if it doesn't--and perhaps if they're fans of Esther Perel's popular podcast Where Should We Begin?--they may take Osborn's novel as an intimate opportunity to observe the healing
... [ Read More » ]

7 of 26
The Curious Lobster

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The Curious Lobster

by Richard W. Hatch, illus. by Marion Freeman Wakeman

The Curious Lobster

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This delightful edition, titled simply The Curious Lobster, collects in one volume all of the classic Mr. Lobster stories, originally published in The Curious Lobster (1935) and The Curious Lobster's Island (1939). Teacher and author Richard W. Hatch's reissued work includes the original detailed black-and-white engravings by Marion Freeman Wakeman. 
 
Mr. Lobster, bored after 68 years of the same daily routine, ventures onto land because he is inquisitive and wants to know everything about
... [ Read More » ]

8 of 26
Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

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Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani, Viviana Mazza

Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree

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Nigerian author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani's (I Do Not Come to You by Chance) harrowing YA debut is certain to stun readers. Especially staggering is the lengthy afterword by Italian journalist Viviana Mazza explaining that Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree is based on interviews with some of the 276 girls kidnapped by extremist group Boko Haram from the village of Chibok in Borno State, Nigeria, in 2014.
 
The young Nigerian narrator never tells readers her name, but her parents call her "Ya Ta,"
... [ Read More » ]

9 of 26
How to Leave: Quitting the City and Coping with a New Reality

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How to Leave: Quitting the City and Coping with a New Reality

by Erin Clune

How to Leave: Quitting the City and Coping with a New Reality

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Eventually, in the lives of many, the time comes to uproot. Whether it's to start a family, find a new job or change pace a little, trading the city for the suburbs--or a smaller city--requires an adjustment period that can be filled with anxiety, regret, anger, confusion and homesickness. Fortunately for readers of Erin Clune's manifesto on relocation, they don't have to go through this alone.
 
How to Leave: Quitting the City and Coping with a New Reality documents the transition Clune (Sh*tty
... [ Read More » ]

10 of 26
Gordon Ramsay's Healthy, Lean & Fit: Mouthwatering Recipes to Fuel You for Life

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Gordon Ramsay's Healthy, Lean & Fit: Mouthwatering Recipes to Fuel You for Life

by Gordon Ramsay

Gordon Ramsay's Healthy, Lean & Fit: Mouthwatering Recipes to Fuel You for Life

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Decorated chef and television personality Gordon Ramsay shifts from Hell's Kitchen to a healthy kitchen with Gordon Ramsay's Healthy, Lean & Fit: Mouthwatering Recipes to Fuel You for Life.
 
Fans of Ramsay's signature brashness and colorful language will find neither here. Instead, Ramsay (Gordon Ramsay's Home Cooking) adopts a personable tone, writing often of his family and their tastes both in food and fitness. He groups recipes in three sections. In "Healthy," Ramsay shares nourishing,
... [ Read More » ]

11 of 26
City of Crows

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City of Crows

by Chris Womersley

City of Crows

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In 1673, when Charlotte Picot's husband dies of the plague, she leaves her small home village, along with her one remaining son, Nicolas, and searches for a new life. But disaster strikes when ruffians attack them, kidnapping Nicolas and leaving Charlotte for dead. Meanwhile, Adam du Coeuret, also known as Lesage, a tarot card reader imprisoned for performing magic, is set free, and through fate and magic encounters Charlotte. Together, the unlikely duo head to Paris in search of Nicolas. Lesage
... [ Read More » ]

12 of 26
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

by Hank Green

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing

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Hank Green, YouTube celebrity and brother of popular YA author John Green, has turned his attention to fiction with a debut novel, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, that is both thought-provoking and entertaining.
 
Twenty-something April May is working as a graphic designer when she comes across a giant robot-like statue in Manhattan late one night. She calls her friend Andy to bring his video equipment. The two make a video with the statue, which they nickname Carl, thinking it is an art installation,
... [ Read More » ]

13 of 26
Zola's Elephant

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Zola's Elephant

by Randall de Seve, illus. by Pamela Zagarenski

Zola's Elephant

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In Randall de Sève and Pamela Zagarenski's first picture book collaboration, a nameless young girl imagines that her next-door neighbor lives in a stunning, vibrant world... with a pet elephant. Intricate and beautiful, Zola's Elephant displays a perfect balance of text and illustration while asking all readers to remember that what we think isn't necessarily what is true.

A young girl looks out the window at a family moving in next door. A mini, apple-cheeked Pierrot, the girl is dressed ... [ Read More » ]

14 of 26
The Witch Elm

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The Witch Elm

by Tana French

The Witch Elm

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Edgar winner Tana French (The Trespasser) diverges from her Dublin Murder Squad procedural series for the first time with a hair-raising standalone that asks if knowing oneself is truly possible.
 
Toby Hennessy always thought of himself as the lucky sort, until burglars break into his apartment and savagely beat him. Left with fractures and a head injury, he wakes up in the hospital forever changed. Not only does he have a long rehabilitation ahead of him, but the brain trauma has also blurred
... [ Read More » ]

15 of 26
The Clockmaker’s Daughter

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The Clockmaker’s Daughter

by Kate Morton

The Clockmaker’s Daughter

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When Elodie Winslow, an archivist in London, stumbles on a box of assorted artifacts at work, she uncovers a mystery. A leather satchel holds a sepia photograph of a beautiful unknown woman and a sketchbook with an elaborate drawing of Birchwood Manor, home of Victorian painter Edward Radcliffe. But who was the woman, and what was her relationship to Radcliffe? And though she knows it's illogical, Elodie is sure the house is the same one from a bedtime story her mother used to tell. As she begins
... [ Read More » ]

16 of 26
So Far So Good

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So Far So Good

by Ursula K. Le Guin

So Far So Good

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Ursula K. Le  Guin was a popular and influential novelist, essayist and poet. She completed this final book of poetry, So Far So Good, shortly before her death in 2018 at the age of 88.
 
"I am such a long way from my ancestors now/ in my extreme old age that I feel more one of them/ than their descendant." In this book, she is a "little grandmother," the chickadee of her first poem who "gazes critically/ at autumn's entropy." The voice of extreme old age is a rare one in literature. Le Guin
... [ Read More » ]

17 of 26
Sister BFFs

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Sister BFFs

by Philippa Rice

Sister BFFs

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Comics artist and illustrator Philippa Rice (Soppy) captures the love-hate relationship between sisters in the cute graphic novel Sister BFFs. The story, based loosely on Rice's relationship with her younger sister, Holly, does not glamorize sisterhood. Instead, it runs the gamut of exchanges as these siblings poke and prod each other: food fights and disagreements about clothing choices, makeup and hair, as well as straight talk about work, romance and everyday life.
 
The figures are drawn
... [ Read More » ]

18 of 26
Pulse

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Pulse

by Michael Harvey

Pulse

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Emmy and Academy Award nominee Michael Harvey (Brighton) returns to the city of his youth with another thriller alive with the haphazard streets of the Hub. With film rights already optioned, Pulse is a cinematic story of two young parentless brothers and two police detectives--one an Irish Catholic Southie and the other a 250-pound African American raised in a Roxbury tenement. Set in the '70s, Pulse is partly a whodunit, partly a historical coming-of-age story, partly gritty noir
... [ Read More » ]

19 of 26
Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir

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Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir

by Liana Finck

Passing for Human: A Graphic Memoir

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How often do we reinvent ourselves throughout our lifetimes? And what do we gain and lose each time we redefine who we are, to ourselves and to the world at large? These are some of the intriguing questions Liana Finck explores in her graphic memoir, Passing for Human.
 
In Finck's case, she felt like an outsider, different than most people, with desires and dreams that didn't mesh with the conventional standards of being a woman. She called this otherness her shadow, which disappears and reappears
... [ Read More » ]

20 of 26
Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

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Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

by Jake Knapp, John Zeratsky

Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day

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Jake Knapp and John Zeratsky (Sprint) are quick to point out that Make Time is not a productivity book. It's not about "getting more done, finishing your to-dos faster, or outsourcing your life." It is about prioritization, about focusing in on what matters (friends, family, health, hobbies, work, passion projects) and learning to let go of the rest (endless Facebook feeds, e-mail responses, the 24-hour news cycle). The two lay out an overarching strategy for making time (highlight, laser, energize,
... [ Read More » ]

21 of 26
Thank You, Omu!

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Thank You, Omu!

by Oge Mora

Thank You, Omu!

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From an open window of a top-floor apartment on "the corner of First Street and Long Street" comes a most delicious smell. Omu (pronounced AH-moo) is preparing "a thick red stew in a big fat pot for a nice evening meal." The irresistible scent can't be contained: it "waft[s] out the window and out the door, down the hall, toward the street, and around the block."
 
Soon enough, there is a loud "KNOCK!" Omu opens her door to find a little boy who was distracted from playing with his race car
... [ Read More » ]

22 of 26
Hey, Kiddo

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Hey, Kiddo

by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

Hey, Kiddo

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In Hey, Kiddo, author/illustrator Jarrett J. Krosoczka puts his talents to use on a sophisticated project: delving into his own chaotic past.
 
Krosoczka's mother, Leslie, "started using when she was just thirteen years old" and wasn't sure who his father was until Jarrett was born. When Leslie's "terrible decisions" became too dangerous for three-year-old Jarrett, his grandfather Joe insisted on becoming the boy's legal guardian. Jarrett's grandfather, usually depicted puffing a cigarette,
... [ Read More » ]

23 of 26
The Echo Room

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The Echo Room

by Parker Peevyhouse

The Echo Room

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When 16-year-old Rett Ward wakes up in an unfamiliar industrial-metal room with a scar on his head and blood on his clothes, his first thought is "[s]omeone is calling to me...." That "someone" is 16-year-old Bryn, a fellow ward of the state from the same boarding facility as Rett. They don't know where they are or how they got there, but know they need to escape. Just as Rett is getting his bearings, something sets him "spinning into blackness." He wakes up in an unfamiliar industrial-metal room
... [ Read More » ]

24 of 26
God Is Young

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God Is Young

by Pope Francis, trans. by Anne Milano Appel

God Is Young

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In this slim conversational volume, Pope Francis brings his spiritual wisdom and hallmark vivacity to a number of pressing matters. Translated by Anne Milano Appel, God Is Young relays a long conversation between the pontiff and Italian journalist Thomas Leoncini. The title derives from the way Pope Francis describes divinity. Rather than emphasizing Catholic dogma, he constantly conceives of God as a youthful, rejuvenating force that resists rigidity. "The Holy Spirit brings freshness, imagination,
... [ Read More » ]

25 of 26
The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish

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The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish

by Katya Apekina

The Deeper the Water the Uglier the Fish

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Mae is 14, her sister Edie 16, when their mother tries to hang herself from a downstairs rafter of their Louisiana home. Mae, lying on her upstairs bedroom floor, senses what she is doing but does nothing to stop it. Edie arrives in time to save Marianne, who is committed to a mental health facility.
 
The girls are sent to New York to live with their father, Dennis, who walked away from the family 12 years prior. With Marianne as his muse, Dennis became a bestselling author; without her, he's
... [ Read More » ]

26 of 26
Boomer1

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Boomer1

by Daniel Torday

Boomer1

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To some members of the millennial generation, whose formative experiences have included the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the economic hangover from the Great Recession of 2008-09, the relative ease with which their baby boomer parents have moved through life might seem especially galling. Feeding that resentment is the fact that many of those same boomers refuse to step out of the working world into retirement. That's the fuel to which Daniel Torday (The Last Flight of Poxl West) applies his satiric
... [ Read More » ]

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