This Week's Best New Books

1 of 25
One Another

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One Another

by Monique Schwitter, trans. by Tess Lewis

One Another

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One Another is a story of love and regret by Swiss novelist Monique Schwitter, translated from the German by Tess Lewis. An unnamed narrator hears news that sparks memories of a "long-destroyed, shredded story whose scraps and tatters are banding together, piling up, towering over me--and forming hideous new aspects and grimaces."

The narrator, a writer, Googles the name of her first lover, Petrus, only to discover that he recently committed suicide. This shock upends her already shaky relationship ... [ Read More » ]

2 of 25
Never Tell

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Never Tell

by Lisa Gardner

Never Tell

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Thankfully, Lisa Gardner chucked her career in food service after catching her hair on fire too many times, freeing her to become the author of 20-plus thrillers. Gardner's writing is ever-evolving as she adds new forms and actors to the mix. In the 10th installment of her Detective D.D. Warren series, Never Tell, Gardner gives equal time to a newly recurring character, survivor advocate and confidential informant Flora Dane, and to the suspect in the murder at hand, Evie Carter.

Evie is found standing ... [ Read More » ]

3 of 25
The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away

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The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away

by Ronald L. Smith

The Owls Have Come to Take Us Away

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Twelve-year-old Simon is picked on by other kids. He lives on an Air Force base with his white father and black mother and is obsessed with aliens. One kind of alien in particular freaks him out: Grays. "It's such a simple word. A color.... Something unknowable. Something that makes [him] not want to sleep."

When Simon's dad tells him the family is going camping that coming weekend, Simon is not happy. But his dad is a man's man, always talking up "the great outdoors" and dragging his family along ... [ Read More » ]

5 of 25
A Friend for Henry

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A Friend for Henry

by Jenn Bailey, illus. by Mika Song

A Friend for Henry

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A child on the autism spectrum navigates the challenge of finding a good friend in this sweet, understated classroom adventure written by newcomer Jenn Bailey with diaphanous illustrations by Mika Song (Picnic with Oliver, Harry and Clare's Amazing Staycation).

Henry, a rosy-cheeked boy with sweeps of dark hair, wants to make a friend who isn't his teacher or Gilly the classroom fish. But he can't find the right fit: "tangle of colors" Vivianne loves her rainbow nail polish, but not the rainbows ... [ Read More » ]

6 of 25
The Familiars

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The Familiars

by Stacey Halls

The Familiars

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For her debut novel, journalist Stacey Halls has crafted an engaging and atmospheric tale out of a dark chapter from English history. Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old and pregnant for the fourth time when the story opens in the spring of 1612. Weak and sick after three previous miscarriages, Fleetwood discovers among her husband's papers a letter from her physician that says she will not survive another pregnancy. While reeling from the knowledge that her husband is willing to sacrifice her ... [ Read More » ]

7 of 25
Cherokee America

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Cherokee America

by Margaret Verble

Cherokee America

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Margaret Verble's sophomore novel is set 50 years prior to the events in her debut, Maud's Line, finalist for the 2016 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction. Cherokee America follows one family's tumultuous spring in an 1875 Cherokee Nation West community.

A series of unpleasant surprises plagues Cherokee "Check" America Singer as she attempts to juggle running a farm, mothering five boys and nursing her dying husband. Puny, her African American hired hand, has fathered a baby out of wedlock, much to the dismay ... [ Read More » ]

8 of 25
The Cassandra

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The Cassandra

by Sharma Shields

The Cassandra

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In The Cassandra, the eccentric Mildred Groves goes to work as a secretary at the Hanford research center. Situated by the Columbia River in a remote corner of Washington State, the top-secret Hanford site is host to hundreds of scientists and workers building a "product" to put an end to World War II. Mildred is thrilled at the opportunity to leave her unhealthy relationship with her mother behind and apply herself to meaningful, patriotic work with a "gallant dutifulness," but the longer she spends ... [ Read More » ]

9 of 25
Black Leopard, Red Wolf

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Black Leopard, Red Wolf

by Marlon James

Black Leopard, Red Wolf

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Marlon James's fourth novel channels his interests in history and the supernatural into a full-blown fantasy epic. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is his follow-up to the Man Booker Prize-winning A Brief History of Seven Killings, and the first entry in the Dark Star trilogy. The novel takes place in an ancient Africa where gods and mythical creatures walk among humans; the protagonist, appropriately named Tracker, earns a living tracking down lost people with his extraordinary sense of smell. Tracker is ... [ Read More » ]

10 of 25
Bangkok Wakes to Rain

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Bangkok Wakes to Rain

by Pitchaya Sudbanthad

Bangkok Wakes to Rain

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Pitchaya Sudbanthad's Bangkok Wakes to Rain is a kaleidoscope of perspectives and stories: a flurry of lives that pass by each other, inhabit the same spaces and impact their city. Reminiscent of David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, this is a novel comprised of many stories that crisscross and break apart, forming a fractured, buzzing depiction of one of the world's great metropolises.

With no strict chronology, Bangkok Wakes to Rain follows inhabitants of a building in the middle of ... [ Read More » ]

11 of 25
Arturo's Island

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Arturo's Island

by Elsa Morante, trans. by Ann Goldstein

Arturo's Island

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First published in 1957, Arturo's Island is the story of a young boy, more or less abandoned by the father he idolizes, in a remote and dilapidated home on the island of Procida, off the coast of Naples. Isolated and idealistic, Arturo lives through the books he reads--stories of adventure and heroes, in whose roles he imagines his father. Then, his father returns to Procida with a child bride, Nunziatella. At 16, she is only a few years older than Arturo, and the boy is plunged into a maelstrom ... [ Read More » ]

13 of 25
American Spy

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American Spy

by Lauren Wilkinson

American Spy

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In 1986, Marie, a young black woman, is irritated by the limits imposed on her at the FBI. Her career has hit a ceiling thanks to an unsympathetic boss and a work environment created and maintained by white men. Marie's status as a reluctant cold warrior chafes against her desire to rise in the ranks. She's finally given an opportunity to prove herself with an assignment concerning Thomas Sankara, the revolutionary president of the West African nation Burkina Faso. Sankara was a real-life figure, ... [ Read More » ]

14 of 25
A Weekend in New York

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A Weekend in New York

by Benjamin Markovits

A Weekend in New York

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Featuring as its epigraph the first half of Tolstoy's well-known aphorism about happy and unhappy families, Benjamin Markovits's eighth novel is a wise anthropological study of this most intimate grouping of human life.

A Weekend in New York follows three generations of the Essinger family as they gather on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in the days leading up to tennis pro Paul's first-round match in the 2011 U.S. Open. Ranked No. 82 in the world and now approaching his mid-30s, Paul realizes ... [ Read More » ]

15 of 25
Sounds Like Titanic

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Sounds Like Titanic

by Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman

Sounds Like Titanic

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When college student Jessica Chiccehitto Hindman is hired as a violinist for "an award-winning ensemble," her intuition tells her something isn't quite right. "Professional ensembles do not place advertisements on college listservs," she writes in her hilarious memoir. Moreover, by Hindman's own description, she isn't even very good at playing the violin, despite 13 years of childhood lessons.

Hindman writes in an accessible, forthcoming and incredibly humorous style, contrasting her years growing ... [ Read More » ]

16 of 25
Rain and Other Stories

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Rain and Other Stories

by Mia Couto, trans. by Eric M.B. Becker

Rain and Other Stories

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Long considered one of Mozambique's most prominent writers, Mia Couto (Woman of the Ashes, Confession of the Lioness) astonishes with his fiction collection, Rain and Other Stories. Written in the aftermath of his country's civil war, the stories were originally published in 1994 in Portuguese. This English edition was translated by journalist Eric M.B. Becker. Combining fabulism with pointed critiques of war, the collection reveals that Couto found his distinctive voice early in his career.  ... [ Read More » ]

17 of 25
Nothing but the Night

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Nothing but the Night

by John Williams

Nothing but the Night

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In Nothing but the Night, John Williams's first novel, now reprinted by NYRB, a young man grapples with his repressed childhood trauma. Arthur Maxley exists in the realm of waking nightmare, imagining scenes of violence overlaid upon the raucous parties he attends in New York. The lonesome routine of his days is interrupted when his estranged father visits in an attempt to reconnect. Reeling from the encounter, Arthur descends even further into the dark and increasingly carnivalesque world of late-night ... [ Read More » ]

18 of 25
Nobody's Looking at You

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Nobody's Looking at You

by Janet Malcolm

Nobody's Looking at You

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The journalist Janet Malcolm has weathered--or should that be courted?--her share of controversy throughout her storied career, but readers won't find much to get their dander truly up in her third essay collection, Nobody's Looking at You. Rest assured, this is no kinder, gentler Malcolm. (On the poet Ted Hughes's biographer: "That it was [Jonathan] Bate of all people who was chosen to write Hughes's biography only heightens our sense of Hughes's preternatural unluckiness.") But the feather-ruffling ... [ Read More » ]

19 of 25
Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances that Flow Through Our Lives

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Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances that Flow Through Our Lives

by Mark Miodownik

Liquid Rules: The Delightful and Dangerous Substances that Flow Through Our Lives

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For most people, a transatlantic flight is an opportunity to read a book, nap the time away, anxiously endure every bit of turbulence or wonder about the stranger sitting next to you. For materials scientist and engineer Mark Miodownik, it's an opportunity to consider the myriad roles liquids play on an aircraft, and beyond.

In his first book, Stuff Matters, Miodownik gave readers a tour of "dependable solid stuff." In Liquid Rules, he examines fluids, which, when not contained, are "seeping, corroding, ... [ Read More » ]

20 of 25
Leading Men

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Leading Men

by Christopher Castellani

Leading Men

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Christopher Castellani's Leading Men imagines the real-life relationship between mercurial American playwright Tennessee Williams and his longtime partner, Frank Merlo, an Italian American actor who died of lung cancer in 1963. It also presents an entirely fictional friendship between Frank, Tennessee and Anja Bloom, a glacially beautiful Swedish actress of Castellani's invention. With grace and wit--and taking respectful liberty with historical truths--Castellani (All This Talk of Love) weaves together ... [ Read More » ]

21 of 25
On the Come Up

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On the Come Up

by Angie Thomas

On the Come Up

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In Coretta Scott King and Printz honoree author Angie Thomas's (The Hate You Give) second novel, On the Come Up, high school junior Brianna "Bri" Jackson is an aspiring MC working toward her dream of rap superstardom.

As Bri waits anxiously for the call that will put her in the Ring for her first rap battle, she explains in the first line of the book that she "might have to kill somebody tonight." She gets the call, enters the Ring and does, indeed, annihilate her competition: Milez "with a z," an ... [ Read More » ]

22 of 25
The Giver Graphic Novel

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The Giver Graphic Novel

by Lois Lowry, P. Craig Russell, illus. by Galen Showman, Scott Hampton

The Giver Graphic Novel

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Lois Lowry's Newbery Medal-winning middle-grade novel The Giver has been read by millions and reimagined many times over. The latest addition to this line of innovative versions is P. Craig Russell's mesmerizing graphic novel.

As Lowry herself says in a conversation found in the back of the book, Russell's graphic novel sticks "very closely to the original." It is in this extremely faithful adaptation that much of the graphic novel's beauty can be found--Russell's stripping down of text is deliberate, ... [ Read More » ]

23 of 25
Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

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Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

by Benjamin Dreyer

Dreyer's English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style

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There are many ways to write, but to communicate clearly requires consistency in style. Lucky for readers of Dreyer's English, Benjamin Dreyer, copy chief of Random House, has something more: panache. This is no stuffy grammarian's treatise on language and usage. Although unabashedly opinionated, Dreyer never claims to have all the answers. In fact, he openly discusses instances in which he has come to recognize his own errors over time (like the spelling of Danielle Steel's name). Maintaining that ... [ Read More » ]

24 of 25
The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

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The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

by Katy Butler

The Art of Dying Well: A Practical Guide to a Good End of Life

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In The Art of Dying Well, Katy Butler (Knocking on Heaven's Door) provides a roadmap to navigating a good death. Despite the inevitability of death, she observes, most people remain unprepared for it. Advances in modern medicine help us live longer, but science "wards off death far better than it helps us prepare for peaceful ones." We find ourselves paralyzed by a bewildering, complex health care system that fails to support the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the dying and their caregivers. ... [ Read More » ]

25 of 25
Aerialists: Stories

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Aerialists: Stories

by Mark Mayer

Aerialists: Stories

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Cover iconography that depicts a circus and story titles like "The Clown," "The Ringmaster" and "Strongwoman" might lead readers to believe a series of big-top tales awaits them in Mark Mayer's excellent short story collection, Aerialists. That, much like a circus itself, is a bit of a ruse. Mayer's characters and settings are various and multifaceted, sometimes linking up to the proposed theme of the work, and sometimes downright undercutting it. It's best to ignore the theme altogether and ... [ Read More » ]

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