This Week's Best New Books

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Track Changes

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Track Changes

by Sayed Kashua, trans. by Mitch Ginsburg

Track Changes

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In Palestinian Israeli author Sayed Kashua's intriguing fourth novel, Track Changes, an Arab Palestinian family's crisis prompts questions about the veracity of telling one's own stories. Mitch Ginsburg returns for a second adept translation partnership, following Kashua's Second Person Singular, winner of the 2011 Bernstein Prize.

Kashua's unnamed narrator's life is complicated. He used to be a Jerusalem newspaper editor, but now he's living solo in an Illinois grad school dorm room, separated ... [ Read More » ]

2 of 27
Once More to the Rodeo

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Once More to the Rodeo

by Calvin Hennick

Once More to the Rodeo

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Calvin Hennick's big-hearted but toughminded debut charts a course across 1,300 miles of American fault lines. His memoir recounts in vivid detail and urgent, conversational prose a 2016 road trip with his five-year-old son, from Worcester, Mass., to see family and a rodeo in small-town Iowa, where the author spent much of his unhappy childhood.

Hennick is a white man married to black woman; their son, Nile, is, in the boy's own words, "tannish" and, at the trip's start, still blissfully unaware ... [ Read More » ]

3 of 27
Meg and Jo

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Meg and Jo

by Virginia Kantra

Meg and Jo

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Virginia Kantra (Carolina Dreaming) energetically reinvents Louisa May Alcott's classic novel Little Women. Kantra relocates the March family from New England to bucolic 21st-century Bunyan, N.C. Mother "Marmee" struggles to maintain the artisanal goat-cheese-producing family farm, while Father March, a pastor-preacher, is away serving as an army chaplain and military missionary activist.

Part of the story is filtered through Jo, a single 28-year-old journalist in search of a job, living in New York ... [ Read More » ]

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Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar

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Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar

by Kate Saunders

Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar

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Laetitia Rodd and the Case of the Wandering Scholar by Kate Saunders is a cozy, old-fashioned murder mystery set in 1850s England, starring a quick-witted, middle-aged detective with a dry sense of humor and a reputation for treating her cases with the utmost discretion. Mrs. Rodd, as she's known, is the widow of an esteemed archdeacon, and as such she has connections to vicarages all across the country. This comes in useful when she is hired by wealthy businessman Jacob Welland to investigate the ... [ Read More » ]

5 of 27
Loveboat, Taipei

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Loveboat, Taipei

by Abigail Hing Wen

Loveboat, Taipei

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"This novel is a romp," Abigail Hing Wen promises (and delivers!) about Loveboat, Taipei. The Loveboat, she explains in her opening note to readers, is the popular name for Chien Tan, a real-life Taiwanese summer language program aimed at diasporic teens, with a reputation for having "zero supervision." As a teenager, Wen experienced her own "notorious" Loveboat summer, sneaking out, clubbing, eating at night markets, romancing... all of which she weaves into her #OwnVoices YA debut.

Eighteen-year-old ... [ Read More » ]

6 of 27
Jinxed

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Jinxed

by Amy McCulloch

Jinxed

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Set in a world where smartphones have evolved into "cute and interactive" cyber companions called bakus, Jinxed is a thrilling, techno-savvy series opener starring an appealing, self-motivated "total nerd" who finds her life's focus called into question.

Twelve-year-old Lacey Chu badly wants to be accepted into her dream school, Profectus Academy of Science and Technology. Once there, she knows she'll get a "level three spaniel" baku and be fast-tracked to work for Moncha Corp., "the largest tech ... [ Read More » ]

7 of 27
Close Calls: How Eleven U.S. Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death

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Close Calls: How Eleven U.S. Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death

by Michael P. Spradlin

Close Calls: How Eleven U.S. Presidents Escaped from the Brink of Death

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Due to harrowing situations in office, in war zones and even in a nuclear reactor, some U.S. presidents have narrowly escaped death. Michael P. Spradlin, author of the Spy Goddess and Medal of Honor series, recounts 11 of these brushes with untimely demise in Close Calls, a fascinating collection of historical narratives.

Through nonfiction that reads like thrilling adventure tales, Spradlin engages young readers in the lives of the nation's commanders-in-chief. With death threats and assassination ... [ Read More » ]

8 of 27
An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin's Master Agent

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An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin's Master Agent

by Owen Matthews

An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin's Master Agent

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An Impeccable Spy: Richard Sorge, Stalin's Master Agent is both admiring and sharply critical of its subject. Owen Matthews, author of Stalin's Children, begins the introduction by writing that Sorge "was a bad man who became a great spy--indeed one of the greatest spies who ever lived." As a famous spy, Sorge presents distinct challenges for the author, not only to say something new but also to penetrate the web of deceptions and self-deceptions that spies inhabit. Matthews's vast research ... [ Read More » ]

9 of 27
Good Girls Lie

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Good Girls Lie

by J.T. Ellison

Good Girls Lie

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A girl's body hangs from the gates of a prestigious girls' boarding school, and Ash Carlisle's name is in the air. Readers learn quickly that she arrived at the school under false pretenses that won her a full scholarship and travel expenses from England to the United States. The Goode School is an elite institution that guarantees its graduates will gain admittance to the university of their choice. Although Ash quickly demonstrates the lengths to which she will go in order to succeed, for a time ... [ Read More » ]

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The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes

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The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes

by Alex Snodgrass

The Defined Dish: Healthy and Wholesome Weeknight Recipes

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In the introduction to The Defined Dish, Alex Snodgrass talks about her history with food: her creation of the blog of the same name, the big Italian meals she ate with her family as a kid, her appreciation of Texan treats and her eventual embracing of a Whole30 diet to help manage her postpartum anxiety. The recipes in her cookbook reflect these experiences. Italian dishes like Chicken Saltimbocca Roll-Ups and Weeknight Lamb Bolognese grace the chapter called "Mom-bo Italiano," while the pages of ... [ Read More » ]

11 of 27
Crossroad

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Crossroad

by W.H. Cameron

Crossroad

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"For the second time in as many weeks, I cross the spine of Shatter Hill at midnight and spot fire at the crossroad below." Melisende Dulac had a difficult past before moving from the East Coast to the Oregon high desert, where she transports bodies for the funeral home run by her disappeared husband's aunt and uncle. Now her present is treacherously close to eclipsing it.

What she saw at the scene of the first crossroad fire put Mel at odds with numerous locals, including the sheriff's department. ... [ Read More » ]

12 of 27
Cleanness

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Cleanness

by Garth Greenwell

Cleanness

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In Cleanness, Garth Greenwell returns to Bulgaria and to some of the same emotional territory he explored in his highly praised debut novel, What Belongs to YouThe nine perceptive, sometimes disturbing, stories in this collection delve into the complexities of romance and desire, reflected through the prism of an alienated foreigner.

These stories span the seven years their unnamed narrator spends as a teacher at the American College in Sofia. Though it's no longer under the domination ... [ Read More » ]

13 of 27
Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book

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Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book

by Courtney Maum

Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book

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Once authors have landed a book deal, all they have to do is sit back and enjoy the book's publication, bestseller status and royalty checks, right? Wrong. According to Courtney Maum's straight-shooting Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer's Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book, the anxiety and roller-coaster ride are just beginning.

Maum, author of the novel Touch and other titles, addresses the questions she couldn't find answered anywhere when she was a ... [ Read More » ]

14 of 27
Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

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Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

by Anna Wiener

Uncanny Valley: A Memoir

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Be "Down for the Cause. DFTC." This was the mandate to employees at the startup Anna Wiener joined in 2013. What was "the cause," exactly? Money is an obvious part of the answer; the company made money, and helped its clients make money. The product, though, was essentially surveillance--making "the cause" a little more complicated. This kind of progress and success for their own sake, and the tensions that arise from the ethically ambiguous growth in tech, form the core of Wiener's unforgettable
... [ Read More » ]

15 of 27
Thin Ice

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Thin Ice

by Paige Shelton

Thin Ice

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Paige Shelton (The Loch Ness Papers) departs from her cozy Scottish mysteries in Thin Ice, the riveting first entry in an Alaskan suspense series. Beth Rivers, known to the world as thriller writer Elizabeth Fairchild, recently was kidnapped by a crazed fan, Levi Brooks, and was badly injured while escaping from him.

Fleeing to a remote Alaskan town, population 500, Beth is hoping to find safety. But instead, she discovers that Benedict is a town full of secrets. She thought she'd booked a room at ... [ Read More » ]

16 of 27
Such a Fun Age

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Such a Fun Age

by Kiley Reid

Such a Fun Age

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Alix Chamberlain is the white owner of a small, successful Philadelphia business. She has a toddler and an infant as well as a book to write, so she hires 25-year-old Temple University graduate Emira Tucker, who is black, to babysit three days a week. Alix considers Emira a godsend and wants her to know it. Kiley Reid's debut novel, Such a Fun Age, is about the way that good deeds fueled by even the best intentions can fizzle under the weight of unacknowledged self-interest.

One Saturday, Emira ... [ Read More » ]

17 of 27
Rachel Maddow: A Biography

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Rachel Maddow: A Biography

by Lisa Rogak

Rachel Maddow: A Biography

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Emmy Award-winning news host Rachel Maddow once said, "I am a childless, middle-aged, potbellied lesbian, and I don't have that much to be excited about in my life other than having a great job." But prolific biographer Lisa Rogak (Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart) has created a breezy and compelling biography by detailing captivating facets of Maddow's workaholic nature. Her hour-long MSNBC TV show airs five nights a week, 50 weeks a year. "It takes me a good solid ten hours to ... [ Read More » ]

18 of 27
Nietzsche and the Burbs

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Nietzsche and the Burbs

by Lars Iyer

Nietzsche and the Burbs

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Lars Iyer (Wittgenstein Jr.) makes nihilist philosophy hip and fun in his highly entertaining tragicomedy Nietzsche and the Burbs.

The novel introduces a group of disaffected teenagers finishing their last year of secondary school before heading out into the big, uncaring world: Art, Merv, Paula and the narrator, Chandra. The foursome inducts into their clique a new student, whom they nickname Nietzsche due to his gloomy disposition and pessimistic outlook on life. They sense he is intellectually ... [ Read More » ]

19 of 27
Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love

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Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love

by Victoria Turk

Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love

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In Kill Reply All: A Modern Guide to Online Etiquette, from Social Media to Work to Love, Victoria Turk navigates the uncharted terrain of digital social manners, explaining how online behavior can affect one's real-life relationships. Along with colorful commentary on the quirks of modern Internet culture, Turk offers advice in four main areas: the workplace, friendships, the art of romance and social media communities. Smartphone etiquette receives special attention, with guidelines for sexting, ... [ Read More » ]

20 of 27
The Old Truck

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The Old Truck

by Jarrett Pumphrey, Jerome Pumphrey

The Old Truck

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Inspired by the strong women in the authors' lives and brought to life by more than 250 individually crafted stamps, The Old Truck is a quietly powerful ode to hard work and perseverance.

A farming family--mother, father, daughter--cheerfully toils through the seasons, feeding chickens and loading their red truck with produce even as the vehicle grows older--"And older./ And older still," until it settles into the weeds by the now-weathered barn. In a playful story bridge, the "weary and tired" truck ... [ Read More » ]

21 of 27
Overground Railroad

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Overground Railroad

by Lesa Cline-Ransome, illus. by James E. Ransome

Overground Railroad

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In Coretta Scott King honoree Lesa Cline-Ransome (Finding Langston) and CSK medalist James E. Ransome's (The Bell Rang) Overground Railroad, Ruth Ellen and her parents, along with many other black people, join the Great Migration, traveling from the agricultural south to the urban north. Through handsome collage, pencil and watercolor illustrations and lyrical free verse, the family's hopeful journey to find better jobs, homes and rights shows readers a major moment in the large scope of African ... [ Read More » ]

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A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution

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A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution

by David Head

A Crisis of Peace: George Washington, the Newburgh Conspiracy, and the Fate of the American Revolution

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Following Britain's 1781 surrender to the Continental Army in the Battle of Yorktown, the American colonies rejoiced: independence and peace were near! History professor David Head (Privateers of the Americas) investigates why commander-in-chief George Washington and the Confederation Congress, however, feared a different result.

Plagued by complicated financial growing pains and a constant struggle to define itself as a unified government, Congress had been unable consistently to pay the army's ... [ Read More » ]

23 of 27
Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour

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Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour

by Christopher Fowler

Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour

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The Peculiar Crimes Unit is a specialized division of the London police; as the PCU's chief puts it, "If the Met doesn't want to touch it, it comes to us."

The PCU is notorious for its most senior detective, the getting-on-in-years Arthur Bryant, a walking anachronism. Bryant wears a trilby, peppers his speech with old English slang and has an adversarial relationship with technology--and sometimes with his long-suffering partner, detective John May.

As Bryant & May: The Lonely Hour opens, a ... [ Read More » ]

24 of 27
The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter's Journey to Reconciliation

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The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter's Journey to Reconciliation

by Peggy Wallace Kennedy, Justice H. Mark Kennedy

The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter's Journey to Reconciliation

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Although readers of The Broken Road: George Wallace and a Daughter's Journey to Reconciliation shouldn't expect an image rehabilitation of its subject, Peggy Wallace Kennedy writes with some sympathy for her father, who had a rough childhood. For that matter, so did his daughter.

George Wallace, the notorious segregationist and four-term governor of Alabama, was an absent father in both senses; he was also a womanizer. His restlessness kept the Wallaces largely in poverty until he finally won the ... [ Read More » ]

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A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

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A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

by Françoise Frenkel

A Bookshop in Berlin: The Rediscovered Memoir of One Woman's Harrowing Escape from the Nazis

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Françoise Frenkel's decision to open a bookshop in Berlin soon after World War I will eventually save her life. Frenkel, who was a Polish Jew, has loved books since she was a child, and her years spent living in Paris have given her a passion for French literature. When she learns that Berlin has no stores that sell books written in French, she decides to launch one, which lends this rediscovered memoir its title, A Bookshop in Berlin (originally published in 1945 as No Place to Lay One's ... [ Read More » ]

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And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood

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And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood

by Rachel Friedman

And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood

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There are plenty of books about people who follow their artistic dreams to glory. Rachel Friedman asks, "How about some books where we focus on gracefully giving up on something?" And Then We Grew Up: On Creativity, Potential, and the Imperfect Art of Adulthood is a fine specimen of the sort.

The book evolved out of Friedman's disappointment that she hasn't reached a level of financial solvency in her chosen creative field. Even after she became a published author--her first book was the ... [ Read More » ]

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Followers

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Followers

by Megan Angelo

Followers

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Megan Angelo has written about women and television for Glamour, youth activism and social media for Elle and reality TV for the New York Times. In her debut novel, she uses those topics as fodder for her explosive imagination. The shrewd and surprisingly moving result is a darkly prophetic novel that takes an incisive look at women, fame and the future of social media stardom.  

In 2015, aspiring novelist Orla Cadden toils in obscurity at New York City click-bait farm Lady-ish, chronicling ... [ Read More » ]

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