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16 new books to get you out of your pandemic reading funk.

Katie Yee

September 21, 2021, 4:48am

Nothing like new books to shake up that old TBR pile.


Richard Powers, Bewilderment

Richard Powers, Bewilderment
(W. W. Norton)

“Impressively precise in its scientific conjectures, Bewilderment is no less rich or wise in its emotionality. Moreover, science fiction is not just a looming generic presence, but part of the novel’s narrative mechanism.”
–The Guardian

Rabih Alameddine, The Wrong End of the Telescope

Rabih Alameddine, The Wrong End of the Telescope
(Grove Press)

“The story is a shape-shifting kaleidoscope, a collection of moments—funny, devastating, absurd—that bear witness to the violence of war and displacement without sensationalizing it.”

Ruth Ozeki, The Book of Form and Emptiness

Ruth Ozeki, The Book of Form and Emptiness

“Clever without being arch, metafictional without being arcane, dark without being nihilistic, The Book of Form and Emptiness is an exuberant delight.”
–The Boston Globe

Awake_Harald Voetmann

Harald Voetmann, tr. Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen, Awake
(New Directions)

“An interesting work and a good introduction to this unusual writer.”

Sleeping Beauties, Suzanne O'Sullivan

Suzanne O’Sullivan, The Sleeping Beauties

“By making social problems visible on the body, O’Sullivan believes, these conditions allow voiceless people to tell their stories and to make themselves heard. Perhaps this eloquent and convincing book will be the start of making people in authority listen, make change and help.”
–The Guardian

vanderbilt_anderson cooper and katherine howe

Anderson Cooper and Katherine Howe, Vanderbilt

“Marked by meticulous research and deep emotional insight, this is a memorable chronicle of American royalty.”
–Publishers Weekly

Lincoln Michel, The Body Scout

Lincoln Michel, The Body Scout

“Pushing genre boundaries is like rushing into a firefight while trying to balance an egg on a spoon. And yet, in his fun, thoughtful, and strange debut novel, The Body Scout, Lincoln Michel seems to have made his way through said firefight with egg firmly in spoon.”
–BOMB Magazine

Sofi Oksanen, tr. Owen Frederick Witesman, Dog Park

Sofi Oksanen, tr. Owen Frederick Witesman, Dog Park

“Fans of slow-burning suspense will find much to enjoy.”
–Publishers Weekly

Percival Everett, The Trees

Percival Everett, The Trees

“It’s tempting to call The Trees the ultimate novel of the Trump era. It is the rare book that sees the forty-fifth president less as a menace here than a nuisance, the Republicans as so many falling elderly dominoes, and their white-supremacist voters a decrepit network of armed bozos.”

Bernhard Schlink_Olga

Bernhard Schlink, tr. Charlotte Collins, Olga

Olga is a poignant portrait of a woman out of step with her time.”
–The Guardian

Jon McGregor, Lean Fall Stand

Jon McGregor, Lean Fall Stand

“McGregor has also chosen to have a main character unable to express himself for most of the book. Fortunately, it’s also another McGregor novel that triumphantly gets away with it.”
–The Times

The Contrarian

Max Chafkin, The Contrarian
(Penguin Press)

“[An] engrossing look at one of Silicon Valley’s most eccentric and abrasive figures.”
–Publishers Weekly

My Darling from the Lions_Rachel Long

Rachel Long, My Darling From the Lions
(Tin House)

“The intimacy of her poetic voice enhances its power to disarm; the stabs she takes at the evils of society are precise, and alive with demotic sound patterning and loose rhythms.”
–The Times Literary Supplement

Amia Srinivasan, The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-First Century

Amia Srinivasan, The Right to Sex

“Srinivasan’s true subject is the need for nuance and generosity in contemporary discourse on sex. She demonstrates the value of clear thinking by testing it on a range of topics. You don’t need to agree with her on everything to admire her even-handedness, her commitment.”
–The Irish Times

Rick Bragg, The Speckled Beauty: A Dog and His People, Lost and Found

Rick Bragg, The Speckled Beauty

“Sit down, pull up a chair (or pick a spot under your favorite tree) and smile as Rick Bragg spins his mesmerizing tales of life down South with characteristically wry humor and wisdom.”

Peril_Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Peril
(Simon & Schuster)

“…this book is for the completist who won’t be satisfied until they know what Trump’s campaign staff was eating in which room of the White House when the election results started rolling in. (Spoiler alert — pizza and Chick-fil-A in the Roosevelt Room.)”
–The Los Angeles Times

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