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    17 new books out today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    April 25, 2023, 4:55am

    Remarkably, the end of April is already almost here. But, of course, there are many reasons and ways to enjoy these last few days of the month. You might acknowledge the birthdays of certain literary legends, like Defoe (the 24th), Marcus Aurelius (the 26th), Harper Lee (the 28th), or Terry Pratchett (the same). You might celebrate the accidental discoveries of a certain psychedelic chemist (the somewhat niche Bicycle Day) and the less niche celebration of a certain herb (the day after). You might be celebrating Eid al-Fitr. Or, of course, you may be engaged in perhaps that most universal American celebration of all: the fact that tax day, mercifully, is behind us (well, most of us).

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    Whatever you’ve been doing, there are also some intriguing new books out today, as well, and isn’t that always cause for celebration itself? I hope you’ll add some of these below to your ever-growing lists.


    The Skin and Its Girl - Cypher, Sarah

    Sarah Cypher, The Skin and Its Girl
    (Ballantine Books)

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    “Poetic, queer, and highly inventive, The Skin and Its Girl is an enchanting, memorable story.”

    I Am My Country: And Other Stories - Orhan, Kenan

    Kenan Orhan, I Am My Country: And Other Stories
    (Random House)

    “A collection like I Am My Country is a cause for rejoicing. Orhan has a knife-sharp sense of the human impulse for freedom and hope, even amid moments of oppression and displacement.”
    –Kelly Link

    Don't Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You: A Memoir - Williams, Lucinda

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    Lucinda Williams, Don’t Tell Anybody the Secrets I Told You
    (Crown Publishing)

    “Remarkable….Reading like it was written on a series of cocktail napkins in the absolutely best way, this ever-quotable memoir of a born songsmith has something to offer nearly any grownup who has listened to music for the last half-century.”

    Monsters: A Fan's Dilemma - Dederer, Claire

    Claire Dederer, Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma

    “The rare polemic that’s full of greedy love for the good stuff in this world, Monsters is an expansion of Dederer’s instant classic Paris Review essay from 2017, ‘What Do We Do with the Art of Monstrous Men.’ With a larger canvas, she lets both her cast of monsters and our culpability grow, and manages to one-up herself over and over again. Cooly pensive on an overheated subject, Dederer writes powerfully about art’s ability to move us, teach us, and entrap us.”

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    Little Earthquakes: A Memoir - Mandel, Sarah

    Sarah Mandel, Little Earthquakes

    “[Mandel] nimbly portrays the cocktail of emotions unearthed by the sentence ‘You’ve got cancer, ‘ and paints her supportive family with staggering compassion. Her dogged fight for her life will awe readers.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Affinities: On Art and Fascination - Dillon, Brian

    Brian Dillon, Affinities: On Art and Fascination
    (New York Review of Books)

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    “In Affinities, Brian Dillon has woven a sparking electric web of aesthetic attention, an astonishingly deft and slantwise autobiography through the images of others. With this third panel in his brilliant triptych—with Essayism and Suppose a Sentence—Dillon has made himself a quiet apostle of close looking.”
    –Lauren Groff

    Ghost Girl, Banana - Wharton, Wiz

    Wiz Wharton, Ghost Girl, Banana

    “Londoner Lily Chen descends into the maze of 1990s Hong Kong to piece together her late mother’s secret past in this slow-burning mystery….Two complex histories are nested within one another, a testament to the mutually inextricable struggles of a mother and daughter who, in life, pass each other like two ships in the night. Brimming with cinematic tension.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Momfluenced: Inside the Maddening, Picture-Perfect World of Mommy Influencer Culture - Petersen, Sara

    Sarah Petersen, Monfluenced: Inside the Maddening, Picture-Perfect World of Mommy Influencer Culture
    (Beacon Press)

    “Readers who find themselves endlessly scrolling social media with that particular form of envy and aspiration it all seems to inspire will be fascinated by this insider’s look behind the spotless countertops and cherubic children.”

    We Are a Haunting - White, Tyriek

    Tyriek White, We Are a Haunting
    (Astra House)

    “[We Are a Haunting’s] wide-ranging, multivocal, quick-shifting style—which incorporates frequent allusions to literature and visual art, brand names and the neighborhood prestige attached to them, and a mixtape element—serves admirably to emphasize the book’s ambition, which is to capture and to celebrate not just these characters, this family, but the community and the city they emerge from, serve, and love. An intelligent, gritty, discursive group portrait of working-class New York from the 1980s to now.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    In the Orchard - Minot, Eliza

    Eliza Minot, In the Orchard

    “Deeply personal and moving, this is an intimate look inside modern life and motherhood….Written from Maisie’s point of view, this is a deep dive into the mind of a mother, with a stream-of-consciousness fluidity and randomness that make for interesting and beautiful reading.”

    The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Essays on Desire and Consumption - Kelleher, Katy

    Katy Kelleher, The Ugly History of Beautiful Things: Essays on Desire and Consumption
    (Simon & Schuster)

    “There are writers you want to read on every subject, because they are able to whip up such stylish, intricate, and sparkling prose that they elevate every paragraph to an event. Katy Kelleher is such a writer—her sentences are as beautiful as the diamonds and marble surfaces she writes about, but contain far more depth….Kelleher has pulled off a magic trick: she has written a book that is both sumptuous and airy, rich and gossamer.”
    The New Yorker

    Salvage This World - Smith, Michael Farris

    Michael Farris Smith, Salvage This World

    (Little Brown and Company)

    “In this evocative noir of the Mississippi Delta… Smith perfectly depicts a landscape of dwindling resources and limited prospects, where crime turns out to be the most expedient solution. There’s plenty of human drama in this gritty literary thriller.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Retreat - Raheem, Zara

    Zara Raheem, The Retreat
    (William Morrow)

    “Raheem’s second novel (after The Marriage Clock) is heartfelt, well-paced, and engrossing. The book explores themes of infertility, gender roles, sisterhood, the South Asian diaspora, and the experience of children of immigrants. Raheem’s story is lively and funny.”
    Library Journal

    Knowing What We Know: The Transmission of Knowledge: From Ancient Wisdom to Modern Magic - Winchester, Simon

    Simon Winchester, Knowing What We Know: The Transmission of Knowledge: From Ancient Wisdom to Modern Magic

    “Winchester has written about information systems before, as in his 1998 book The Professor and the Madman, about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary. In his robust new compendium, the author examines those systems in far grander scope, from mankind’s earliest attempts at language to the digital worlds we now keep in our pockets. This isn’t just a rollicking look back; Winchester asks what these systems do to our minds, for good and ill.”
    Los Angeles Times

    Ascension - Binge, Nicholas

    Nicholas Binge, Ascension

    Ascension is a pastiche of august influences. The epistolary structure is borrowed from Dracula. The doomed expedition that drives Harold mad is akin to H. P. Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness….Binge earns his place among these literary lights with an expert story of creeping dread and cosmological horror.”

    An Honorable Exit - Vuillard, Éric

    Éric Vuillard, An Honorable Exit (trans. Mark Polizzotti)
    (Other Press)

    “An impassioned and impressionistic indictment of the cruelty and hubris that sparked the First Indochina War… delivers a powerful anti-capitalist and anti-imperialist message.”
    Publishers Weekly

    A Brutal Reckoning: Andrew Jackson, the Creek Indians, and the Epic War for the American South - Cozzens, Peter

    Peter Cozzens, A Brutal Reckoning: Andrew Jackson, the Creek Indians, and the Epic War for the American South

    “A seasoned historical storyteller, Cozzens portrays both Jackson and his Creek adversaries without minimizing their flaws, though he is clearly appalled by Jackson’s later treatment of the Indians during the Trail of Tears… An authoritative account of a disturbing chapter in the relations between the U.S. military and Indigenous peoples.”
    Kirkus Reviews

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