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23 new books to dig into this week.

Katie Yee

May 4, 2021, 4:49am

You know what they say: April showers bring May… books. Or something like that. This week, we’ve got new titles from Alison Bechdel, Maggie Shipstead, Olivia Laing, Rachel Cusk, Joy Harjo, and so many more! May you find something that speaks to you here. 

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Maggie Shipstead, Great Circle

Maggie Shipstead, Great Circle
(Knopf)

Great Circle starts high and maintains altitude. One might say it soars.”
–The New York Times Book Review

Alison Bechdel, The Secret to Superhuman Strength

Alison Bechdel, The Secret to Superhuman Strength
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

“The various strings of her narrative are woven together in a way that feels fresh, clever and moving. There is also dry humour.”
–The Sunday Times

Henry Dumas, Echo Tree

Henry Dumas, Echo Tree
(Coffee House Press)

“Every couple of decades or so, we need to be reminded of what made writers like Toni Morrison call Henry Dumas a genius.”
–Kirkus

Rivers Solomon, Sorrowland

Rivers Solomon, Sorrowland
(MCD)

“Solomon’s outstanding third novel (after The Deep) revisits the themes of memory and responsibility through two new lenses: horror and contemporary thriller.”
–Publishers Weekly

Donika Kelly, The Renunciations

Donika Kelly, The Renunciations
(Graywolf Press)

“[A] lionhearted odyssey through the self, a casting aside of old mythologies and traumas in search of new stories fashioned from love and joy.”
–Oprah.com

Things We Lost to the Water Eric Nguyen

Eric Nguyen, Things We Lost to the Water
(Knopf)

“An engrossing, prismatic portrait of first- and second-generation Vietnamese American life.”
–Kirkus

Larissa Pham, Pop Song

Larissa Pham, Pop Song
(Catapult)

“This book offers a warm and expansive portrait of a woman’s mind that feels at once singular and universal.”
–Buzzfeed

on juneteenth

Annette Gordon-Reed, On Juneteenth
(Liveright)

“A concise personal and scholarly history that avoids academic jargon as it illuminates emotional truths.”
–Kirkus

Joan Silber, Secrets of Happiness

Joan Silber, Secrets of Happiness
(Counterpoint)

“These stories unfurl with such verbal verisimilitude that they’re like late-night phone calls from old friends.”
–The Washington Post

Joy Harjo, ed., Living Nations, Living Words

Joy Harjo (ed.), Living Nations, Living Words
(W.W. Norton)

” Poetry can be useful for praise and even to help deter a storm. Or poetry is a tool to uncover the miraculous in the ordinary.”
–Joy Harjo / Library of Congress

Rachel Cusk, Second Place

Rachel Cusk, Second Place
(FSG)

“The novel’s emotional nuance, its stylistic poise, has been as perfectly and painstakingly constructed as the life it describes, only to be blown apart by a flat and shattering statement, weighted around a central, immovable truth.”
–The Guardian

Chris Bohjalian, Hour of the Witch

Chris Bohjalian, Hour of the Witch
(Doubleday)

“One of Bohjalian’s great strengths is his research; another is his sense of humanity.”
–The Washington Post

Persist_Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren, Persist
(Metropolitan Books)

“Warren was (and is) a storyteller. Her campaign speeches were a series of one-two punches: stories that got people right in their feels — and then policy prescriptions …  It’s campaign-trail Warren, in book form.”
–NPR

everybody

Olivia Laing, Everybody
(W.W. Norton)

“[Laing] masterfully shares stories of fascinating artists and historical figures … Her net, in short, is breathtakingly, ambitiously wide.”
–BookPage 

personhood

Thalia Field, Personhood
(New Directions)

“Field’s frequently shifting scenes evoke Alice Notley, Anne Carson, and James Joyce.”
–Publishers Weekly

See:Saw_Geoff Dyer

Geoff Dyer, See/Saw
(Graywolf Press)

“Dyer’s sensibility is more fleeting and alive to comic ironies; his writing dramatises both a restless attention, and the moments it is stopped in its tracks.”
–The Guardian

Suzanne Simard_Finding the Mother Tree

Suzanne Simard, Finding the Mother Tree
(Knopf)

“A luminous weave of memoir, scientific treatise and Native-inflected meditation … She limns her tale with rich anecdotes and family lore.”
–The Star Tribune

Geling Yan_The Secret Talker

Geling Yan, tr. Jeremy Tiang, The Secret Talker
(Hapervia)

“Geling Yan has crafted a slow-burn psychological thriller in The Secret Talker … a cat and mouse game that will keep you guessing to the last page.”
–CrimeReads

Natalia Ginzburg_Voices in the Evening

Natalia Ginzberg, tr. D. M. Low, Voices in the Evening
(New Directions)

“The concepts, emotions and characters in her books are complex and unforgettable.”
–The New York Times

the touch system_alejandra costamagna

Alejandra Costamagna, tr. Lisa Dillman, The Touch System
(Transit)

“Chilean writer Costamagna’s insightful English-language debut unpacks the drama and hardships faced by several generations of an Italian family that immigrated to Argentina in the early 20th century.”
–Publishers Weekly

Doom_Niall Ferguson

Niall Ferguson, Doom
(Penguin Press)

“Captivating, opinionated history from a knowledgeable source.”
–Kirkus

Nives by Sacha Naspini

Sacha Naspini, tr. Clarissa Botsford, Nives
(Europa Editions)

“A slim, sharply pointed knife of a novel.”
–Kirkus

John Freeman, ed., The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story

 The Penguin Book of the Modern American Short Story
(Penguin Press, John Freeman, ed.)

“A fresh gathering that highlights the work of mostly well-known story writers through their lesser-known works.”
–Kirkus

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