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    24 new books out today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    July 18, 2023, 4:55am

    It’s the middle of July, and, almost no matter where you might be reading this from, you may have experienced some unusual weather recently, from record-breaking heatwaves to apocalyptic wildfire haze to frightening flooding. This has been a scary time for many people, increasingly reflecting a new, if unnerving, standard for what annual weather may be like. Books might not heal all of our pains or losses, but they can help, and, more importantly, they often heal us in ways we don’t even realize we need.

    With that in mind, I’ve assembled a roving list of new fiction, nonfiction, and poetry to consider adding to your lists. Some are comforting; some are fascinating studies; some offer a disquieting gaze into worlds that we won’t soon forget; some defy any easy explanation. No matter what this mercurial month has been like for you, meteorologically or otherwise, may you find a book (or many!) to help you below.


    Crook Manifesto - Whitehead, Colson

    Colson Whitehead, Crook Manifesto

    “Two-time Pulitzer-winning author Whitehead shows no sign of resting on his laurels. Crook Manifesto continues the brilliantly realized sequence that began with Harlem Shuffle… Harlem itself is one of the lead characters, and there are echoes of other chroniclers of this burg such as James Baldwin and Chester Himes. In ambition and scope, in the way the intimate is so deftly weaved with the epic, one is also reminded of Balzac. Whitehead has embarked on a great comédie humaine of his own.”
    The Guardian

    Zero-Sum: Stories - Oates, Joyce Carol

    Joyce Carol Oates, Zero-Sum: Stories

    “Oates… exploits the relentless and unforgiving natures of her characters in this captivating collection… Oates closes out with a series of apocalyptic and speculative works, most notably ‘Marthe: A Referendum,’ about the last surviving member of an artificially produced primate species who’s kept in an induced coma in 2169, waiting on the outcome of a vote on whether to keep her alive. Humanity in all its devilishness is on vibrant display… Readers will be spellbound.”
    Publishers Weekly

    the country of the blind

    Andrew Leland, The Country of the Blind: A Memoir at the End of Sight
    (Penguin Press)

    “Andrew Leland writes about his own gradual blindness using cultural histories and the politics of disability to upend what we assumed we knew. It’s one of the year’s best.” —The Chicago Tribune

    Everybody's Favorite: Tales from the World's Worst Perfectionist - Stone, Lillian

    Lillian Stone, Everybody’s Favorite: Tales from the World’s Worst Perfectionist
    (Dey Street Books)

    “Many have tried, and many will try, to capture the sweet, innocent insanity of life as a young girl during the ’90s and 2000s. None have come close to the comedic perfection Lillian Stone nails again and again in Everybody’s Favorite.”

    Camp Damascus - Tingle, Chuck

    Chuck Tingle, Camp Damascus
    (Tor Nightfire)

    “This book is for anyone who thought they were going to hell for being themselves. Chuck Tingle takes that fear and weaves it into a seamless horror that will keep you up at night, not only because it’s got monsters but because we’ve known those monsters. And yet it still proves love is real. Camp Damascus is a big hug to all of us who had to fight to find each other.”
    –J. R. Dawson

    Vanishing Maps - García, Cristina

    Cristina García, Vanishing Maps

    “Now here is a family saga for our time! Edgy, full of life, and compulsively readable, Vanishing Maps sends one Cuban family through the blender of history and brings it out miraculously whole. A triumph.”
    –Gish Jen

    Strip Tees: A Memoir of Millennial Los Angeles - Flannery, Kate

    Kate Flannery, Strip Tees: A Memoir of Millennial Los Angeles

    Strip Tees was a book I could not put down. As I read Kate Flannery’s memoir of being one of the first American Apparel employees, I was flooded with Millennial nostalgia and then hit by the realization that I wore tube socks as a 14-year-old girl because Dov Charney was into old issues of Hustler where women wore tube socks. This book is a feminist, inside look at one of the creepiest corners of the 2000s.”
    –Blythe Robertson

    Returning Light: Thirty Years on the Island of Skellig Michael - Harris, Robert L.

    Robert L. Harris, Returning Light: Thirty Years on the Island of Skellig Michael
    (Mariner Books)

    “Robert L Harris, the warden of Skellig Michael, is an American who has lived on the largest of the Skellig islands every summer for thirty-four years. He has just published a memoir, Returning Light, about life on that wild and remote island. Skellig Michael is famous for an ancient monastic settlement of stone beehive huts, iconic jagged peaks, colonies of sea birds and, most recently, being a location for Star Wars: The Force Awakens… Harris writes beautifully.”
    Irish Times

    Console: Poems - Channer, Colin

    Colin Channer, Console: Poems

    “Channer (Providential)blends haunting lyricism, photography, and Jamaican patois into a potent combination that captures the geography of memory from the Caribbean to Senegal to New England… Sensory details startle with their physicality and immediacy… These intricate poems render the depths of memory in refreshingly original language.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Small Worlds - Nelson, Caleb Azumah

    Caleb Azumah Nelson, Small Worlds
    (Grove Press)

    “There’s something wide-eyed and lovely about the way Caleb Aumah Nelson writes about what it is to be young and alive to the world… This novel is about the dynamic between a father and son over three summers in London and Ghana, but it is also about music, and dancing, and those pleasures in life that are simple and yet also everything.”

    Beastly: The 40,000-Year Story of Animals and Us - Carew, Keggie

    Keggie Carew, Beastly: The 40,000-Year Story of Animals and Us
    (Abrams Press)

    “This entertaining and mind-expanding book on our relationship with other animals is so full of surprising facts and fascinating stories that my copy has practically every page folded down or highlighted or annotated with exclamation marks. Keggie’s writing makes me laugh but it also makes me think; the perfect combination. Beastly is a brilliant book for anyone who questions how we might live more ethically, more harmoniously and more happily alongside the other creatures in this crowded and beautiful world.”
    –Cal Flyn

    The Diaspora Sonnets - de la Paz, Oliver

    Oliver de la Paz, The Diaspora Sonnets

    “The thoughtful latest from de la Paz… explores his family’s experience of the Filipino diaspora… The struggle to create a home in exile is vividly rendered in poems that trace the family’s journeys over the decades: ‘We wanted to construct a livable world / but the pieces didn’t fit.’ This haunting collection sheds new light on the migrant’s experience of loss and longing.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Onlookers: Stories - Beattie, Ann

    Ann Beattie, Onlookers: Stories

    “Stories of exceptional subtlety and wit… A virtuoso of decimating dialogue and provocative predicaments, Beattie is at her sharpest and most exhilarating in this nimble and surprising exploration of place, identity, and responsibility.”

    History's Angel - Hasan, Anjum

    Anjum Hasan, History’s Angel

    “Erudite and languid… Hasan frequently blends her chronicle of Alif’s problems with insightful internal monologues, in which he reflects on the country’s history and simmering anti-Muslim sentiments. Hasan’s layering of history and personal drama accrues a subtle but undeniable power.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Anniversary - Bishop, Stephanie

    Stephanie Bishop, The Anniversary
    (Grove Atlantic)

    “Elegant and highly accomplished… Dangerously readable… If only all novels were this engaging and this perceptive about human nature.”
    The Guardian

    No One Prayed Over Their Graves - Khalifa, Khaled

    Khaled Khalifa, No One Prayed Over Their Graves

    “Lyrical… [The book is] carried along by Khalifa’s ornate writing, often in the style of Middle Eastern classical poetry and lucidly translated by Price… There’s beauty on each page.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Kings of Their Own Ocean: Tuna, Obsession, and the Future of Our Seas - Pinchin, Karen

    Karen Pinchin, Kings of Their Own Ocean: Tuna, Obsession, and the Future of Our Seas

    “Karen Pinchin has written a moving, vivid, often heart-pounding narrative of the love, greed and dramas surrounding the lives and deaths of a fish upon whom human fortunes rise and fall—each an individual animal who surely loves his or her life as much as we love ours. Kings of Their Own Ocean is a moving and ultimately hopeful story, reminding us that if we are honest and we are wise, we still may save the denizens of our imperiled seas.”
    –Sy Montgomery

    Emergency: Stories - Alcott, Kathleen

    Kathleen Alcott, Emergency: Stories

    “Kathleen Alcott’s Emergency left me windswept and altered—this is a book that reveals to us our forgotten joys and secrets, all the unexpected paths of our days. There is an abundance of the world here, a bright, haunted pulse you want to follow endlessly. Alcott is a mesmerizing writer, and this is her best book yet.”
    –Paul Yoon

    I Meant It Once - Doyle, Kate

    Kate Doyle, I Meant It Once

    I Meant it Once signals the arrival of a major talent and voice. These stories are by turns funny, melancholy, wry, and piercing in their insight. More than that, I arrived at the end of each of these stories feeling a little less lonely in a world that seemed a little less dark. Kate Doyle brings a rare confidence to stories about the lonely, the prickly, the aimless, and the out-of-sorts, all told in prose that is lively and beautiful. I loved these stories.”
    –Brandon Taylor

    Doom Guy: Life in First Person - Romero, John

    John Romero, Doom Guy: Life in First Person
    (Abrams Press)

    “Video game designer Romero, best known as the creator of Doom, catalogs his personal and professional challenges in this surprisingly moving autobiography. In the 1960s and ’70s, Romero’s family was involved in the drug trade, and his father, who was addicted to ‘everything from cocaine to alcohol,’ abused Romero, his mother, and his younger brother. Romero found refuge in early video games, including Space Invaders, which led him, at age 11, to learn computer programming… Romero mostly manages to appeal to gamers and non-gamers alike with this celebration of triumphing over adversity. Creatives of all stripes will be satisfied.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Every Rising Sun - Ahmed, Jamila

    Jamila Ahmed, Every Rising Sun
    (Henry Holt)

    “Jamila Ahmed’s Every Rising Sun is a beautifully imagined and fiercely feminist retelling of a cherished classic—and an audacious new invention all her own. You won’t want to miss Ahmed’s gorgeous writing, this rich and vibrant world, and of course, Shaherazade, a timeless heroine who speaks with an urgency it’s impossible to deny.”
    –V.V. Ganeshananthan

    Tropicália - Rogers, Harold

    Harold Rogers, Tropicália
    (Atria Books)

    “A wild and moving saga, Tropicália bounds across generations and continents at a breakneck pace. With vivacious prose and an unflinching eye, Harold immerses readers in the cruel beauties of Rio de Janeiro and the cyclical traumas of a family who is learning to heal and forgive like any other, yet each in their own broken but hopeful way. Tropicália reminds us that forgiveness is possible but has to be earned—and before it’s too late.”
    –Jakob Guanzon

    Encounterism: The Neglected Joys of Being in Person - Field, Andy

    Andy Field, Encounterism: The Neglected Joys of Being in Person

    “From the history of the haircut to the mystery of The Jetsons, Andy Field is the freshest, most down-to-earth, most constantly surprising (and endearing) explorer of urban life I’ve read in a while. He seems to know everything, but he carries himself lightly. And whether he’s guiding us into mass snowball fights on the streets of London or the meaning of holding hands, this unmet stranger cheerfully reminds us all of the value of touch and the virtue of trying to see the world anew.”
    –Pico Iyer

    Selling Science Fiction Cinema: Making and Marketing a Genre - Telotte, J. P.

    J. P. Telotte, Selling Science Fiction Cinema: Making and Marketing a Genre
    (University of Texas Press)

    “This is another great book by J. P. Telotte. Selling Science Fiction Cinema makes significant contributions to the understanding of both SF film and SF magazines. Thoroughly researched and clearly written, it engages with current concerns in film scholarship around industry practices and how they affect the meaning and reception of the films themselves.”
    –Patrick B. Sharp

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