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    25 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    July 5, 2023, 4:52am

    It’s the 4th of July (although you’ll likely be reading this a day later), and, as befits a complicated day that some celebrate, some protest, and others simply relax on while fireworks blossom in the night, there’s a myriad of curious, complex new books being released.

    Below, you’ll find it all: novels that range from nail salons to libraries to terrifying theme parks; short stories on a religious group rarely depicted in fiction; African poetry; defenses of Black studies and craft in a polarized era where Black art and history faces political suppression; iconoclastic studies of Lord Byron, true crime, and astonishing athletic feats of history; and much more. Regardless of what you found yourself doing on the 4th of July, I hope you’ll find something intriguing below to add to your to-be-read lists!


    At the End of Every Day - Reiche, Arianna

    Arianna Reiche, At the End of Every Day
    (Atria Books)

    “Arianna Reiche’s At the End of Every Day takes us deep inside a dying—and sometimes deadly—theme park. Filled with richly detailed descriptions of the world her possibly unreliable protagonist, Delphi, knows best, Reiche’s unique take on the epic quest—featuring creepy bots, a death cult, subterranean realms, and more—compels you to hang on for the wild genre-and-mind-bending ride.”
    –Laura Sims

    The Light Room - Zambreno, Kate

    Kate Zambreno, The Light Room

    “Kate Zambreno has performed a miracle, capturing real, lived time from within the exhaustion of pandemic-era parenthood. The Light Room reminded me of that fundamental magic of writing—that the details of another person’s life, so precisely and honestly rendered, can instantly loosen the edges of your own life and make you feel less alone.”
    –Jenny Odell

    How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice, and Skill - Brown, Jericho

    Jericho Brown and Darlene Taylor, How We Do It: Black Writers on Craft, Practice, and Skill
    (Amistad Press)

    “A one-of-a-kind anthology featuring guidance and perspectives from acclaimed Black writers. ‘Born out of absolute generosity and hope for the future of Black writing,’ this collection of thirty-one essays and interviews, edited by Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Brown, features a who’s-who roster of Black fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, and essayists… A must-read treasure trove of practical wisdom for Black writers, writing teachers, and anyone interested in the craft.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Sunshine Nails - Nguyen, Mai

    Mai Nguyen, Sunshine Nails
    (Atria Books)

    “Filled with heart and humor, Sunshine Nails is an insightful, moving story with striking depth, taking on gentrification, family expectations, and generational differences. You will be rooting for the Tran family through every risk and sacrifice they make to save their salon, and ultimately themselves. Mai Nguyen has proven herself to be a real standout.”
    –Taylor Jenkins Reid

    Trinity - Lockhart, Zelda

    Zelda Lockhart, Trinity
    Amistad Press

    “If we are ancestrally haunted, we may also be ancestrally healed. This is the lesson of Zelda Lockhart’s Trinity, an epic, vivid and heart-wrenching novel. Reminiscent of the work of Gayl Jones and Alice Walker, Lockhart breathes life into the landscape and gives us Black history through characters you will never forget. Beautiful.”
    –Imani Perry

    Owner of a Lonely Heart: A Memoir - Nguyen, Beth

    Beth Nguyen, Owner of a Lonely Heart

    Owner of a Lonely Heart is the autobiography of a feeling—the story of a fear you cannot name because you are one of the authors, a secret you hid even from yourself in case even this might save you. Nguyen unravels the way the child refugee she was learned to save herself, which turns out to be the final act of saving oneself—not from the country she left, but the country she found. This memoir is a distillation, the sort of cure you make from a poison but can offer to others, and she has written it with a direct, spotlit brilliance.”
    –Alexander Chee

    Evidence of Things Seen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning - Weinman, Sarah

    Sarah Weinman, Evidence of Things Unseen: True Crime in an Era of Reckoning
    (Ecco Press)

    “Weinman—a crime writer and the editor of a previous anthology, Unspeakable Acts—compiles some of the past few years’ best reporting on crime and crime media….Some of the essays offer explicit critiques of crime discourses (both true and fictional), from a True Crime Junkies Facebook group to The Wire. Others use the format to tell underreported stories… An up-and-down anthology of important perspectives on injustice within the legal system and crime media alike.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Librarianist - DeWitt, Patrick

    Patrick DeWitt, The Librarianist
    (Ecco Press)

    “Bob Comet, a retired librarian…brings to mind John Williams’ Stoner and Thoreau’s chestnut about ‘lives of quiet desperation,’ but it is telling that DeWitt chooses to capture him at times when his life takes a turn. A quietly effective and moving character study.”
    Kirkus Review

    A Good House for Children - Collins, Kate

    Kate Collins, A Good House for Children
    (Mariner Books)

    “A stunning debut… A terrifying and propulsive gothic story with so much to say about parenthood, privilege and the psychological burden of motherhood. I was utterly mesmerized by it and found it so unsettling that I had to keep the lights on!”
    –Katherine Faulkner

    Pete and Alice in Maine - Shetterly, Caitlin

    Caitlin Shetterly, Pete and Alice in Maine

    “This novel has its thumb on the pulse of our times, the pandemic and all its costs and upheavals, our political and social fault lines, climate change as we try to raise children into a new world. Yet it is, at heart, a familiar and intimate story of a marriage and a family struggling within its own universe of hurt and betrayal. Shetterly refuses to offer easy answers in this powerful, beautifully written novel.”
    –Meredith Hall

    A Terribly Serious Adventure: Philosophy and War at Oxford, 1900-1960 - Krishnan, Nikhil

    Nikhil Krishnan, A Terribly Serious Adventure: Philosophy and War at Oxford, 1900 – 1960
    (Random House)

    “All of the philosophers [that A Terribly Serious Adventure] discusses are dead, but I knew most of them personally, and some of them were good friends. Relying on memoirs and other sources, [Nikhil] Krishnan has succeeded in bringing these men and women and their complex and intense relations to life—which is a real achievement.”
    –Thomas Nagel

    The Exhibitionist - Mendelson, Charlotte

    Charlotte Mendelson, The Exhibitionist
    (St. Martin’s Press)

    “[P]artly because we see him through the eyes of his lifelong victims and partly because Mendelson is unfailingly excellent at the level of the sentence, Ray is horribly convincing, sitting spider-like at the centre of his web of destruction… This novel is a portrait of the artist as a monster, and for readers undeterred by the grand tradition of middle-class domestic realism, it’s a fine and haunting book.”
    The Guardian

    In the ACT - Ingalls, Rachel

    Rachel Ingalls, In the Act
    (New Directions Publishing)

    “Ingalls (1940–2019) acutely explores the discontent burbling under the surface of a ‘normal’ suburban home and tracks the weird ways it boils over, but there’s also a sly examination of how true love is more than just desire: it requires selflessness and sacrifice. Ingalls keeps things moving at a fast pace, and it all culminates in a dizzying, unforgettable finale. This odd little lark packs a sneaky punch.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Private Life of Lord Byron - Peattie, Antony

    Antony Peattie, The Private Life of Lord Byron

    “As Peattie cheerfully admits in his introduction, his study does not cover the entirety of Lord Byron’s private life, but rather ‘his intermittent eating disorder and his obsession with fatherhood,’ noting that these ‘may be related to one another’… As Peattie compellingly demonstrates, Byron himself struggled mightily against the presence of gross material reality in his life… Peattie’s beautifully written, beautifully illustrated study will no doubt become required reading on Byron for the general public.”
    Athenaeum Review

    Tisa: New-Generation African Poets, a Chapbook Box Set - Dawes, Kwame

    Kwame Dawes and Chris Abani, Tisa: New-Generation African Poets, A Chapbook Box Set
    (Akashic Books)

    “An ambitious, vital project that delivers exactly what it promises… As a group, the chapbooks dispel stereotypes about African writing. They also illustrate what editors Dawes and Abani note about the many ways poets can understand or redefine their ties to Africa. These insights are poignant and valuable, especially at a time when millions around the globe find themselves somewhere between new countries and ancestral lands they’ve left behind.”
    The Washington Post

    Temple Folk - Bilal, Aaliyah

    Aaliyah Bilal, Temple Folk
    (Simon & Schuster)

    Temple Folk is more than a special literary accomplishment, it is a gift of glorious songs. The people in the nation of Islam have not appeared very often in literature. Now, Aaliyah Bilal arrives with a splendid and grand collection of ten stories… We have long needed these stories, these songs, and this gift should be praised from as many rooftops as possible.”
    –Edward P. Jones

    Days at the Morisaki Bookshop - Yagisawa, Satoshi

    Satoshi Yagisawa, Days at the Morisaki Bookshop (trans. Eric Ozawa)
    (Harper Perennial)

    “Gabrielle Zevin’s A Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and Helene Hanff’s 84, Charing Cross Road come to mind, though this novel dwells more intimately on the relationships Takako develops than on the books she grows to love….As Takako attempts to unravel the currents of romantic love, both in her own life and those of her uncle and aunt, the novel delivers a gentle portrait of desire and grief. Ozawa’s translation preserves the drollness and buoyancy of Takako’s first-person narrative of small pleasures and mysteries.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Sufferah: The Memoir of a Brixton Reggae-Head - Wheatle, Alex

    Alex Wheatle, Sufferah: The Memoir of a Brixton Reggae-Head
    (Akashic Books)

    “With more than forty short chapters, the book brings readers along as artists such as Bob Marley, Sister Nancy, Dennis Brown, and others educate a young Black man about racial injustice and provide a lifeline when he felt at his lowest. Wheatle also finds family in his prison cellmate, who guides him toward a greater purpose, and he turns his life around using the music he loves and by tapping into his writing skills… Readers will be drawn to Wheatle’s exquisite prose, and lovers of music will appreciate how reggae brings light during difficult times.”
    Library Journal

    A Pocketful of Happiness: A Memoir - Grant, Richard E

    Richard E. Grant, A Pocketful of Happiness: A Memoir
    (Simon & Schuster)

    “An emotional rollercoaster—profoundly moving and wonderfully entertaining. A brilliant memoir about living, loving and losing.”
    –Benardine Evaristo

    The Ice Harp - Lock, Norman

    Norman Lock, The Ice Harp
    (Bellevue Literary Press)

    “In The Ice Harp, Norman Lock deftly takes us into the polyphonic swirl of Emerson’s mind at the end of his life, inviting us to meet the man anew even as the philosopher fights to stop forgetting himself. Who will I be when the words are gone, the great thinker wonders, and how will I know what is right? I gladly asked myself these same impossible questions on every page of this remarkably empathetic and deeply moral novel.”
    –Matt Bell

    Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies - Kaepernick, Colin

    Colin Kaepernick, Robin D. G. Kelley, and Keeanga Yamahtta Taylor, Our History Has Always Been Contraband: In Defense of Black Studies
    (Haymarket Books)

    “A new anthology… co-edited by Colin Kaepernick, Robin D.G. Kelley, and Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, makes the case that Black Studies is a crucial tool in fighting back against a white supremacist political agenda. The anthology presents an interdisciplinary body of work that touches on feminist theory, queer studies, abolition, reparations, education, history, and more.”
    The New Republic

    Living the Vanlife: On the Road Toward Sustainability, Community, and Joy - Grevemberg, Noami

    Noami J. Grevemberg, Living the Vanlife: On the Road Toward Sustainability, Community, and Joy
    (S&S/Simon Element)

    “This spirited guide is animated by Grevemberg’s passion for a nomadic life… The restless are sure to catch the travel bug.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Proprietor's Song - Goldberg, Janet

    Janet Goldberg, The Proprietor’s Song
    (Regal House Press)

    “Goldberg’s poetic descriptions of Death Valley, its alluring and treacherous landscape, set the tone for The Proprietor’s Song, a subtle novel about grief, mortality, hope, and despair.”
    –Fredrick Soukup

    Completely Mad: Tom McClean, John Fairfax, and the Epic Race to Row Solo Across the Atlantic - Hansen, James R.

    James R. Hansen, Completely Mad: Tom McClean, John Fairfax, and the Epic Race to Row Solo Across the Atlantic
    (Pegasus Books)

    “James Hansen has proven himself to be a terrific storyteller about voyages and history, and Completely Mad combines both of these notable talents. Here he relates the story of two young men, Tom McClean and John Fairfax, and the sea, both engaged in, yes, mad quests to row across the Atlantic in… the summer of 1969… You will travel with them on their competing journeys, tasting salt, fearing sharks, fighting the sea in this skewered mirror of a space race in this wildly engaging narrative.”
    –Michael Cassutt

    Disturbance - Clake, Jenna

    Jenna Clarke, Disturbance

    Disturbance reads like a poem but hits like a horror novel. What a mysterious, painful, yet strangely delicious slice of life.”
    –Ashley Hutson

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