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    25 new books out today!

    Gabrielle Bellot

    October 10, 2023, 5:00am

    As we get deeper into October, the weather prepares to cool, and some of us prepare, in turn, the very (or very not) cool  costumes we will wear on Halloween. In-between all of this preparation, you might be on the search for something new to read, and, if that sounds like you, fear not: there are many, many new books to consider, many from titans of the literary world. Below, you’ll find exciting new fiction by Bryan Washington, Walter Mosley, Jhumpa Lahiri, Nancy Jooyoun Kim, Banana Yoshimoto, and more, as well as powerful new nonfiction from Roxane Gay, Werner Herzog, Phillip Lopate, and others. You’ll also find poetry collections and selections, genre-bending memoirs, psychedelic nonfiction (that is, nonfiction about entheogens that also feels appropriately psychedelic), a study of the women in Hitchcock’s cinematic oeuvre, a reflection on Lucille Ball, and much, much more.

    No matter what you’re in the mood for, you’re likely to find something intriguing below, and I hope  you’ll curl up in the (possibly) cooler weather with one of these new books. I know I’ll be.


    Family Meal - Washington, Bryan

    Bryan Washington, Family Meal

    “Shifting between points of view, Washington shows us characters at their most vulnerable, using food culture to explore conflict, desire, pleasure and passion. The meals his characters enjoy together through it all—from congee to collards to croissants—remind us of the many ways that love, like food, sustains us.”

    The Premonition - Yoshimoto, Banana

    Banana Yoshimoto, The Premonition

    “Yoshimoto builds a satisfying narrative of a young girl figuring out who she is, and how her family may be more than she realized. While much of the plot hinges on Yayoi’s preternatural intuitions, each step is carefully plotted to slowly unearth the secrets of the past. No word is misspent in Yoshimoto’s taut tale.”
    Publishers Weekly

    What We Kept to Ourselves - Kim, Nancy Jooyoun

    Nancy Jooyoun Kim, What We Kept to Ourselves
    (Atria Books)

    “Nancy Jooyoun Kim has crafted a moving, propulsive story about a family haunted by secrets. What We Kept To Ourselves spans the intimately personal to the urgently political to investigate how the traumas of the past shape the human experience. This is a probing, sharp novel about family, loss, desire, grief, the search for justice, and so much more.”
    –Crystal Hana Kim

    Opinions: A Decade of Arguments, Criticism, and Minding Other People's Business - Gay, Roxane

    Roxane Gay, Opinions: A Decade of Arguments Criticism and Minding Other People’s Business

    “Essays, op-eds, and pop-culture pieces from the acclaimed novelist and memoirist….[Gay] has a gift for clean, well-ordered prose, and strong feelings on matters of race, gender, and sexuality. Most important, she possesses a fearlessness essential to doing the job right….[S]he comes to her opinions more out of empathy than ideology….Fierce and informed riffs on current events and enduring challenges.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    A Year and a Day: An Experiment in Essays - Lopate, Phillip

    Phillip Lopate, A Year and a Day: An Experiment in Essays
    (New York Review of Books)

    “Lopate has long been established as an exemplar of the personal essay as well as a critic, poet, and, occasionally, fiction writer. In 2016, he took on a less formal task, producing a weekly blog for the American Scholar. The resulting collection of these posts [in A Year and a Day], penned with a generally light touch, affords Lopate greater freedom of movement and a wider range of subject matter….A master of short-form discourse succeeds with highly individualized and candid observations.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A Memoir - Herzog, Werner

    Werner Herzog, Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A Memoir (trans. Michael Hofmann)
    (Penguin Press)

    “Herzog in all his extravagant, perspicacious glory…witty and captivating as he recollects all kinds of odd, curious, and outlandish events, people, and injuries….Fans and neophytes alike will relish the opportunity to delve deeply into Herzog’s fascinating mind.”

    Organs of Little Importance - Chung, Adrienne

    Adrienne Chung, Organs of Little Importance (selected by Solmaz Sharif)
    (Penguin Books)

    “In playful, sometimes sly, and richly textured poems, Chung rewrites and reimagines the idea of the vestigial. What do our preoccupations have to teach us about the world and ourselves? Is there beauty in memories that no longer serve us, versions of self we’ve shed, old habits, seemingly useless body parts? This collection wrestles with these and other questions of memory, history, and embodiment.”

    Choosing to Be Simple: Collected Poems of Tao Yuanming - Yuanming, Tao

    Tao Yuanming, Choosing to Be Simple: Collected Poems of Tao Yuanming (Red Pine)
    (Copper Canyon Press)

    “Navigating the uncertainty of a divided China wracked by warfare and corruption, Tao Yuanming’s poetry—expertly translated by Red Pine—chooses the path walked by China’s ancient sages, finding joy in living a simple life. The latest work in Red Pine’s rich career of translation, Choosing to be Simple: Collected Poems of Tao Yuanming, is a definitive portrait of the early Chinese politician and poet….We are encouraged to find joy in simplicity—the tending of a garden, the sharing of wine with a stranger.”
    New York Journal of Books

    Touched - Mosley, Walter

    Walter Mosley, Touched
    (Atlantic Monthly)

    “An unsuspecting host finds himself at the center of a supernatural plot to eradicate life from the planet….Equal parts body horror and necromancy, the book has cinematic fast cuts and an explosive pace that make it read like a Black Mirror episode set against the Hollywood Hills….[T]he novel is complicated in compelling ways by the racial dynamics and overt gestures toward a pandemic….Fast-moving action and jaw-dropping twists move this slim volume along at a dizzying rate.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Roman Stories - Lahiri, Jhumpa

    Jhumpa Lahiri, Roman Stories (Todd Portnowitz)

    “A dazzling collection of nine stories originally written in Italian and featuring characters who grapple with vast emotional and social chasms that cleave the lives of families, longtime friends, and immigrants….Throughout, Lahiri’s luminous prose captures a side of Rome often ignored….These unembroidered yet potent stories shine.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Burn Man: Selected Stories - Jarman, Mark Anthony

    Mark Anthony Jarman, Burn Man: Selected Stories

    “Mark Anthony Jarman has written some of the most electric short fiction produced in Canada over the past four decades, and Burn Man collects the very best work from his rich and radiant archive. Peopled with crazed explorers, woeful fathers, and afflicted divorcees, this book is a cauldron of slick, dizzying sentences and images that lodge like splinters in the brain. Jarman corrodes the manors of polite literature, rearranging the rubble in tableaus of astonishing beauty. A gift to literature.”
    –David Huebert

    The House on G Street: A Cuban Family Saga - Pérez, Lisandro

    Lisandro Pérez, The House on G Street: A Cuban Family Saga
    (New York University Press)

    “Lisandro Pérez has written an instant classic. At once a history of Cuba drawing on decades of his fine scholarship, an intimate and fascinating chronicle of two intertwined families living through that long history, and a moving coming-of-age memoir, this highly original and beautiful book is something to be treasured.”
    –Ada Ferrer

    Naked: On Sex, Work, and Other Burlesques - Feast, Fancy

    Fancy Feast, Naked: On Sex, Work, and Other Burlesques

    “If Fancy’s memoir was just a diary of her life as a burlesque performer in New York City, it would be stunning enough, but it’s more: Fancy turns the readers’ gaze back at themselves with a clear and incisive mirror, from watching sex shop customers hit each other with soft packs, to pancakes in bed with lovers forced to confront their own fatphobia. Like sitting down for an intimate show and standing up changed, Naked deserves an ovation for stripping the audience’s assumptions…to the pasties.”
    –Samanatha Cole

    The Upside-Down World: Meetings with the Dutch Masters - Moser, Benjamin

    Benjamin Moser, The Upside-Down World: Meetings with the Dutch Masters

    “In a luminous, splendidly illustrated melding of art history and memoir, Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, translator, and essayist Moser pays homage to seventeenth-century artists whose works he discovered when he first settled in the Netherlands twenty years ago. [Moser] sets artists’ lives in the context of violence and upheaval, as well as personal loss, poverty, grief, and longing….In writing about art, Moser admits that he, too, was a mind seeking….A graceful meditation on art.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Leftover Woman - Kwok, Jean

    Jean Kwok, The Leftover Woman
    (William Morrow)

    “A heart-wrenching examination of transracial adoption and its influence in the lives of a Chinese American child and the two mothers who love her….The resulting intersection of their lives makes this book not only a suspenseful read, but also an introspective journey into the bonds of family, country, class, and race.”

    My Brilliant Friend: The Graphic Novel: Based on the Novel by Elena Ferrante - Lagani, Chiara

    Chiara Lagani, Elena Ferrante, My Brilliant Friend: The Graphic Novel (trans. Ann Goldstein) (illustrated Mara Cerri)

    “This impressive graphic novel adaptation recalibrates the original story line of fraught friendship in post-WWII Italy with sensitive, buoyant drawings and economic yet powerful narration…exquisitely captures Ferrante’s story of a passionate and consuming friendship.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Iced - Shell, Ray

    Ray Shell, Iced
    (Amistad Press)

    “Nine years after the drug first hit New York City, the author-actor Ray Shell published the brilliant crack novel Iced, a first-person account told by the self-loathing addict Cornelius Washington Jr…..Stylistically, Iced blends noir (conjuring David Goodis’s doomed dead-end men) and horror. The book is as much about families and their dysfunctions as it is about crack….For me, Iced proved to be as intoxicating and addictive as crack itself.”
    The Paris Review

    Ten Trips: The New Reality of Psychedelics - Mitchell, Andy

    Andy Mitchell, Ten Trips: The New Reality of Psychedelics
    (Harper Wave)

    “An original and thrilling investigation into psychedelics and the claims and narratives that currently surround them. Ten Trips is perfectly pitched for those who are looking for a deeper exploration of the psychedelic experience and its possible meanings.”
    –Mike Jay

    Anti-Oculus: A Philosophy of Escape - Horizon, Acid

    Acid Horizon, Anti-Oculus: A Philosophy of Escape

    Anti-Oculus is a text that, despite its brevity, is so rich with insight and provocation that those who give themselves over to it will be mining it for years. It is the perfect extension of the Acid Horizon project, already a treasure trove for those interested in culture, philosophy and politics online.”
    –Matt Colquhoun

    Hitchcock's Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind the Legendary Director's Dark Obsession - Leamer, Laurence

    Laurence Leamer, Hitchcock’s Blondes: The Unforgettable Women Behind the Legendary Director’s Dark Obsession

    “Through Laurence Leamer’s expertly crafted, multi-layered prose, we powerfully understand just how challenging it was to be a Hitchcock leading lady, how spirited Hitchcock’s heroines were, and how inspiring their stories continue to be today, especially when viewed in tandem through a single lens. A riveting read.”
    –Christina Lane

    Madonna: A Rebel Life - Gabriel, Mary

    Mary Gabriel, Madonna: A Rebel Life
    (Little Brown)

    “Mary Gabriel has dared to write a biography of a woman with whom the entire world is on a first-name basis. Here, she reveals Madonna as a rock-and-roll suffragette, managing the stress test of her personal life and using the power of music to bring about social change. Exquisitely detailed in her storytelling, Gabriel convinces us that we all still vogue in the House of Madonna.”
    —Brad Gooch

    Blackouts - Torres, Justin

    Justin Torres, Blackouts

    “Fascinating, inventive….Torres’s intricate web of narratives is gripping from beginning to end. His richly drawn characters are passionate, but painfully self-aware. Attempts to erase or pigeonhole these characters do not rob them of their compassion for each other and the author’s compassion for them. There are echoes of Manuel Puig and of Lawrence Sterne’s Tristram ShandyBlackouts is a worthy successor to its classic antecedents.”
    New York Journal of Books

    Shoot the Moon - Arsén, Isa

    Isa Arsén, Shoot the Moon

    “Explorations of love, loss, science, and the edges of the universe and what is—and is not—possible in the space-time continuum collide in this story; it’s reminiscent of the thoughtfulness, matter-of-fact science, and female strength of Connie Willis’ well-known time traveling series beginning with Doomsday Book (1992) as well as the world portrayed in Margot Lee Shetterly’s Hidden Figures (2016). A delightful and surprising story of a woman drawn through life by curiosity.”
    –Kirkus Reviews

    A.K.A. Lucy: The Dynamic and Determined Life of Lucille Ball - Royal, Sarah

    Sarah Royal, A.K.A. Lucy: The Dynamic and Determined Life of Lucille Ball
    (Running Press)

    “A substantial tribute to one of the most beloved entertainers of the twentieth century. Pop-culture historian Royal’s picturesque book about Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989) begins with a reverential foreword by Amy Poehler….Making effective use of such visual elements as photos, timelines, pull quotes, and lists, Royal shows how Ball was not just a Hollywood star, but also a modest, hardworking, kind individual. A satisfying, brightly colored biography about a comedy legend.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Klan War: Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction - Bordewich, Fergus M.

    Fergus M. Bordewich, Klan War: Ulysses S. Grant and the Battle to Save Reconstruction

    “An urgent history, in which the conception and spawning of the Klan, its anti-Black atrocities and crimes against humanity, the evolution of a General and President, and the possibilities and limits of political power all come roaring to life. As searing as it is suspenseful, Klan War delivers an incisive angle into a horrific chapter in American history, one that requires knowing today.”
    –Ilyon Woo

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