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    26 new books out today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    May 2, 2023, 4:55am

    As May begins, bringing the promise of brighter and warmer weather to many of us—weather often perfect for reading outside—there are, as ever, a lot of exciting new books out. Should you indeed head out to read—or cozily stay inside—consider choosing one of these below, which cover such an impressively wide range that you’ll almost certainly find something worth exploring.

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    Ella Minnow Pea: 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition - Dunn, Mark

    Mark Dunn, Ella Minnow Pea: 20th Anniversary Illustrated Edition (illustrated Brittany Worsham
    (Dzanc Books)

    “A novel bursting with creativity, neological mischief and clever manipulation of the English language….Wordsmiths of every stripe will appreciate this whimsical fable, in which Dunn brilliantly demonstrates his ability to delight and captivate.”
    Publishers Weekly

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    Don't Call Me Home: A Memoir - Auder, Alexandra

    Alexandra Auder, Don’t Call Me Home: A Memoir

    “There is much to envy in Alexandra Auder’s wonderful, complicated, and vivid memoir, including the bohemianism that made her. In our increasingly corporatized world, Auder’s portrait of her large extended family, primarily of her mother, the legendary performer and artist, Viva, makes one long for those days when art making wasn’t so much about a career, as an aspect of self-expression. And joy. A book to be treasured.”
    –Hilton Als

    Chain Gang All Stars - Adjei-Brenyah, Nana Kwame

    Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, Chain-Gang All-Stars

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    “Vividly imaginative and startling in its clarity of intent… A sort of The Hunger Games meets Gladiator meets WWE meets the modern private prison system.”

    Shy - Porter, Max

    Max Porter, Shy
    (Graywolf Press)

    “[A] slender burst of Joycean prose…. There’s an arresting quality to the narrative’s frantic breaths of prose poetry and brief, fractured form. As an experiment in character seen from the inside out, [Shy] stands as a singular shoutout to lost boys everywhere.”
    –Publishers Weekly

    The Daydreams - Hankin, Laura

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    Laura Hankin, The Daydreams
    (Berkley Books)

    “Catnip for anyone who feels deeply about the private lives of popstars. If you wanted Britney free, read this book. If you wanted Justin Timberlake to pay for his crimes, read this book. Juicy and heartfelt. I couldn’t put it down.”
    –Emma Straub

    Still Falling: Poems - Grotz, Jennifer

    Jennifer Grotz, Still Falling
    (Graywolf Press)

    Still Falling is an undeniably gorgeous book of love poems full of grief. In these pages, Jennifer Grotz writes line after line of direct statement in rhythms that would leave any reader breathless and wanting more… I cannot read Still Falling without crying.”
    –Jericho Brown

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    Bread Givers by Anzia Yezierska

    Anzia Yezierska, Bread Givers
    (Penguin Classics)

    “A Jewish Little Women… with more humor… Yezierska’s sense of vernacular is wonderful… [A] fine novel.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Cat's Meow: How Cats Evolved from the Savanna to Your Sofa - Losos, Jonathan B.

    Jonathan B. Losos, The Cat’s Meow: How Cats Evolved from the Savanna to Your Sofa

    “Not just another cat book, this enthusiastic study traces the evolution of the domesticated house cat from the African wildcat and explores the scientific questions it raises… A vivid, well-rounded treat for anyone interested in cats.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Late Bloomers - Varadarajan, Deepa

    Deepa Varadajan, Late Bloomers
    (Random House)

    Bloomers, at times laugh-out-loud funny and at times quietly heartbreaking, is an intricate novel about people who rediscover themselves. Or perhaps, by being honest with themselves and with each other, discover themselves for the very first time.”
    Shelf Awareness

    Lucky Girl - Muchemi-Ndiritu, Irene

    Irene Muchemi-Ndiritu, Lucky Girl
    (Dial Press)

    “A young Kenyan woman in New York City faces an identity crisis while coming to recognize how issues of race, culture, and religion are different for Black Americans than for Black Africans… A thought-provoking exploration of the complicated experience of an African woman in America.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality - Clark, Andy

    Andy Clark, The Experience Machine: How Our Minds Predict and Shape Reality
    (Pantheon Books)

    “It’s tempting to think that our eyes and ears passively record the world like cameras and microphones, but our perceptions are much more interesting than that. Andy Clark is a leading figure in understanding the brain as a prediction machine—we don’t passively take in the world, we’re constantly anticipating it and interpreting it accordingly. This thoroughly readable book will convince you that the brain and the world are partners in constructing our understanding.”
    –Sean Carroll

    Not Alone - Jackson, Sarah K.

    Sarah K. Jackson, Not Alone
    (Doubleday Books)

    “[Not Alone] is driven by the debut author’s passionate concern for the environment… a stark depiction of how difficult it is for one person to raise a child alone, without support. With hauntingly beautiful descriptions of the natural world, this challenging novel is tough and memorable.”
    The Guardian

    Blood of the Virgin - Harkham, Sammy

    Sammy Harkham, Blood of the Virgin
    (Pantheon Books)

    “At its heart, Blood of the Virgin is a story about storytelling—the stories people tell themselves and others. This graphic novel convincingly conjures up the grindhouse movie-making scene in 1970s Los Angeles… Sammy Harkham devoted fourteen years to making this book; we see him develop into a master comics artist, and he shows himself to be an astonishingly complex and subtle storyteller.”
    –Art Spiegelman

    Homebodies - Denton-Hurst, Tembe

    Tembe Denton-Hurst, Homebodies

    “Denton-Hurst dazzles with her stirring indictment of racism in media and its insidious effects on Mickey… Emotionally and politically resonant, this is not to be missed.”
    Publishers Weekly

    We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind Of] - Pittard, Hannah

    Hannah Pittard, We Are Too Many: A Memoir [Kind of]
    (Henry Holt)

    “I read We Are Too Many all in a rush, so wrapped up in the drama and brilliant reflection Pittard makes of that drama that the world around me dropped away. Written with a fresh, empowered use of all the registers creative nonfiction offers, this memoir is a passionate recounting of the complex joys and terrors of marriage and friendship.”
    –C.J. Hauser

    Paper Names (Original) - Luo, Susie

    Susie Luo, Paper Names
    (Hanover Square Press)

    “A stunningly accomplished debut about two very different families, the struggling Zhangs and the wealthy powerful Wrights, both on a collision course with the American Dream and with one another, passing down their legacies and secrets through the generations… So alive and real, you don’t merely read this wondrous novel as much as you get to live it.”
    –Caroline Leavitt

    Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories - Sze-Lorrain, Fiona

    Fiona Sze-Lorrain, Dear Chrysanthemums: A Novel in Stories

    “Sze-Lorrain excels in the lyrical mode as her attention to sensory observation illustrates how seemingly minor details such as the play of light from a shattered stained-glass window or the geometrically interlocking joints in a table can become microcosmic worlds if one knows how to look. Weaving these details together with an orchestral sensibility, the novel serves as a multilayered meditation on intergenerational trauma, memory, and resilience.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    You Have to Be Prepared to Die Before You Can Begin to Live: Ten Weeks in Birmingham That Changed America - Kix, Paul

    Paul Kix, You Have to Be Prepared to Die Before You Can Live: Ten Weeks in Birmingham That Changed America
    (Celadon Books)

    “Journalist Kix masterfully follows the story of the protests, from the early planning stages through the demonstrations and city officials’ violent responses… A meticulously written and researched history in all its complexity.”
    Library Journal

    A History of Burning - Oza, Janika

    Janika Oza, A History of Burning
    (Grand Central Publishing)

    A History of Burning is that rare epic that manages to retain both its sweep and its intimacy. Janika Oza has written a generational saga vivid and alive with sensory and historical detail, an excavation of stories often left untold. This is a beautiful book, unflinching yet deeply engaged with that most human work, the work of forgiveness.”
    –Omar El Akkad

    The Humble Lover - White, Edmund

    Edmund White, The Humble Lover

    “Love may be universal, but no one writes about love quite like Edmund White. The veteran author returns with an outrageous, tender novel that complicates contemporary ideas of what traditional, ‘appropriate’ desires and relationships look like… This novel is as mischievous as it is thought-provoking. It is Edmund White at his very best.”

    Gone to the Wolves - Wray, John

    John Wray, Gone to the Wolves

    “A masterly opus of Florida metalheads… Wray writes about music with the enthusiasm of a fan and the precision of a critic, packing the pages with spot-on details and cannily capturing the allure of extreme music. The pages of this anthem are as uncompromising as the music they depict.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Kitchen Music - Harrison, Lesley

    Lesley Harrison, Kitchen Music: Poems
    (New Directions)

    Kitchen Music is a meticulously crafted Northern Hymnal… a brilliantly conceived orison to the flora and fauna of the higher latitudes. This collection is essential reading for anyone keen to understand why poetry remains a unique force for change on this planet.”
    –John Glenday

    The East Indian - Charry, Brinda

    Brinda Charry, The East Indian

    “Marvelous… Richly imagined characters and keen explorations of identity, place, and the power of imagination drive this luminous achievement. Readers of Esi Edugyan and Yaa Gyasi will be enthralled.”
    Publishers Weekly

    The Half Moon - Keane, Mary Beth

    Mary Beth Keane, The Half Moon

    “Deft, satisfying… Keane writes in a realist vein… but her insights into matters of the heart, longing and restlessness especially, have astonishing delicacy.”

    Mild Vertigo - Kanai, Mieko

    Mieko Kanai, Mild Vertigo (trans. Polly Barton)
    (New Directions)

    “For me, Mieko Kanai’s writing represents one of the high points of Japanese literature. The tiny details giving shape to the everyday, the daily repetitions, the memories that come suddenly flooding back, other people’s voices—all of these described in winding, iridescent prose. Their utter ordinariness, their utter irreplaceability, make for a reading experience brimming with joy from start to finish.”
    –Hiroko Oyamada

    Taking Care: The Story of Nursing and Its Power to Change Our World - DiGregorio, Sarah

    Sarah diGregorio, Taking Care: The Story of Nursing and Its Power to Change Our World

    “A capacious look at nurses throughout history, from prehistoric times to the present… A well-informed consideration of the intimacy of care.”
    Kirkus Reviews

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