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    A Crime-Solving Maid! A History of The OC! 15 new books out today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    November 28, 2023, 4:55am

    November is nearing its end, and, after a holiday weekend that may have been filled as much with leftovers as the kind of family drama that makes you wish for the power of invisibility, you may be coming into this week with a serious need to reset things. Fear not, Dear Readers: there are new books out today for just that reason. (Well, for other reasons, but that one’s pretty important.) Late November is often a time when there are fewer new books being published, but I’ve still got you covered with fifteen new titles to consider below, some cozy and cute, some dark, some revisionist histories of stories you may have thought you knew.

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    You’ll find a new novel from Sarah Blakley-Cartwright that has shades of Didion, but queerer, which is a winning combination in my eyes; a tale about a maid who is also a sleuth; a powerful graphic memoir from Karina Shor about grappling with addiction, trauma, and more; a true-crime study of the man who may have been America’s first mass murderer; new looks at Francis Ford Coppola and Elvis; and more. Whatever you’re in the mood for, I hope you’ll find something below to help you recharge or to add to your ever-embiggening stacks of to-be-read books.


    Alice Sadie Celine - Blakley-Cartwright, Sarah

    Sarah Blakley-Cartwright, Alice Sadie Celine
    (Simon & Schuster)

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    “Like Didion but with more warmth and a queer sensibility, Alice Sadie Celine is packed with so much of what I love in a book: tight prose, smart, fully realized characters grappling with inappropriate love affairs, and bright California land and light. It’s extraordinarily lovely and I savored every word and didn’t want it to end.”
    –Bethany Ball

    We Must Not Think of Ourselves - Grodstein, Lauren

    Lauren Grodstein, We Must Not Think of Ourselves
    (Algonquin Books)

    “In We Must Not Think of Ourselves, Lauren Grodstein writes with such a blazing commitment to the truth of the Warsaw Ghetto that sometimes I had to stop reading and catch my breath. But in the midst of the brutality, she clears a path for the parallel stories of love and decency. Make no mistake: this is a heartbreaking portrait of a dark moment. But this novel shimmers with light.”
    –Lauren Fox

    Silence, Full Stop: A Memoir - Shor, Karina

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    Karina Shor, Silence, Full Stop: A Memoir
    (Street Noise Books)

    “This harrowing [graphic] tale of childhood displacement, sexual assault, adolescent drug abuse and depersonalization hurtles forward with eloquence. Not since Ralph Steadman’s illustrations for Hunter Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas have images evoked so vividly the subjective experience of drug use.”
    –Jennifer Hayden

    The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story - Wasson, Sam

    Sam Wasson, The Path to Paradise: A Francis Ford Coppola Story

    “Of all that has been written about Francis Ford Coppola, this book most accurately captures the film director’s chaotic life….Wasson has written a string of successful books about the entertainment business…but this one might be his best so far. Rich in detail, it’s full of surprises and revelations, and impeccably researched and documented. For fans of books about moviemaking in general, and Francis Ford Coppola in particular, this is required reading.”

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    Welcome to the O.C.: The Oral History - Sepinwall, Alan

    Alan Sepinwall, Josh Schwartz, Stephanie Savage, Welcome to the O.C: The Oral History
    (Mariner Books)

    “Twenty years after the hit teen drama The O.C. first aired, its creators are taking us all for a romp down memory lane with an oral history of the series, featuring interviews with its stars, writers, directors, and more. It’s a fascinating peek behind the making of a megahit, and a delightful bit of nostalgia for those of us who remember life before streaming TV.”
    Town & Country

    The Mystery Guest: A Maid Novel - Prose, Nita

    Nita Prose, The Mystery Guest: A Maid Novel
    (Ballantine Books)

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    “Wise and winning and altogether wondrous…perfect for fans of Agatha Christie, Knives Out, and tasteful whodunits of any vintage…a splendid novel to restore your faith in character-driven storytelling.”
    –A. J. Finn

    Kids Run the Show - de Vigan, Delphine

    Delphine de Vigan, Kids Run the Show (trans. Alison Anderson)
    (Europa Editions)

    “The search for a kidnapped child reveals the truth behind her curated onscreen image….As the kidnapper’s demands become more bizarre and the list of suspects lengthens to include practically anyone watching [their YouTube] channel, both women must reckon with the ramifications of living in a world where the most banal details of family life can be packaged and monetized….An intelligent and affecting look at the void that lurks inside our social media fantasies of domestic bliss.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Fiction Writer (Original) - Cantor, Jillian

    Jillian Cantor, The Fiction Writer
    (Park Row)

    “Jillian Cantor’s immersive and thought-provoking new novel, The Fiction Writer is no ordinary retelling of [Daphne du Maurier’s] Rebbeca. Instead, Cantor delivers a layered, inventive tale that uses the beloved classic to question who owns a story and who gets to tell it. I loved escaping into this atmospheric and suspenseful story. A must-read for readers and writers alike.”
    –Amy Meyerson

    Starkweather: The Untold Story of the Killing Spree That Changed America - MacLean, Harry N.

    Harry N. MacLean, Starkweather: The Untold Story of the Killing Spree That Changed America

    “Spellbinding. Starkweather is not only a chronicle of [Charles Starkweather]’s brief life and crimes, but also a skillful examination of the dark moment when a shocking murder spree in an unexpected place collided with a nascent national media—and changed America forever. Anyone today who seriously wonders how our crimescape became so freakish must read this book. It’s one of our most meticulously researched and important crime-history books in a long time.”
    –Ron Franscell

    Outrageous: A History of Showbiz and the Culture Wars - Nesteroff, Kliph

    Kliph Nesteroff, Outrageous: A History of Showbiz and the Culture Wars
    (Abrams Press)

    Outrageous is an enlightening and entertaining, detailed, and wide-ranging (and fun!) overview of the never-ending war between censorship and comic voices in showbiz going all the way back into the 1800s. Kliph Nesteroff is an expert unparalleled on the history of comedy, and this couldn’t be a more perfect book for our times. I loved it.”
    –Bob Odenkirk

    Listen: On Music, Sound and Us (Original) - Faber, Michel

    Michel Faber, Listen: On Music, Sound and Us
    (Hanover Square Press)

    “An extraordinary and compelling ‘journey into sound’….Michel Faber writes beautifully, non-condescendingly and provocatively about something as basic and fundamental to human existence as oxygen….[B]rilliant and a joy to read…He’s obviously listened and thought long and hard about the act and art of consuming sound/music….Listen is right up there with Richard Meltzer’s The Aesthetics of Rock and Geoffrey O’Brien’s Sonata for Jukebox at the top of my mental music shelf.”
    –Gary Lucas

    Elvis and the Colonel: An Insider's Look at the Most Legendary Partnership in Show Business - McDonald, Greg

    Greg McDonald, Marshall Terrill, Elvis and the Colonel: An Insider’s Look at the Most Legendary Partnership in Show Business
    (St. Martin’s Press)

    “In this addictive behind-the-scenes account, film and TV producer McDonald teams up with biographer Terrill (Steve McQueen) to dispel myths surrounding the relationship between Elvis Presley and his longtime business manager, Colonel Tom Parker….McDonald offers…the riveting tale of a man who used his ‘innate knack for creating a spectacle’ to bring his client’s once-in-a-lifetime talent to the masses….[T]his will more than satisfy fans hungry for insight into Elvis and those in his orbit.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Amaza Lee Meredith Imagines Herself Modern: Architecture and the Black American Middle Class - Taylor, Jacqueline

    Jacqueline Taylor, Amaza Lee Meredith Imagines Herself Modern: Architecture and the Black American Middle Class
    (MIT Press)

    “Taylor chronicles the life and work of Amaza Lee Meredith, a Black woman architect, artist, and educator who expanded our understanding of the Great Migration and the Harlem Renaissance. Using Meredith as a lens to study the role architecture played in early twentieth-century Black middle-class identity, Taylor shows that Meredith, like so many other Black cultural producers, wasn’t marginal to the modernist project but rather central to its definition.”
    The Millions

    The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Legend of George Santos - Chiusano, Mark

    Mark Chiusano, The Fabulist: The Lying, Hustling, Grifting, Stealing, and Very American Story of George Santos
    (Atria/One Signal Publishers)

    “Dogged reporting….As if channeling Herman Melville’s novel The Confidence-Man, Chiusano suggests that America is a nation of wolves and sheep, where the wolves always win….In a well-researched book, Chiusano offers fair warning to anyone who might consider voting for his con man subject.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    Human Capital: A History of Putting Refugees to Work - Robson, Laura

    Laura Robson, Human Capital: A History of Putting Refugees to Work

    “In this impassioned and important book, Laura Robson casts the modern system of international refugee relief—its origins, evolution, and current objectives—in a damning new light. A powerful, revelatory account of the strategies used by great powers to control and exploit refugees under the guise of humanitarian assistance.”
    –Dane Kennedy

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