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    Spooky good news: There are 22 new books out today.

    Gabrielle Bellot

    October 31, 2023, 4:00am

    It’s the 31st of October, that most iconically bewitching day of the month when, we are told, the borders between the worlds of the living and the dead are thinner than ever. Whatever you might make of such sepulchral possibilities, it’s undeniable that October’s end often suggests a shift, be it in the colors of leaves or the briskness of the air or how quickly the sun will set. It can as easily be charming as depressing, a shift that pulls some of us outside to enjoy the pyrotechnic colors of the trees and that makes others of us want to hide away inside from the dark and cold. And, of course, some of us will be celebrating in costumes with bellies full of remarkably sugary candy; others may mark today with rituals of remembrance; others still may spurn all the associations of the day.

    Whatever you end up doing, one thing is for certain: it’s better with a book by your side, and what better than a new one? Below, you’ll find twenty-two exciting new books out today, including masterful novels, a definitive new translation of Tomas Tranströmer’s poems, anthologies exploring Blackness in the punk scene and in design, and lots of powerful nonfiction, exploring the history of science and abortion access, astronomy, anarchy, and the lives of celebrities living and dead, including Nicholas Cage, Charlie Chaplin, and Willie Nelson. I hope you’ll close out October with one or more of these intriguing new offerings; how better to enter a new month, after all, than with the promise of new and wonderful things to read?


    Absolution - McDermott, Alice

    Alice McDermott, Absolution

    “For more than forty years, McDermott’s deep understanding of human nature and wizardry in creating characters has been the seedbed of one bestselling, award-winning novel after another. Now she has outdone herself with an exquisitely conceived and executed novel that explores her signature topic, moral obligation, against the backdrop of the fraught time preceding the Vietnam War….This transporting, piercing, profound novel is McDermott’s masterpiece.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    The Glutton - Blakemore, A. K.

    A. K. Blakemore, The Glutton

    “Gorgeous and brutal, striking and wise, The Glutton is, at its core, a rich story of the lengths we will go to find belonging. A lyrical and propulsive reimagined historical rendering that will strike a deep cord with today’s readers. Like nothing else I’ve ever read. Absolutely outstanding.”
    –Chelsea Bieker

    The Berry Pickers - Peters, Amanda

    Amanda Peters, The Berry Pickers

    The Berry Pickers is an intimately written tale of the destruction wreaked on a family when their youngest child is stolen. Peters brilliantly crafts a multi-layered tale….On a meta level, the book eloquently speaks to the deep loss and existential searching that Indigenous children who were scooped and placed in non-indigenous homes are haunted by throughout their lives. An amazing read from an amazing new voice.”
    –Michelle Good

    The Blue House: Collected Works of Tomas Tranströmer - Tranströmer, Tomas

    Tomas Tranströmer, The Blue House: Collected Works of Tomas Tranströmer (trans. Patty Crane)
    (Copper Canyon Press)

    “Incandescent. Crane’s translations feel as close to the original Swedish as one is likely to get….This new gathering will draw readers into the poet’s grounded realm of both the familiar and the magical….The Blue House will long be considered the definitive tome of Tranströmer’s work in English and should be on every poetry shelf.”

    Because You Previously Liked or Played - Redmond, Jim

    Jim Redmond, Because You Previously Liked or Played
    (Deep Vellum)

    “Sometimes funny, sometimes creepy, always sharply in touch with the moment, Jim Redmond’s Because You Previously Liked or Played is a distinctly millennial lean into Gen X cultural references and ironic poetics….Redmond’s style hits his targets best when he tackles digital life….Digital life overlaps with real-world consequences in ‘Feed’…: ‘all of the other boys laughing along with the crackle and pop / and I didn’t say anything, I did not look away.’ Like his narrator, Redmond doesn’t look away.”

    Motherland: A Memoir - Ramón, Paula

    Paula Ramón, Motherland: A Memoir (trans. Julia Sanches and Jennifer Shyue)
    (Amazon Crossing)

    “Terrific Venezuelan journalist Paula Ramon’s Motherland is a joint study of a nation dying under authoritarianism, and a family pulling away, leaving their aging matriarch alone in ‘a concrete bunker’ of a home, a hotbox when the mismanaged electrical grids fail. Rarely are South American upheavals explained with such intimacy.”
    Chicago Tribune

    Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines - Buolamwini, Joy

    Joy Buolamwini, Unmasking AI: My Mission to Protect What Is Human in a World of Machines
    (Random House)

    “[A] trenchant debut….Buolamwini proves that she’s among the sharpest critics of AI, and her list of principles for achieving ‘algorithmic justice,’ which includes the stipulation that ‘people have a voice’ in shaping the algorithms that influence their lives, charts a path forward. Urgent and incisive, this is a vital examination of AI’s pitfalls.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Mischievous Creatures: The Forgotten Sisters Who Transformed Early American Science - McNeur, Catherine

    Catherine McNeur, Mischievous Creatures: The Forgotten Sisters Who Transformed Early American Science
    (Basic Books)

    “What did it mean for a woman to pursue a life in science in the decades before the Civil War? In this elegant and insightful book, Catherine McNeur recovers the lives and scientific labors of entomologist Margaretta Hare Morris and botanist Elizabeth Carrington Morris….With stunning work in the archives, McNeur moves the Morris sisters from the margins to the center of the story and changes the way we think about the history of antebellum American science.”
    –Ann Fabian

    The Trials of Madame Restell: Nineteenth-Century America's Most Infamous Female Physician and the Campaign to Make Abortion a Crime - Syrett, Nicholas L.

    Nicholas L. Syrett, The Trials of Madame Restell: Nineteenth-Century America’s Most Infamous Female Physician and the Campaign to Make Abortion a Crime
    (New Press)

    “In an era when men of law and medicine were aggressively eliminating women’s sexual and medical rights, Madame Restell was one of the few women who dared to openly defy them. She earned international notoriety and a small fortune providing birth control, abortions, and a refuge for pregnant women who had nowhere else place to turn….Anyone who wants to understand the current conflagrations over abortion needs to read The Trials of Madame Restell.”
    –Debby Applegate

    Black Punk Now - Terry, Chris L.

    Chris L. Terry (editor), James Spooner Spooner (editor), Black Punk Now
    (Soft Skull)

    “With graphics, short stories, poems, lyrics, conversations, commentary, and notes on how capitalism naturally tries to co-opt cultural scenes and how Black punks naturally resist it, the anthology is a cornucopia of righteous resistance, both fun to read and energetically provocative….Great reading for punks of every persuasion, who, one hopes, will take it and change the world.”
    Kirkus Reviews

    An Anthology of Blackness: The State of Black Design - Moses, Terresa

    Terresa Moses (editor), Omari Souza (editor), An Anthology of Blackness: The State of Black Design
    (MIT Press)

    “The history of design…excludes centuries of highly skilled and creative production by Africans and the African diaspora. This book…seeks to turn things around…delv[ing] into the protests of African American communities in the 1920s and 1960s and examin[ing] the creative tactics they employed. Building on these historical roots, the book leads us to question design’s ability to challenge racial biases, forms of oppression, and establish itself as a truly inclusive social practice.”

    The Sun Sets in Singapore - Fadipe, Kehinde

    Kehinde Fadipe, The Sun Sets in Singapore
    (Grand Central Publishing)

    “[A] striking debut….Fadipe casts a studied eye on Singapore’s small but thriving African expatriate community while weaving a cautionary fable about how all that glitters may not be gold….Shrewd observations on identity, classism, and racism give the novel an emotional edge….Savor the local settings and depictions of high society.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Edith Holler - Carey, Edward

    Edward Carey, Edith Holler

    “Brilliant and shiver-inducing, Edith Holler is a delightfully macabre achievement, equal parts Charles Dickens and Sweeney Todd. Through Edith’s keen eyes we come to know her family theatre and its many denizens—each a masterpiece of oddity—as well as the frightening newcomer who threatens to topple her very world. A bravura performance.”
    –Helene Wecker

    Zoey Is Too Drunk for This Dystopia - Pargin, Jason

    Jason Pargin, Zoey Is Too Drunk for This Dystopia
    (St. Martin’s Press)

    “Jason Pargin’s Zoey Ashe series is the dystopias of Margaret Atwood meets Parks and Recreation, a fast-paced, witty and much-needed shot in the arm to the genre. Funny without being flippant, cynical without being insincere, this is one of the best ongoing series out there today.”
    –Lindsay Ellis

    White Holes - Rovelli, Carlo

    Carlo Rovelli, White Holes

    White Holes edifies, excites, and even transforms me. Rovelli summons us to novel forms of knowledge while also breathing life into questions that affect all sentient beings, such as: how do we proceed when our guides no longer suffice? I’m grateful for the warm invitation to the journey.”
    –Maggie Nelson

    American Anarchy: The Epic Struggle Between Immigrant Radicals and the Us Government at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century - Willrich, Michael

    Michael Willrich, American Anarchy: The Epic Struggle Between Immigrant Radicals and the Us Government at the Dawn of the Twentieth Century
    (Basic Books)

    “In American Anarchy, Michael Willrich recaptures the high drama and ultimate tragedy of the anarchist movement in the United States. A century ago, Emma Goldman and her comrades were household names, inspirations for both liberatory promise and deep, abiding fear. With their challenges to the social order…they upended assumptions about safety, liberty, and capitalism itself…..Willrich’s book provides a compelling account of the cases and conflicts that once preoccupied the nation.”
    –Beverly Gage

    A Shining - Fosse, Jon

    Jon Fosse, A Shining (trans. Damion Searls)
    (Transit Books)

    “Fosse follows up the voluminous Septology with the hypnotic story of a man lost in remote Norwegian woods….Searls translates with precision and playfulness as Fosse commits to his strange vision. It works because the narrator remains anchored in logic even as events unfold like a dream….Fosse fans will savor this assured monologue of ethereal events.”
    Publishers Weekly

    Lena Horne: Goddess Reclaimed - Bogle, Donald

    Donald Bogle, Lena Horne: Goddess Reclaimed
    (Running Press Adult)

    “Bogle…gives a richly detailed depiction of the life of singer and actress Lena Horne….Using archival interviews and newspaper articles, Bogle presents fascinating details about Horne’s personal and professional lives, including her fierce political and social activism as she handled racism in Hollywood and later took part in the civil rights movement. Bogle also dives into her failed marriages and her love affairs with actor/director Orson Welles and boxer Joe Louis. The book is enhanced by roughly 250 color and black-and-white photos….An immensely enjoyable and comprehensive look at one of the most glamorous stars of her time.”
    Library Journal

    Charlie Chaplin vs. America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided - Eyman, Scott

    Scott Eyman, Charlie Chaplin vs. America: When Art, Sex, and Politics Collided
    (Simon & Schuster)

    “A refreshing, almost startling, new look at the great Chaplin. Scott Eyman has sifted all the evidence to be had, curated the most telling points, and presented them in the most insightful and readable manner possible. If you want to know Charles Chaplin in absolutely all his shades and variations, this is the book you need to read.”
    –James Curtis

    How Coppola Became Cage - Schonfeld, Zach

    Zach Schonfeld, How Coppola Became Cage
    (Oxford University Press)

    “Before Nicolas Cage was a national treasure, he was Nicky Coppola, an eccentric young actor trying to break out from the long shadow of his family name. In this thorough look at Cage’s seldom documented early years, Zach Schonfeld draws on original interviews with siblings, classmates, and colleagues to chronicle his journey from high school theater kid to Valley Girl heartthrob to household name. A must read for Cage fans.”
    –Dan Ozzi

    Being Henry: The Fonz . . . and Beyond - Winkler, Henry

    Henry Winkler, Being Henry: The Fonz…and Beyond
    (Celadon Books)

    “Sharing memorable and funny behind-the-scenes moments, Being Henry entertains as an introspective, self-deprecating, and quite moving memoir from a versatile actor….The many, many fans Winkler has gathered over his fifty years in Hollywood won’t be disappointed by this charming memoir.”

    Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs - Nelson, Willie

    Willie Nelson, David Ritz, Energy Follows Thought: The Stories Behind My Songs
    (William Morrow)

    “In a wry narrative shot through with a loopy, stoner spiritualism, the great songwriter and outlaw country artist takes a ramble through his back pages….A lively accompaniment to Nelson’s sprawling, genre-crossing, delightful catalog of recordings.”
    Kirkus Reviews

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