1 of 25
by Rion Amilcar Scott
Cross River, Md., is a fictional town with an exceptional claim: it was founded during the Great Insurrection, the only successful slave revolt in the United States. While its residents experience less hostility than they would in neighboring towns, the legacy of slavery has manifested itself in ways that make Cross Riverians unlike any other characters in literature.
In The World Doesn't Require You, Rion Amilcar Scott presents a collection of short stories and a novella that defy convention. Readers ... [ Read More » ]
2 of 25
by Mary Doria Russell
"Labor protests" conjures sooty-faced coal miners, Pullman porters or steelworkers. But Mary Doria Russell's (The Sparrow; Epitaph) seventh novel illuminates labor heroes history often neglects: the women who fought for their husbands, fathers and sons.
The Women of the Copper Country are led by Annie Clements, head of the Women's Auxiliary, Local 15, of the Western Federation of Miners in Calumet, Mich. In this Upper Peninsula city near Lake Superior, the world's largest copper mine boomed as fabulously ... [ Read More » ]
3 of 25
by Leah Price
Video killed the radio star, goes the song. Then the bells tolled for books, victim to increasing distractibility and the digital revolution.
Actually, not so much, argues book historian Leah Price in What We Talk About When We Talk About Books: The History and Future of Reading. In the years since (and before) Nicholas Carr's 2008 Atlantic article asking "Is Google making us stupid?" literacy researchers have found ample evidence to suggest otherwise.
Price (The Anthology and the Rise of the Novel ... [ Read More » ]
4 of 25
by Alix Nathan
The year is 1793 and Herbert Powyss, gentleman farmer and amateur botanist, has hit upon an idea for an experiment to establish him as a true scientist: for seven years, a volunteer will live in complete isolation in a set of apartments two stories below his manor. This man will be given the same food that Powyss is served, with books and writing material to record his experience. Upon the completion of the experiment, he will receive £50 a year for the rest of his life. The only person who ... [ Read More » ]
5 of 25
by Jordi Puntí, trans. by Julie Wark
This Is Not America collects nine short stories, all previously published, from Catalonian author Jordi Puntí, translated by Julie Wark. Puntí's stories cover a range of characters, voices and situations, all exploring themes of loneliness and reflection.
A man walks through Barcelona in "Vertical," tracing his dead lover's name with his steps. He's forgetting her face, which is "gently fading away, a vapory cloud of smoke." In "Blinker," a man recalls his years hitchhiking, carrying ... [ Read More » ]
6 of 25
by Alexandra Teague
Alexandra Teague's third collection of poems, Or What We'll Call Desire, is a lyrical, emotional dance between high art and popular culture, mythology and history. The poet ponders love, representation, mental illness, loss and patriarchy, ultimately considering across the pages the depiction of, and the making of, a woman's form.
Everything gets folded together into layered musings both embedded in and separated from the now--snapshots of landscapes and moments in time dissected and woven into each ... [ Read More » ]
7 of 25
by Anar Ali
When dictator Idi Amin decrees all South Asian people in Uganda must relinquish their possessions and exit the country or be forcibly removed, Mansoor Visram, his wife, Layla, and their son, Ashif--a well-to-do family--choose Canada as the place to begin their lives anew.
While Layla clings to her religion in their adopted country, Mansoor wonders who needs faith when you have business acumen. After working menial jobs, he buys a couple of businesses. He makes great sacrifices to ensure the success ... [ Read More » ]
8 of 25
by Stacey Lee
As The Downstairs Girl begins, it's March of 1890, and 17-year-old narrator Jo Kuan of Atlanta needs a job to help support herself and Old Gin, who has cared for her since infancy. She reluctantly accepts employment as a lady's maid for a Nellie Oleson type who doesn't let Jo forget that she's Chinese.
Jo and Old Gin are secretly living in the basement of the Bell home, where the family publishes a progressive but financially imperiled newspaper. Jo eavesdrops on the family through a listening tube ... [ Read More » ]
9 of 25
by Jennifer Thermes
"Millions of years ago when the glaciers melted, before anything had a name, the island lay sheltered in an estuary." For thousands of years, the Lenape people lived on the island of Mannahatta, "using what they needed and nothing more." In 1609, Englishman Henry Hudson saw the island and told his Dutch employer about the land; the Dutch then claimed its southern port as their own.
So begins Jennifer Thermes's (Charles Darwin's Around-the-World Adventure) picture book history of New York City, Manhattan: ... [ Read More » ]
10 of 25
by Sarah Laskow, illus. by Sam Beck
... [ Read More » ]
11 of 25
by Jill Heinerth
"If I die, it will be in the most glorious place that nobody has ever seen." So begins explorer Jill Heinerth's fascinating Into the Planet: My Life as a Cave Diver. Heinerth's obsession with venturing toward the center of the Earth eventually brings her to the depths of an Antarctic iceberg, where "beauty contradicts the danger." A veteran of underground expeditions, Heinerth leads a National Geographic diving team into an iceberg that scientists call Godzilla.
Within that frozen world, trapped ... [ Read More » ]
12 of 25
by John Birmingham
Far-future humanity spans the galaxy in corporate monarchies, slaving empires and other polities of variable egalitarianism. These vast distances are spanned by instant wormhole-based communications and ships with more time-consuming warp drives. Citizens of means edit their biological makeups, graft cybernetics to their brains, even remotely back up their consciousnesses and download into new bodies, effectively achieving immortality. But this transhumanism is not agreeable to all. Centuries ago, ... [ Read More » ]
13 of 25
by Lisa Sandlin
Tom Phelan is painting over the remains of a bloody crime scene in his office as the second Delpha Wade and Tom Phelan mystery begins. The Bird Boys picks up where Lisa Sandlin's debut, The Do-Right, left off, with Delpha bloodied and under investigation for another act of violence. Vietnam vet Tom is six months into his private investigation practice. Delpha is even more tragically layered, lucky to get the secretarial gig following her release from Gatesville prison after serving 14 years for killing ... [ Read More » ]
14 of 25
by Rob Hart
After a few setbacks in his career, Paxton is feeling hopeful again, even though he's among dozens of people being bused to a dusty town to apply for a job at Cloud, a giant retailer that has taken over much of the economy. If Paxton is hired, he won't need to worry about housing or health care; the company provides on-site apartments and medical services. Never mind that it doesn't pay minimum wage or in cash and makes employees work seven days a week--Cloud takes care of everything! Paxton's main ... [ Read More » ]
15 of 25
by Ruth Ware
... [ Read More » ]
16 of 25
by Ronald C. Rosbottom
In Sudden Courage: Youth in France Confront the Germans, 1940-1945, historian Ronald C. Rosbottom (When Paris Went Dark) examines the often underestimated role played by young people in the French resistance against both the Nazis in Occupied France and the collaborationist policies of the Vichy regime under Marshal Philippe Pétain in World War II.
Rosbottom begins by describing what it was like to grow up in 1930s France, with an emphasis on the long shadow of World War I, the popularity ... [ Read More » ]
17 of 25
by Rachel Monroe
Rachel Monroe has been "murder minded" since childhood, part of an overwhelmingly female demographic that consumes true-crime books, podcasts and television shows. It's an obsession that makes her a little uncomfortable. Monroe's first book, Savage Appetites: Four True Stories of Women, Crime, and Obsession, explores these interests through four case studies: detective, victim, defender and killer.
Frances Glessner Lee became an expert on early forensic studies and built the Nutshell Studies ... [ Read More » ]
18 of 25
by Kameron Hurley
The speculative stories collected in Meet Me in the Future are brutal, touching and truly fantastical. Like Ursula K. Le Guin, Hurley has an unlimited imagination and the ability to understand the full implications of her creations. The opening tale, "Elephants and Corpses," for instance, follows a body mercenary with the ability to move their consciousness to fresh cadavers once their own body expires. Hurley uses her conceit to grapple with difficult questions: What does it mean never truly ... [ Read More » ]
19 of 25
by Mina Javaherbin, illus. by Lindsey Yankey
... [ Read More » ]
20 of 25
by Poppy Champignon, illus. by Mark Hoffmann
Let's face it: For a certain young demographic, potty talk is comedy gold. In Poppy Champignon's Poop, the toilet humor reaches lofty new heights--or is it lows?
It starts with a word: "Poop," a raccoon tells a mouse, apropos of nothing. "Nope, coop," replies the mouse one page later, and it's true--raccoon and mouse are shown standing in front of a chicken coop. The raccoon tries again: "Poop." "Nope, loop," the mouse counters on the following page. Correct again--they are now watching a paper airplane's ... [ Read More » ]
21 of 25
by Ibram X. Kendi
Following the publication of Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America--winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction--Ibram X. Kendi found that conversations about his book centered on one question: What can we do?
How to Be an Antiracist is his pressing, penetrating answer. In it, Kendi builds a framework for thinking differently about racism and racist policies, proposing "a radical reorientation of our consciousness" and conversations on the subject. ... [ Read More » ]
22 of 25
by Fernanda Torres, trans. by Eric M.B. Becker
Once upon a time, Mario Cardoso was "a god beneath the spotlight, a counterculture sex symbol, archetype of the ideal man, Dionysus reborn." With no lack of youthful passion, he quits his architecture studies to join the chorus of a raucous production of Hair and quickly rises to superstardom on stage and screen. Collecting accolades, fans, lovers (in addition to an Oxford-educated, upper-class wife), decades pass, until one day he admits he's "a lazy actor in league with bloodsuckers raiding the ... [ Read More » ]
23 of 25
by Madeline Stevens
Something went deeply wrong while Ella was working as a nanny for Lonnie and James. Debut novelist Madeline Stevens opens Devotion six months after Ella's employment ends, when James drunkenly appears at the small apartment she shares with a roommate. She wonders if he realizes how many of the books on the shelves were taken from his house. Starting from that prologue, a sense of menace grabs the reader. When the first chapter jumps back to Ella's hiring and how working for the wealthy couple will ... [ Read More » ]
24 of 25
by Elizabeth L. Cline
In her first book, Overdressed, journalist Elizabeth L. Cline took a hard look at the fast-fashion industry and its high (often hidden) costs for consumers, clothing factory workers and the environment. Seven years later, she's back to share further insights on shopping sustainably--and how it can lead to looking better and saving money. The Conscious Closet, Cline's second book, is a smart, practical successor to Overdressed and a helpful primer on ethical fashion.
Cline begins ... [ Read More » ]
25 of 25
by Jonathan Vatner
Penelope "Pepper" Bradford may be rich and unemployed, but she can't be said to be idle. When she and her wealth manager fiancé, Rick, move into the Chelmsford Arms, located in Manhattan's tony Carnegie Hill neighborhood, she immediately joins the building's co-op board. Unlike many of literature's rich folk, Pepper is brutally self-aware: "At least the co-op board was something to distract her from the black hole of her achievements."
At her first board meeting, Pepper meets Francis, who ... [ Read More » ]