An edgy, fantastical short story collection and three novels are among the highlights of this week's new paperbacks:
By Rachel Cusk
Picador • $16 • ISBN 9781250081544
Cusk’s eighth novel landed on many “best of” lists in 2015, including the New York Times’ top 10 books of the year. Through 10 conversations, we learn the painful background story of the unnamed narrator, an author heading to Greece to teach a summer writing course.
Get in Trouble
By Kelly Link
Random House • $16 • ISBN 9780812986495
The acclaimed, award-winning short story writer returns with new weird and wonderful worlds in her fourth collection, which ranked #21 on BookPage's Best Books of 2015.
By Eddie Joyce
Penguin • $16 • ISBN 9780143107873
Joyce taps his hometown of Staten Island as the setting for his memorable first novel, the story of an Italian-American family still struggling with the death of their firefighter son on 9/11.
A Small Indiscretion
By Jan Ellison
Random House • $16 • ISBN 9780812985429
Ellison took a break from college at the age of 19 to travel and work in Europe for a year, an experience that inspired her riveting debut novel about a young (and foolish) American woman whose experiences in London echo through her life two decades later. The paperback includes a reader's guide with discussion questions for book clubs.
Two acclaimed memoirs, a Nick Hornby novel and a sizzling psychological thriller are available in new paperback editions today:
By George Hodgman
Penguin • $17 • ISBN 9780143107880
A publishing industry veteran leaves New York to care for his aging mother in tiny Paris, Missouri, in this warm and wise memoir about family secrets and finding forgiveness.
Publishing: A Writer's Memoir
By Gail Godwin
Bloomsbury • $16 • ISBN 9781620408254
The novelist and three-time finalist for the National Book Award reflects on her 45-year career as a writer, from her early struggles to find her voice to the often frustrating ups-and-downs of the publishing business.
By Nick Hornby
Riverhead • $16 • ISBN 9781101983355
In his engaging seventh novel, the author of High Fidelity and About a Boy chronicles a beauty queen's rise to TV stardom in 1960s London.
By Mary Kubica
Mira • $15.99 • ISBN 9780778318743
When a Chicago woman offers shelter to a homeless teen and her baby, her generous act sets the stage for a tense family drama in this powerful followup to Kubica's bestselling debut, The Good Girl.
Our editors' choice for the top book of 2015 leads the list of new paperbacks on sale today:
A Little Life
By Hanya Yanagihara
Anchor • $17 • ISBN 9780804172707
Ranked #1 on the BookPage list of Best Books of 2015 and a finalist for the National Book Award, this harrowing and unforgettable portrait of childhood trauma and lasting friendship vaulted Yanigihara into the ranks of America’s top novelists.
A Reunion of Ghosts
By Judith Claire Mitchell
Harper Perennial • $15.99 • ISBN 9780062355898
Mitchell’s second novel is the darkly humorous story of three New York City sisters determined to follow their forebears down the path of suicide. Loosely inspired by the real-life experiences of a German chemist and his family, this is a crisply told, compelling tale.
The Brain's Way of Healing
By Norman Doidge, M.D.
Penguin • $18 • ISBN 9780143128373
The doctor who captured the emerging science of neuroplasticity in the 2007 bestseller The Brain That Changes Itself returns to demonstrate the healing power of our adaptable brains. These case studies—of neurological conditions ranging from Parkinson's disease to blindness—offer "tangible treatment ideas for patients who may have thought they were out of options," according to reviewer Sheila Trask.
Most Americans will be pulling up a chair to a heavily laden table this Thursday in celebration of Thanksgiving. If your own family drama isn't enough for you, check out one of these tension-laden reads set during the holiday season—they'll make the relationship between the pilgrims and the Native Americans seem downright functional.
May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Homes
George Silver, a widely loathed television executive, flies off the handle after a deadly car accident. Harry Silver, a Nixon scholar with less money and success than his brother, finds himself not only embroiled in the drama, but also entwined emotionally and sexually with George’s gorgeous wife, Jane—that is, until George comes home and bludgeons her to death with a table lamp.
And that’s when things really get crazy.
Strangers at the Feast by Jennifer Vanderbes
The richly drawn characters and vivid storytelling make Strangers at the Feast a must-read study of the lengths to which families will go in the face of unimaginable threats.
The Ghost at the Table by Suzanne Berne
A thoroughly engrossing story of a woman's search for family and self, vaguely reminiscent of an Anne Tyler tale, The Ghost at the Table plays out over the course of a holiday weekend.
The Lay of the Land by Richard Ford
Apart from the humor and pathos revealed in these sometimes bizarre and inexplicable incidents, what makes this such a compelling read is Ford's skillful channeling of the voice of the narrator he's shaped over the course of three books and 20 years.
Anyone have a favorite novel with a Thanksgiving setting?
This week's new paperbacks range from a celebrity memoir to a gripping true-crime title:
Even This I Get to Experience
By Norman Lear
Penguin • $17 • ISBN 9780143127963
This revealing and sometimes poignant memoir from the creator of groundbreaking TV sitcoms "All in the Family" and "Sanford & Son" won critical praise from many sources, including Booklist, which called it "one of the best Hollywood memoirs ever written."
The Uncollected David Rakoff
Edited by Timothy G. Young
Anchor • $15.95 • ISBN 9780307946478
Rakoff, a humorist who died of cancer in 2012 at the age of 47, was perhaps best known and beloved for his many episodes on NPR's "This American Life." This collection includes many entries never before published in book form, including transcripts of appearances on "Fresh Air" and "This American Life," as well as many snarky, hilarious essays. In the book's foreword, playwright Paul Rudnick identifies one of his favorite pieces as Rakoff's essay on Stuart Little, aptly titled "The Love That Dare Not Squeak Its Name."
The Danish Girl
By David Ebershoff
Penguin • $16 • ISBN 9780143108399
Ebershoff’s best-selling debut novel, first published in 2000, is available in a new movie tie-in edition one month before the release of a highly anticipated film version starring Oscar-winning actor Eddie Redmayne in the title role. The novel is loosely based on the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first people in the world to undergo transgender surgery.
By Jill Leovy
Spiegel & Grau • $16 • ISBN 9780385529990
Taking the murder of Los Angeles teenager Dovon Harris as her starting point, award-winning reporter Leovy examines the plague of violence in black communities and the failed response of the criminal justice system. Meticulously reported and thoroughly absorbing, the book won critical raves and was a bestseller in hardcover.
A novel that was a finalist for this year's Pulitzer Prize in fiction leads the list of new paperbacks on sale today:
Let Me Be Frank with You
By Richard Ford
Ecco • $14.99 • ISBN 9780061692079
Almost 30 years after Frank Bascombe was first introduced to American readers (in The Sportwriter), Ford’s celebrated character makes a wistful and poignant reappearance as a 68-year-old retiree contemplating life in New Jersey in the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
Vanessa and Her Sister
By Priya Parmar
Ballantine • $16 • ISBN 9780804176392
Told through diary entries, letters, postcards and other correspondence, Priyar’s richly imagined narrative offers a new perspective on London’s influential Bloomsbury group and the tangled lives of sisters Vanessa Bell and Virginia Woolf.
Without You, There Is No Us
By Suki Kim
Broadway • $15 • ISBN 9780307720665
A native of South Korea who emigrated to the U.S. as a teen, Kim offers a rare and captivating look at life in the secretive realm of North Korea through her perspective as an English teacher for the sons of the country’s elite.
By Sarah Wildman
Riverhead • $16 • ISBN 9781594633973
Finding a box of love letters with her late grandfather's papers spurs Wildman to search for the woman he left behind when he fled Vienna just before the Nazi occupation of Austria. Her search would take years and is recounted eloquently in this thought-provoking memoir.
It's Jane Austen week on the paperback aisle, with a sparkling new edition of one of her classic novels and a charming new story about young Jane herself:
By Charlie Lovett
Penguin • $16 • ISBN 9780143127727
In two parallel narratives, Lovett portrays Jane Austen's friendship with a young clergyman in Hampshire in 1796 and a modern-day bookseller in Oxfordshire who begins to suspect that Austen was not the actual author of Pride and Prejudice. This inventive novel is a treat for Austen fans and readers who enjoy literary mysteries.
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
By Caitlin Doughty
Norton • $15.95 • ISBN 9780393351903
As Doughty points out, we all die, so there's no use shrouding the process in secrecy. In this thoughtful and engaging memoir, the licensed mortician pulls back the curtain to reveal all the details of what happens to a corpse between death and burial (or cremation).
By Jane Austen
Penguin • $17 • ISBN 9780143107712
This Penguin Classics Deluxe edition honors the 200th anniversary of the original publication of Jane Austen's beloved novel in 1815. The paperback has a new cover by illustrator Dadu Shin, an introduction by Austen scholar Juliette Wells, maps of England, a glossary of 18th-century words and other materials to provide context for today's readers.
These four notable books published in hardcover in 2014 are available today in new paperback editions:
On Immunity: An Inoculation
By Eula Biss
Graywolf • $16 • ISBN 9781555977207
In a slender, beautifully written volume that was named one of the best books of 2014 by publications ranging from the New York Times to Entertainment Weekly, Bliss explores our long-standing fear of vaccines and our cultural myths about the nature of immunity.
Treat Us Like Dogs and We Will Become Wolves
By Carolyn Chute
Grove • $17 • ISBN 9780802124180
The second book in Chute's series about a Maine off-the-grid community and its charismatic leader won the PEN New England Award in Fiction. With an 11-page character list and icons scattered throughout the text to help readers keep track of who's who, Chute's novel offers a bold and inventive look at a sect marginalized by the mainstream.
The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us
By Diane Ackerman
Norton • $15.95 • ISBN 9780393351644
The naturalist and best-selling author (The Zookeeper's Wife) offers an illuminating exploration of the ways in which human beings have changed our planet—for better, and for worse.
A Sudden Light
By Garth Stein
Simon & Schuster • $15.99 • ISBN 9781439187043
The author of the 2008 mega-hit The Art of Racing in the Rain spins an atmospheric story about a spooky mansion on Puget Sound and the troubled family whose fortune is tied to the property.
Sadly, summer—and summer reading—are officially over, but that doesn't mean it's time to cut back on reading! These six paperbacks, on sale today, are an excellent way to kick off the fall reading season. Leading the list are two books that are being adapted into highly anticipated films:
By Bruce Cook
Grand Central • $15.99 • ISBN 9781455564989
Almost 40 years after it was first published, Grand Central is bringing out two new paperback editions of Bruce Cook's 1977 biography of Dalton Trumbo, the Hollywood screenwriter blacklisted after refusing to testify before the House Un-American Activities Committee. The two new editions, this trade paperback and a movie tie-in, are linked to the November 6 release of Trumbo, a film version with a star-studded cast that includes Bryan Cranston in the title role, along with Helen Mirren, Louis C.K. and Elle Fanning.
By Mitchell Zuckoff
Twelve • $16.99 • ISBN 9781455582280
A #1 bestseller in hardcover, Zuckoff's account of the controversial 2012 attack on the American Embassy in Benghazi, Libya, is told from the perspective of the Annex Security Team—six Americans who attempted to avert the tragedy that claimed the life of the ambassador and a foreign service officer. A movie adaptation by director Michael Bay (Armageddon, Transformers) is set to premier in January.
Liar Temptress Soldier Spy
By Karen Abbott
Harper Perennial • $16.99 • ISBN 9780062092908
In a history book that reads like a suspense novel, Abbott portrays four women who operated as spies during the Civil War—two for the Union and two for the Confederacy. Abbott's vivid writing earned the book slots on best books of the year lists from Library Journal and the Christian Science Monitor.
By Kim Zupan
Picador • $16 • ISBN 9781250074782
This arresting debut novel from Montana native Zupan captures the unexpected bond that develops between a lonely Montana sheriff's deputy and a convicted killer locked in the county jail. When their friendship leads to an act of violence, the poignant story takes a harrowing turn.
By Alix Christie
Harper Perennial • $15.99 • ISBN 9780062336026
Christie offers a masterful portrait of the brilliant inventor through the eyes of a reluctant apprentice in Gutenberg's workshop. It is young Peter who must oversee the printing of Bibles on a secret printing press—an act that will shock the world and change the course of history.
The Paying Guests
By Sarah Waters
Riverhead • $17 • ISBN 9781594633928
When a financially strapped London widow and her daughter take a young couple into their home as boarders, it changes their lives in ways they never imagined. Waters' tense psychological novel ranked #48 on the BookPage list of Best Books of 2014.
A riveting real-life survival story and an inventive debut novel by a musician are among the paperbacks on sale today:
Deep Down Dark
By Héctor Tobar
Picador • $16 • ISBN 978125007485
Championed by novelist Ann Patchett, among others, Tobar's account of the 33 Chilean miners trapped more than 2,000 feet below the surface is meticulously researched and often heartrending. Antonio Banderas will star in a film adaptation, The 33, set to debut in theaters on November 13.
Wolf in White Van
By John Darnielle
Picador • $16 • ISBN 9781250074713
A finalist for the L.A. Times Book Prize for First Fiction, this wildly original novel from the singer for the indie band the Mountain Goats explores the aftermath of trauma through the experiences of a reclusive game designer.
By Amy FitzHenry
Berkley • $15 • ISBN 9780425281116
When Emma's career-minded mother announces that she's too busy to attend her daughter's rehearsal dinner, the bride-to-be finds all her doubts about marriage and forever overcoming her hopes for a happily-ever-after. Taking the advice of her best friend, Emma heads to San Francisco to track down the father who skipped out on her and to confront at last the emotions she can no longer hide. This charming debut novel by a Los Angeles lawyer is a trade paperback original.
Fire Shut Up in My Bones
By Charles M. Blow
Mariner • $14.95 • ISBN 9780544570115
In a powerful memoir, the New York Times columnist recalls the poverty and abuse of his Louisiana childhood and reveals the echoes of his tramautic past in a long, painful search for his personal and sexual identity.