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John Waters’s First Novel Is Manic, Hyperbolic and Deviant. Surprised? – The New York Times

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“Liarmouth” is about three generations of women in one family who plan to confront or kill one another. It also has a trampoline fun park.

A Feel-Bad Romance
By John Waters
240 pages. Farrar, Straus & Giroux. $26.

In a recent essay for Gawker, Alexandra Tanner questioned why there are so many contemporary novels about “generations of women.” Often marketed as “sweeping or stunning, these books’ implicit promise to their readers, who are mostly women, is that they can, by reading them, understand what it is to be women from women,” Tanner wrote, observing that the premise, when abused, offers a spurious shortcut to poignancy and depth.

In the wake of Tanner’s essay, it was highly pleasurable to discover that the first novel from John Waters — film director, essayist, artist, non-woman, known hater of poignancy — is about … “generations of women.” A vibration of glee will twerk its way up and down a reader’s spine if she dares to imagine a team of publicists sweating to sell Waters’s filthy creation as a manual of insight into the female condition. (They haven’t tried so far, but maybe they should.)

From oldest to youngest, these women are Adora, Marsha and Poppy. Adora Sprinkle is an unlicensed Upper East Side plastic surgeon who performs cosmetic tweaks on pets. She has pioneered, along with Pekingese butt lifts and dachshund leg extensions, the implantation of faux testicles that can restore the stolen swagger of a neutered dog. Adora’s business is based on a simple insight: The human fear of aging can be projected onto anything. What is an un-Botoxed cat if not a walking, purring memento mori?

Adora’s estranged daughter, Marsha, is a thief who hates snitches, patriotism, children, food and people who stand instead of walking on escalators. She is appalled by the fact that Uber drivers are allowed to rate her. When a guy asks directions to the local mall, Marsha describes the wrong route simply to quench her appetite for random acts of sadism. Lying makes her feel “better, more intellectually advanced yet practical and, yes, prettier.”

Completing the lineage is Marsha’s daughter, Poppy, who runs a trampoline park somewhere outside Baltimore. The park has been shut down following injuries to several children but remains an illegal sanctuary for Poppy and her gang of adult trampoline fanatics, who have discovered that the best cure for emotional trauma is nonstop bouncing. (It’s free, it won’t cause sexual dysfunction and you can do it with your friends.) When Marsha shows up at the fun park and robs everyone in sight, Poppy bursts into a matricidal rage. She has been crossed by her mother one too many times. Marsha must die.

If “Liarmouth” had a plot, this would be the inciting incident. Instead, the novel unfurls as a tangled ribbon of manic events untouched by the logic of cause and effect. There’s a geographical impetus, sort of. The three women all move in a northeast direction toward Provincetown in Cape Cod, where they plan to confront or kill one another. How do they get there? Planes, trains, ambulances, a stolen Ford Explorer, a van with hydraulic fittings. Why Provincetown? Doesn’t matter.

Greg Gorman

You don’t go to the films of John Waters for a tidy three-act structure, and you don’t go to his essays for elements locking into place with the organizational splendor of a magic square. Naturally, there are qualities you shouldn’t seek in his fiction either. These include understated punctuation, expressions of interiority and sociohistorical breadth.

Like all novels, this one is bounded by the subjectivity of its creator. But Waters doesn’t even bother to throw his voice; every character thinks and speaks exactly like the author. This move only works, as it does here, in rare cases. The peasants in a Pieter Bruegel the Elder painting all look the same — like human-potato hybrids — and nobody marks it as a demerit.

What you get from John Waters is crotch punching, exploding televisions, geysers of blood, deviants, wackos and reprobates. You get phrases like “ridiculous genital display” and “penis probation”; scatology, tickle fetishes and satanic babies. You get teeming panoramas of freaks in thrall to their own depravity. (Another painter comes to mind: Hieronymus Bosch.)

Hyperbole is this writer’s native tongue. A man doesn’t get aroused; sexual adrenaline surges through his loins “like a tsunami wave ripping through a small Japanese village.” A woman doesn’t give birth; she endures a “saga of labor lunacy.” Waters writes toward the funny bone and the gag reflex. He is not at the mercy of political correctness or good taste or spelling conventions. Like any true weirdo, he seems to consider himself normal. When you read a book like this, you’re wandering into a maze of anarchy that is fully legible only to its creator.

Scads of other feral writers exist, but they are usually found in the catalogs of small presses — like Two Dollar Radio, Emily Books, Deluge, Pioneer Works and Inventory, to name a handful out of hundreds — not major publishers. “Liarmouth” is the exception that proves an irritating rule. Big publishing has always been insider territory, and consolidation hasn’t helped. (News releases will tell you otherwise, but if you seek truth in news releases, I have some exciting zero-risk crypto opportunities to tell you about.)

For real strangeness in novels, you usually have to voyage to lands that still tolerate the obdurate, the sleazy, the resentful, the offline and any other attributes presently considered unmarketable. “Liarmouth” is a good novel. It is a better gateway drug.

Categories: books

28 Best Must Read New Books For Your Spring 2022 List – Oprah Mag

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spring books

Oprah likes to say, “There is no best life without books.” We couldn’t agree more, which is why we’ve scoured the spring and summer literary landscapes in search of the season’s most tempting new offerings—28 in all.

Book sales rose more than 9 percent in 2021, with fiction powering much of that growth. This year continues that momentum, with new novels by prizewinning, bestselling authors such as Emily St. John Mandel, Jennifer Egan, Monica Ali, Tom Perotta, Emma Straub, Ottessa Moshfegh, and Douglas Stuart, to name a few, as well as exciting work by emerging talents Leila Mottley, Tomi Obaro, Hernan Diaz, Michelle Hart, and more. And just in time for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month in May comes a panoply of fiction from Asian and Asian American writers such as Vanessa Hua and Japan’s Mieko Kawakami.

Perhaps one of the most important and thought-provoking publications of the year is Linda Villarosa’s groundbreaking Under the Skin: The Hidden Toll of Racism on American Lives and on the Health of our Nation. It’s a stunning exposé of why Black people in our society “live sicker and die quicker”—an eye-opening game changer.

In the coming months, we’ll be regularly updating this roundup to include additional thrilling new offerings from a variety of genres—from riveting mysteries to must-read nonfiction to more from our most beloved literary novelists and short story writers. But in the meantime, head out to your favorite local bookstore with a large tote bag, turn off the TV, and settle into that most absorbing, edifying, transporting world…of reading.

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1 The Candy House, by Jennifer Egan

In this dazzling and provocative novel, Egan, winner of the 2011 Pulitzer Prize, asks the essential zeitgeist question: “What’s app with that?” In 2010, Bix Bouton, a Black tech visionary, embarks on a mission to sate his omnivorous curiosity and enrich his family by devising a download that accesses each user’s memories. But not all’s well in cyberspace. Egan’s technical brio enriches her humane and timely novel, hinting at the risks and rewards in a brave new coded world.

2 Nightcrawling, by Leila Mottley

This electrifying debut was written by Mottley when she was just 17
and marks the introduction of a remarkable new talent. Its heroine, Kiara, is attempting to navigate the world of East Oakland, where she and brother Marcus live without parents in a squalid apartment they can no longer afford. What unfolds is a riveting tale of survival and resilience that is all the more extraordinary for its author’s youth.

3 Search, by Michelle Huneven

In this delectable novel, a bestselling Southern California food writer joins a committee from her Unitarian Universalist
congregation as they seek to hire a spiritual leader. Under pressure from her publisher, she agrees to chronicle the search as a memoir, with recipes sprinkled throughout. Huneven treats us to a savory plot that blends spiritual yearnings with earthly pleasures. Forks out!

4 Young Mungo, by Douglas Stuart

Stuart astonished the literary world with his debut, Shuggie Bain, which won the prestigious Booker Prize. His mesmerizing new novel recasts Romeo and Juliet with two teenage boys as the leads. Set in 1992 Glasgow, Young Mungo recalls the religious turmoil between Catholics and Protestants in Scotland’s largest city, pummeled by the iron fist of Margaret Thatcher’s fiscal policies, perpetuating a vicious code of behavior among working-class men. A marvel of language.

5 Forbidden City, by Vanessa Hua

Hua’s atmospheric novel evokes the brutal 1960s regime of Chairman Mao as teenage Mei rises from poverty to sit at the ruler’s right hand, both protégé and courtesan. The arc of this morally ambiguous heroine, who embodies our unease with powerful women, traces China’s troubled journey into modernity.

6 Four Treasures of the Sky, by Jenny Tinghui Zhang

The prides and prejudices of the Old West blaze to life in Zhang’s propulsive, fable-like novel about a starving 13-year-old girl spirited out of China and into California during the 1880s. Daiyu must navigate a maze of challenges, from a calligraphy school in Zhifu to a brothel in San Francisco (“pots of rouge for the cheeks and lips, rice powder for the face, black paint for the eyebrows and eyes”) to a mining town in Idaho. Zhang skillfully embellishes her novel with Chinese characters, suggesting that language is our most potent weapon against oppression.

7 Sea of Tranquility, by Emily St. John Mandel

The lauded author of Station Eleven is back with a novel that serves up a mélange of historical fiction, sci-fi, and autofiction to illuminate our current moment. If Station Eleven (now an HBO Max series) anticipated the pandemic, her latest inhabits and expands on it through time travel and an author from a moon colony visiting planet Earth while on a book tour.

8 We Do What We Do in the Dark, by Michelle Hart

This sensual, sparkling debut novel explores the connection between young Mallory and a married college professor, their affair seemingly transactional, erotic; but Hart delves into the motivations of both women to dissect what exactly our desires conceal.

9 Love Marriage, by Monica Ali

In her fiercely imagined new novel set in London, the author of Brick Lane peels away the illusions we conjure when our core relationships are threatened. Yasmin, daughter of a conservative, striving Muslim clan, is engaged to Joe, who hails from an affluent, progressive, narcissistic tribe. As the families attempt a peaceful merger, crisis looms: Joe’s mother once posed nude for a photo as a kind of feminist statement. Culture clashes, political satire, Oedipal conflicts—they’re all here in this romp of a book.

10 All the Lovers in the Night, by Mieko Kawakami

From the celebrated author of Breasts and Eggs comes Kawakami’s most accomplished novel yet, plumbing the ennui of Fuyuko, an anxiety-prone proofreader who is something of a social misfit. Once she resolves to transform herself, Fuyuko sets in motion a chain of events that propel things in unexpected ways.

11 The Evening Hero, by Marie Myung-Ok Lee

An immigrant from Korea, Dr. Yungman Kwak works as an ob-gyn at Horse Breath’s General Hospital in rural Minnesota. Lee, the author of the acclaimed young adult novel Finding My Voice, among others, returns with a fictional adult saga deftly moving between Korea and the Midwest, the past and the present, to capture the duplicitous nature of the American Dream.

12 Shine Bright, by Danyel Smith

A pioneering culture critic blends singular reportage with personal testimony to document the stories of icons such as Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin alongside lesser-known influences on pop music, like the poet Phillis Wheatley, who sang her poems, and singer Deniece Williams (“Let’s Hear It for the Boy”).

13 Post-Traumatic, by Chantal V. Johnson

Vivian is the protagonist of this sardonic, searching novel. She’s a survivor of many kinds of violence and abuse, as well as a publicly appointed attorney and advocate who labors long hours at a psychiatric hospital. Her singular musings—on dieting, dating, and self-medication—entertain and enlighten.

14 You Have a Friend in 10A, by Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle novelist Shipstead’s debut collection spans the globe, from a dude ranch to the deathbed of a Parisian patriarch, each story tenderly, incisively probing our quirky human foibles.

15 Trust, by Hernan Diaz

A virtuoso performance by an emerging talent whose first novel was a finalist for the Pulitzer and PEN/Faulkner, Trust is four books in one: a novel within a novel, a partial manuscript, a memoir, and a diary. Diaz’s spellbinding tale parses the truth of just what happened to a patrician Manhattan couple during the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression, and the role money played in all of it.

16 This Time Tomorrow, by Emma Straub

Time travel is a popular trope in fiction, and Straub deploys it brilliantly in her effervescent latest. On the cusp of her 40th birthday, Alice frets about her ailing father until one morning she wakes and the years have magically rewound to 1996. Teenage Alice rekindles her relationship with her youthful dad, and faces her own shortcomings. A shrewd chronicler of social mores and inner lives, Straub delivers a surefire bestseller.

17 Woman of Light, by Kali Fajardo-Anstine

In 1930s Denver, Luz “Little Light” Lopez is a tea leaf reader and laundress, a link in a chain of Latinx and Indigenous peoples. When her brother, Diego—a factory worker and snake charmer—flees a white mob, Luz is left to provide for her family, becoming the new protector of their stories and myths. A gorgeous follow-up to Fajardo-Anstine’s Sabrina & Corina.

18 Lapvona, by Ottessa Moshfegh

As fans of Lauren Groff and Bruce Holsinger can attest, medieval history is fertile soil for rich, resonant storytelling. Moshfegh, the author of My Year of Rest and Relaxation, returns with the captivating tale of Marek, a motherless shepherd boy whose ties to a blind midwife ripple through their community and threaten to topple a church hierarchy. Moshfegh expertly creates a world with its own superstitions and laws, both timeless and topical, “made of limestone, the air heavy with the blood smell of iron.”

19 Dele Weds Destiny, by Tomi Obaro

Decades-long Nigerian friends Funmi, Zainab, and Enitan reunite 30 years after college for the wedding of Funmi’s daughter Destiny. That coming together is the richly entertaining foundation for Obaro’s debut novel of loyalty, betrayal, and ultimately the unwavering love that courses through our most intimate bonds.

20 Tracy Flick Can’t Win, by Tom Perrotta

Everyone’s favorite scheming politico is back for an encore performance in a black comedy that peers backward in time through the lens of our #MeToo moment. Now an assistant principal at a New Jersey high school, Tracy Flick jumps at the chance to advance her career when her boss retires, but before she can lock it down, a cabal of men swoop in to thwart her ambitions. Rare is the sequel that delivers the punch of a classic, but Perrotta pulls it off with élan.

21 Under the Skin, by Linda Villarosa

The groundbreaking journalist and editor investigates why African Americans “live sicker and die quicker” in this comprehensive look at the key factors driving persistent racial health disparities in everything from maternal mortality to mental health and medical education. Drawing on three decades of reporting, Villarosa balances scathing exposé with a cautious hope that we can reengineer the healthcare system to make it more equitable.

22 The Immortal King Rao, by Vauhini Vara

King Rao, raised on a coconut farm in South India, immigrates to the United States and becomes the CEO of a tech firm and leader of the world. Vara, an ex–Wall Street Journal reporter who covered the tech industry, conjures its high jinks and lowdowns with an insider’s flair in this multilayered novel exploring global capitalism and climate change.

23 His Name Is George Floyd, by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa

In this groundbreaking work of reportage by a pair of Washington Post journalists, the man whose death at the hands of police sparked a global movement comes to vivid life. The writers recorded hundreds of hours of conversations with people close to Floyd—they conducted more than 400 interviews in all—to produce the definitive work on who Floyd was and what his murder triggered. Gripping, heartbreaking, revelatory.

24 The Latecomer, by Jean Hanff Korelitz

The bestselling author of The Plot and You Should Have Known (which was made into HBO’s The Undoing, starring Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman) is back with an ingenious family epic featuring the Oppenheimers. They are a Brooklyn Heights–based family—husband and wife Salo and Joanna and their triplets, Harrison, Lewyn, and Sally. Suffice it to say that this is not one big happy family. As the triplets—products of IVF, and yes, that becomes important to the story—prepare to leave for college, the quintet’s dysfunction shifts into high gear. It’s left to the “latecomer,” an unexpected fourth child, to perhaps prove that maybe people can change after all.

25 The Emergency, by Thomas Fisher

“None of us have seen anything like this,” Thomas Fisher observes of the Covid pandemic, midway through his eloquent, candid The Emergency: A Year of Healing and Heartbreak in a Chicago ER. “The coronavirus is making us relearn medicine.” Fisher captures his turbulent challenges as an attending physician in the emergency department of the University of Chicago Medical Center, on the city’s largely Black and disadvantaged South Side, bringing into sharp relief the gross racial and socioeconomic inequities that stymie better health for all our citizens. Equal parts policy manifesto, philosophical treatise, and nonfiction thriller (with a splash of autobiography), The Emergency frames 12 critical months—November 2019 through November 2020—as Fisher and his team cycle through their usual trials—gunshot trauma, pulmonary embolisms, cancer—while also playing 11-dimensional chess with a relentless microbe. He finds pleasure and pride in their work: “Like attending physicians in EDs across the country, I don’t get involved with every decision, but I meet and examine each patient, and I am ultimately responsible for their diagnosis, treatment plan, and outcome. The residents are the ones who put their hands on every patient,” he writes. “The nurses and techs spend more time with patients than any doctor does. If anyone on the team is off their game, the whole choreography falls apart. But when the dance is flowing as it should, it takes on a kind of frantic beauty.”

26 For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, by Ntozake Shange

A reissue of the groundbreaking 1975 choreopoem by the late trailblazing poet Ntozake Shange features a reflection from Shange herself on her journey crafting the poem and behind-the-scenes challenges, augmented by introductions from both Jesmyn Ward and Camille A. Brown, the director and choreographer of the recently opened Broadway revival of For Colored Girls. The effect of this blend of perspectives, along with a new poem, is an important affirmation of the production’s significance for audiences new and old. For Colored Girls remains timeless and resonant because it brought representation of the nuanced private lives of Black women and girls to the stage—along with tackling previously undiscussed matters such as intimate partner violence, confidence, faith, and joy. Vivid photographs from the play’s productions from 1976 to 2019 to round out a refreshed and refreshing offering of the classic work.

27 French Braid, by Anne Tyler

In her 24th book, the Pulitzer Prize–winning author observes the Garretts from their first and last family vacation in the 1950s through the present day, examining the challenges and joys of our daily intimacies with those closest to us. Some of the novel’s dynamics and themes will at first seem familiar to Tyler aficionados—and we are passionate about her work-—but subtly, gently, the iconic novelist nudges into new territory, pulling back from the quotidian and giving us an elegy to what falls away when our kids grow and we age and grapple with what remains and what will never be.

28 Nobody Gets Out Alive, by Leigh Newman

From the winner of a National Magazine Award comes an austere, winning, atmospheric collection that broods on desperate lives amid Alaska’s “shiny flotsam of airplanes and speedboats and snow machines.” Newman navigates the emotional fissures in her characters—a distraught woman willing to drive thousands of miles from an abusive marriage; a wife caught in an affair, “her face a blur of panic”—but the 49th state is the real star, from oil-rich Anchorage to the solace of wilderness, landscape as destiny.

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Here Are the 14 New Books You Should Read in May – TIME

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No matter how well you think you know yourself, there’s somehow always something more to discover. That’s evident in the most exciting new books coming in May. In Cleyvis Natera’s debut novel, Neruda on the Park, a family reckons with what “home” means to them. In Rachel M. Harper’s The Other Mother, a young pianist seeks out the truth about his origins—despite the ripple effects that will surely play out. And in Adrian McKinty’s taut thriller The Island, a new stepmom tests the limits of how far she’ll go to protect her kids.

Here, the 14 best new books to read in May.

Chef’s Kiss, TJ Alexander (May 3)

Simone is a pedantic pastry chef working in a Bon Appétit-style test kitchen, where she’d prefer to stay behind the scenes. But when her company decides to pivot to video, she’s forced into the spotlight—and has to deal with her unbearably chirpy colleague Ray. Eventually, the two bond, and Simone tries to be a good friend when Ray shares that they are non-binary. It’s hard to say what’s sweeter: the pair’s slow-burn romance or the drool-worthy descriptions of decadent desserts.

Buy Now: Chef’s Kiss on Bookshop | Amazon

All the Lovers in the Night, Mieko Kawakami (May 3)

If you’ve ever caught your reflection in a storefront window and been shocked—not in a good way—by what’s staring back at you, you’ll understand Fuyoko Irie. She’s a Japanese 30-something who’s unable to form meaningful relationships, but resolves to change once she meets a man named Mitsutsuka. As she begins to knock down the protective walls she built around herself, she learns more about why she is the way she is, and who she wants to be. Kawakami—the author of titles such as Breasts and Eggs and Heaven—has crafted another atmospheric, subtly beautiful novel.

Buy Now: All the Lovers in the Night on Bookshop | Amazon

Companion Piece, Ali Smith (May 3)

Ali Smith’s Seasonal Quartet—composed of the novels Autumn, Winter, Spring, and Summer—was lauded by many as a fantastic literary feat. Her new novel Companion Piece is equally lyrical and timely. It’s about Sandy, an artist whose elderly father is in the hospital during the coronavirus pandemic. Though Sandy is careful to isolate and stay healthy, unexpected house guests disrupt her lockdown existence. Smith’s novel will push readers to consider what it means to let people into your life, even when you don’t want to.

Buy Now: Companion Piece on Bookshop | Amazon

We Do What We Do in the Dark, Michelle Hart (May 3)

When Mallory is a freshman in college, she begins an obsessive affair with an older, married woman—fueled, perhaps, by her loneliness and the void created by her mother’s death. Their relationship is complicated and life-changing. Years later, after they’ve long been apart, Mallory has to decide whether to confront the woman about how the affair affected her. Michelle Hart’s coming-of-age novel skillfully depicts forbidden romance and the shame it can foster.

Buy Now: We Do What We Do in the Dark on Bookshop | Amazon

Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance, John Waters (May 3)

Filmmaker John Waters—the man behind movies like Pink Flamingos, Polyester, and Hairspray—delivers his first novel: a rollicking “feel-bad romance” about Liarmouth, a woman on the run who’s universally loathed. She steals, she forges, she squats in places she doesn’t belong, and she rubs everyone she meets the wrong way. Then she encounters a man who’s determined to make her tell the truth. It’s exactly what you’d expect from Waters: weird, perverse, and gloriously fun.

Buy Now: Liarmouth: A Feel-Bad Romance on Bookshop | Amazon

The Other Mother, Rachel M. Harper (May 3)

Musical prodigy Jenry, who was raised in Miami by his mother, heads to Brown University on a scholarship, determined to uncover his own history. He begins searching for information about Jasper, the late father he never knew, but gets more than he bargained for in The Other Mother, Rachel M. Harper’s gripping follow-up to This Side of Providence. When Jenry meets Jasper’s father, he learns that the person he should really be searching for is Jasper’s sister—his mother’s ex-girlfriend. Unraveling the past and digging up old secrets soon complicates the relationships Jenry long believed he could trust.

Buy Now: The Other Mother on Bookshop | Amazon

Bitter Orange Tree, Jokha Alharthi (May 10)

Jokha Alharthi’s novel Celestial Bodies won the Booker International Prize in 2019. Now, Alharthi delivers an imaginative story about Zuhur, an Omani woman attending school in the U.K. who struggles to reconcile her past with her present. Zuhur reflects often on her relationship with her grandmother, which she hopes will help her make new friends and adapt to her new life. The slim novel is a bittersweet, non-linear exploration of social status and a young woman’s agency.

Buy Now: Bitter Orange Tree on Bookshop | Amazon

Siren Queen, Nghi Vo (May 10)

In the follow up to her 2021 novel The Chosen and the Beautiful, Nghi Vo weaves dark magic into Siren Queen, a work of speculative fiction. It’s about Luli, a Chinese American girl who’s determined to become an Old Hollywood star. This Hollywood, however, is populated with monsters and demons, and Luli has to reckon with those sinister beings as she pursues fame at any cost. Doing so might mean becoming a monster herself.

Buy Now: Siren Queen on Bookshop | Amazon

The Island, Adrian McKinty (May 17)

When Tom, a widowed doctor with two kids, marries Heather, he decides to take the new family abroad for an Australian adventure. One bad decision later, they’re running for their lives in a remote outback town in this tense, adrenaline-fueled thriller. Adrian McKinty, hot off the success of The Chain, makes the extreme weather in The Island feel like a character, and readers will root for Heather as she fights to save her family. Hulu has snapped up the rights to turn the novel into a limited series.

Buy Now: The Island on Bookshop | Amazon

All the Seas of the World, Guy Gavriel Kay (May 17)

In this historical fantasy, Guy Gavriel Kay returns to the Renaissance-like universe he built in A Brightness Long Ago and Children of Earth and Sky. (Reading those titles first will boost your enjoyment of All the Seas of the World, though the new novel also works as a stand-alone.) All the Seas of the World focuses on Rafel, a ship captain, and his partner, Nadia, who accept a dangerous job: assassinating an important leader. The endeavor changes them to their core. Kay’s latest is a sweeping, nearly 600-page narrative about family, fate, love, and war.

Buy Now: All the Seas of the World on Bookshop | Amazon

You Have a Friend in 10A, Maggie Shipstead (May 17)

Last year, Maggie Shipstead’s novel Great Circle—which made excellent book-club fodder—was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Now, she returns with You Have a Friend in 10A, her first collection of short stories. One transports readers to a love triangle playing out on a Montana dude ranch; another takes place on horseback in the backcountry; and a third tells the story of a disastrous Romanian honeymoon. The 10 pieces are introspective and layered, starring flawed, complex characters.

Buy Now: You Have a Friend in 10A on Bookshop | Amazon

Translating Myself and Others, Jhumpa Lahiri (May 17)

Jhumpa Lahiri won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for her debut short-story collection, Interpreter of Maladies. Since then, she’s established herself as both a writer and a translator. In this new collection of essays, Lahiri reflects on the art of translation—including how she translated her own work from Italian to English. Lahiri also considers other great novelists’ approach to translation, as well as the value of the process more broadly.

Buy Now: Translating Myself and Others on Bookshop | Amazon

Neruda on the Park, Cleyvis Natera (May 24)

In her debut novel, Cleyvis Natera introduces readers to the Guerreros, a Dominican family that has lived in the same New York City neighborhood for 20 years. As gentrification creeps in, parents Eusebia and Vladimir and their daughter Luz respond in starkly different ways. Complicating matters: Luz’s boyfriend is one of the people planning to develop luxury apartments in the family’s neighborhood. The plot revolves around themes like community and survival, and Natera deftly explores what it means to call a place home—especially when that place is under threat.

Buy Now: Neruda on the Park on Bookshop | Amazon

How to Be Eaten, Maria Adelmann (May 31)

In this feminist reimagining of classic fairytales, six women sign up for group therapy to heal past traumas. One fell for a tech billionaire who turned out to have a penchant for locking up women in his mansion and then murdering them. Another dated a literal predator—a wolf—whose fur she now wears as a coat. Adelmann’s debut is a darkly funny, thought-provoking take on what happens after happily ever after.

Buy Now: How to Be Eaten on Bookshop | Amazon

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30 Young Adult Books I Wish Younger Me Could Have Read – BuzzFeed

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Hi, I’m Rachel, and I love books.

In fact, as a books contributor here, a librarian, and someone who works for book festivals, you might say books are my life. Which is why it surprises some people when I tell them that I only read one-twentieth of the books I was assigned in high school from start to finish (unless you are one of my four high school English teachers — in which case, I clearly read everything I was supposed to). 

It’s not that I wasn’t a reader; I definitely was (I know for a fact City of Bones was circulating through my friend group). Most of the books assigned were from the 19th century or first half of the 20th century, with just a single book published in my lifetime (and that was just barely — I’m less than three months older than it). Twelve were written by white men, two-thirds of whom died before I existed, and 17 of 20 were written by white authors. Not a single book was written by a Black or Indigenous author. 

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The 17 best new beach reads in 2022, from romance books to thrillers – Business Insider

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Collage of beach reads that have been released in 2022 4x3

From must-read romances to thrillers to spice up your summer, these are the best new beach reads of 2022.
Amazon; Rachel Mendelson/Insider

When you buy through our links, Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • We compiled a list of fun, can’t-miss books for your next beach read.
  • Every book has a 2022 release date, so you may need to preorder a few.
  • Need more book recommendations? You can find more of the most anticipated books in 2022 here.

What’s better than laying in the sun, absorbed in a whirlwind romance or the latest page-turner thriller? Whether you have a future vacation on the books or are just in desperate need of fun, we have some great new beach reads below.

Every title will be released in 2022, and you can preorder the ones that come out later in the year. Scattered throughout the list are many of the year’s most anticipated books, new additions to popular series (like “Blood and Ash“), and new takes on familiar genres like enemies-to-lovers romances. You’ll find something worthy whether your ideal beach read is a cross between “Emily in Paris” and “Big Little Lies” or more of a “Where’d You Go Bernadette” and “Daisy Jones & The Six” mix (aka “The Unsinkable Greta James“).

Learn more about how Insider Reviews reviews and researches books.

17 brand-new beach reads in 2022:

Descriptions provided by Amazon and lightly edited for clarity and length.

“Reminders of Him” by Colleen Hoover

The cover of the book "Reminders of Him" by Colleen Hoover which depicts birds flying out the the title text.


“Reminders of Him” by Colleen Hoover, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.93

After serving five years in prison for a tragic mistake, Kenna Rowan returns to the town where it all went wrong, hoping to reunite with her four-year-old daughter. But the bridges Kenna burned are proving impossible to rebuild. Everyone in her daughter’s life is determined to shut Kenna out, no matter how hard she works to prove herself.

The only person who hasn’t closed the door on her completely is Ledger Ward, a local bar owner and one of the few remaining links to Kenna’s daughter. But if anyone were to discover how Ledger is slowly becoming an important part of Kenna’s life, both would risk losing the trust of everyone important to them.

The two form a connection despite the pressure surrounding them, but as their romance grows, so does the risk. Kenna must find a way to absolve the mistakes of her past in order to build a future out of hope and healing.

You can find more Colleen Hoover books here.

“The Unsinkable Greta James” by Jennifer E. Smith

The cover of the book "The Unsinkable Greta James” by Jennifer E. Smith which depicts a boat moving towards the horizon.


“The Unsinkable Greta James” by Jennifer E. Smith, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $22.49

Just after the sudden death of her mother – her most devoted fan – and weeks before the launch of her high-stakes second album, Greta James falls apart on stage. The footage quickly goes viral and she stops playing. Greta’s career is suddenly in jeopardy – the kind of jeopardy her father, Conrad, has always warned her about.

Months later, Greta – still heartbroken and very much adrift – reluctantly agrees to accompany Conrad on the Alaskan cruise her parents had booked to celebrate their fortieth anniversary. It could be their last chance to heal old wounds in the wake of shared loss. But the trip will also prove to be a voyage of discovery for them both, and for Ben Wilder, a charming historian who is struggling with a major upheaval in his own life.

“The Maid” by Nita Prose

The cover of the book "The Maid" by Nita Prose


“The Maid” by Nita Prose, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.26

Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by. 

Since Gran died a few months ago, 25-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter – she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job.

But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had unite with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black – but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?

“The Caretakers” by Amanda Bestor-Siegal

The cover of the book "The Caretakers" by Amanda Bestor-Siegal which depicts a windowpane on a rainy day.


“The Caretakers” by Amanda Bestor-Siegal, available on Amazon and Bookshop, release date: April 12, 2022 

Paris, 2015. A crowd gathers outside the Chauvet home in the affluent suburban community of Maisons-Larue, watching as the family’s American au pair is led away in handcuffs after the sudden death of her young charge. The grieving mother believes the caretaker is to blame, and the neighborhood is thrown into chaos, unsure who is at fault – the enigmatic, young foreigner or the mother herself, who has never seemed an active participant in the lives of her children.  

The truth lies with six women: Géraldine, a heartbroken French teacher struggling to support her vulnerable young students; Lou, an incompetent au pair who was recently fired by the family next door; Charlotte, a chilly socialite and reluctant mother; Nathalie, an isolated French teenager desperate for her mother’s attention; Holly, a socially anxious au pair yearning to belong in her adopted country; and finally, Alena, the one accused of the crime, who has gone to great lengths to avoid emotional connection, and now finds herself caught in the turbulent power dynamics of her host family’s household.

“You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty” by Akwaeke Emezi

The cover of the book “You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty” by Akwaeke Emezi which depicts a woman on the left with palm fronds and flowers around her.


“You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty” by Akwaeke Emezi, available on Amazon and Bookshop, release date: May 24, 2022

Feyi Adekola wants to learn how to be alive again.

It’s been five years since the accident that killed the love of her life and she’s almost a new person now – an artist with her own studio and sharing a brownstone apartment with her ride-or-die best friend, Joy, who insists it’s time for Feyi to ease back into the dating scene. Feyi isn’t ready for anything serious, but a steamy encounter at a rooftop party cascades into a whirlwind summer she could have never imagined: a luxury trip to a tropical island, decadent meals in the glamorous home of a celebrity chef, and a major curator who wants to launch her art career.

She’s even started dating the perfect guy, but their new relationship might be sabotaged before it has a chance by the overwhelming desire Feyi feels every time she locks eyes with the one person in the house who is most definitely off-limits – his father.

“Book Lovers” by Emily Henry

The cover of the book "Book Lovers" by Emily Henry which depicts an illustrated couple reading books and holding hands behind their backs.


“Book Lovers” by Emily Henry, available on Amazon and Bookshop, release date: May 3, 2022

Nora Stephens’ life is books – she’s read them all – and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.

Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away. But instead of picnics in meadows or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. 

If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again – in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow – what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

“The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley

The cover of the book "The Paris Apartment" by Lucy Foley which depicts the outside of an apartment building.


“The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $18.16

Jess needs a fresh start. She’s broke and alone, and she’s just left her job under less than ideal circumstances. Her half-brother Ben didn’t sound thrilled when she asked if she could crash with him for a bit, but he didn’t say no, and surely everything will look better in Paris. Only when she shows up – to find a very nice apartment, could Ben really have afforded this? – he’s not there.

The longer Ben stays missing, the more Jess starts to dig into her brother’s situation, and the more questions she has. Ben’s neighbors are an eclectic bunch, and not particularly friendly. Jess may have come to Paris to escape her past, but it’s starting to look like it’s Ben’s future that’s in question. 

Everyone’s a neighbor. Everyone’s a suspect. And everyone knows something they’re not telling.

“The Atlas Six”by Olivie Blake (“Atlas” series)

The cover of the book "The Atlas Six" by Olivie Blake which depicts an illustrated gold eye with a sword going through the center.


“The Atlas Six “by Olivie Blake (Atlas Series), available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.41

The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated.

“One Italian Summer” by Rebecca Serle

The cover of the book "One Italian Summer" by Rebecca Serle which depicts an illustration of an Italian cliffside town.


“One Italian Summer” by Rebecca Serle, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.08

When Katy’s mother dies, she is left reeling. To make matters worse, their planned mother-daughter trip of a lifetime looms: to Positano, the magical town where Carol spent the summer right before she met Katy’s father. Katy has been waiting years for Carol to take her, and now she is faced with embarking on the adventure alone.

But as soon as she steps foot on the Amalfi Coast, Katy begins to feel her mother’s spirit. Buoyed by the stunning waters, beautiful cliff sides, delightful residents, and, of course, delectable food, Katy feels herself coming back to life.

And then Carol appears – in the flesh, healthy, sun-tanned, and 30 years old. Katy doesn’t understand what is happening, or how – all she can focus on is that she has somehow, impossibly, gotten her mother back. Over the course of one Italian summer, Katy gets to know Carol, not as her mother, but as the young woman before her.

“Vladimir” by Julia May Jones

The cover of the book "Vladimir" by Julia May Jonas which depicts the torso of a man in a green suit baring his chest.


“Vladimir” by Julia May Jones, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $19.55

“When I was a child, I loved old men, and I could tell that they also loved me.” 

And so we are introduced to our deliciously incisive narrator: a popular English professor whose charismatic husband at the same small liberal arts college is under investigation for his inappropriate relationships with his former students. The couple has long had a mutual understanding when it comes to their extra-marital pursuits, but with these new allegations, life has become far less comfortable for them both. And when our narrator becomes increasingly infatuated with Vladimir, a celebrated, married young novelist who’s just arrived on campus, their tinder box world comes dangerously close to exploding.

“Homicide and Halo-Halo (A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery)” by Mia P. Manansala

The cover of the book "Homicide and Halo-Halo (A Tita Rosie's Kitchen Mystery)” by Mia P. Manansala which depicts an illustrated woman holding the dessert halo-halo and dog with a tiara in it's mouth.


“Homicide and Halo-Halo (A Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery)” by Mia P. Manansala, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.39

Things are heating up for Lila Macapagal. Not in her love life, which she insists on keeping nonexistent despite the attention of two very eligible bachelors. Or her professional life, since she can’t bring herself to open her new café after the unpleasantness that occurred a few months ago at her aunt’s Filipino restaurant, Tita Rosie’s Kitchen. No, things are heating up quite literally, since summer, her least favorite season, has just started.

To add to her feelings of sticky unease, Lila’s little town of Shady Palms has resurrected the Miss Teen Shady Palms Beauty Pageant, which she won many years ago – a fact that serves as a wedge between Lila and her cousin slash rival, Bernadette. But when the head judge of the pageant is murdered and Bernadette becomes the main suspect, the two must put aside their differences and solve the case – because it looks like one of them might be next.

“The Christie Affair” by Nina de Gramont

The cover of the book "The Christie Affair" by Nina de Gramont which depicts a woman in 1920's clothing with her hands crossed in her lap.


“The Christie Affair” by Nina de Gramont, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $17.33

In 1925, Miss Nan O’Dea infiltrated the wealthy, rarefied world of author Agatha Christie and her husband, Archie. In every way, she became a part of their life – first, both Christies. Then, just Archie. Soon, Nan became Archie’s mistress, luring him away from his devoted wife, desperate to marry him. Nan’s plot didn’t begin the day she met Archie and Agatha.

It began decades before, in Ireland, when Nan was a young girl. She and the man she loved were a star-crossed couple who were destined to be together – until the Great War, a pandemic, and shameful secrets tore them apart. Then acts of unspeakable cruelty kept them separated.

What drives someone to murder? What will someone do in the name of love? What kind of crime can someone never forgive? Nina de Gramont’s brilliant, unforgettable novel explores these questions and more.

“The Overnight Guest” by Heather Gudenkauf

The cover of the book "The Overnight Guest” by Heather Gudenkauf which depicts a snowy landscape and a white house.


“The Overnight Guest” by Heather Gudenkauf, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $12.49

True-crime writer Wylie Lark doesn’t mind being snowed in at the isolated farmhouse where she’s retreated to write her new book. A cozy fire, complete silence. It would be perfect, if not for the fact that decades earlier, at this very house, two people were murdered in cold blood and a girl disappeared without a trace.

As the storm worsens, Wylie finds herself trapped inside the house, haunted by the secrets contained within its walls – haunted by secrets of her own. Then she discovers a small child in the snow just outside. After bringing the child inside for warmth and safety, she begins to search for answers. But soon it becomes clear that the farmhouse isn’t as isolated as she thought, and someone is willing to do anything to find them.

“Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead: A Mystery” by Elle Cosimano (“Finlay Donovan” series)

The cover of the book 'Finlay Donovan Knocks 'Em Dead: A Mystery” by Elle Cosimano (The Finlay Donovan Series, 2) which depicts an illustrated woman in sunglasses peering behind a blue wall.


“Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead: A Mystery” by Elle Cosimano (The Finlay Donovan Series, Book 2), available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $20.99

Finlay Donovan is – once again – struggling to finish her next novel and keep her head above water as a single mother of two. On the bright side, she has her live-in nanny and confidant Vero to rely on, and the only dead body she’s dealt with lately is that of her daughter’s pet goldfish.

On the not-so-bright side, someone out there wants her ex-husband, Steven, out of the picture. Permanently. Whatever else Steven may be, he’s a good father, but saving him will send her down a rabbit hole of hit-women disguised as soccer moms, and a little bit more involvement with the Russian mob than she’d like.

Meanwhile, Vero’s keeping secrets, and Detective Nick Anthony seems determined to get back into her life. He may be a hot cop, but Finlay’s first priority is preventing her family from sleeping with the fishes… and if that means bending a few laws then so be it.

“Husband Material (London Calling)” by Alexis Hall

The cover of the book "Husband Material (London Calling)" by Alexis Hall which depicts two illustrated men in tuxedos.


“Husband Material (London Calling)” by Alexis Hall, available on Amazon and Bookshop, release date: August 2, 2022

In “Boyfriend Material,” Luc and Oliver met, pretended to fall in love, fell in love for real, dealt with heartbreak and disappointment and family and friends…and somehow figured out a way to make it work. Now it seems like everyone around them is getting married, and Luc’s feeling the social pressure to propose. But it’ll take more than four weddings, a funeral, and a bowl full of special curry to get these two from “I don’t know what I’m doing” to “I do”.

“The War of Two Queens” by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Blood And Ash Series, Book 4)

The cover of the book "The War of Two Queens" by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Blood And Ash Series Book 4) which depicts a gold dragon in the shape of a Q on a dark wooden tree.


“The War of Two Queens” by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Blood And Ash Series, Book 4), available on Amazon and Bookshop, release date: May 24, 2022

Casteel Da’Neer knows all too well that very few are as cunning or vicious as the Blood Queen, but no one, not even him, could’ve prepared for the staggering revelations. The magnitude of what the Blood Queen has done is almost unthinkable.

Nothing will stop Poppy from freeing her King and destroying everything the Blood Crown stands for. With the strength of the Primal of Life’s guards behind her, and the support of the wolven, Poppy must convince the Atlantian generals to make war her way – because there can be no retreat this time. Not if she has any hope of building a future where both kingdoms can reside in peace.

Together, Poppy and Casteel must embrace traditions old and new to safeguard those they hold dear – to protect those who cannot defend themselves. 

“Or Else: A Thriller” by Joe Hart

The cover of the book "Or Else: A Thriller" by Joe Hart which depicts the title through broken glass.


“Or Else: A Thriller” by Joe Hart, available on Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.36

When novelist Andy Drake returns to his hometown to care for his ailing father, a reconnection with his childhood friend Rachel escalates into a secret love affair. For Rachel, struggling to maintain the facade of a picture-perfect life, it’s an escape from an emotionally abusive marriage. Then Andy receives an anonymous note warning him to end the affair. Or else.

Whoever’s been watching is going to make Andy pay. Weeks later, Rachel’s husband, David, is shot to death. Rachel and her two young sons vanish without a trace. One misstep, one careless reveal, and Andy could look as guilty as sin. Clue by clue, as his investigation into the mystery unfolds, Andy discovers that he and Rachel weren’t the only ones keeping secrets.

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Categories: books

Book Review: “Lessons in Chemistry,” by Bonnie Garmus – The New York Times

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In Bonnie Garmus’s debut novel, “Lessons in Chemistry,” a woman who has been banished to the home front turns it into a staging ground for a revolution.

At the end of each episode of “Supper at Six,” Elizabeth Zott says: “Children, set the table. Your mother needs a moment to herself.”

Welcome to Group Text, a monthly column for readers and book clubs about the novels, memoirs and story collections that make you want to talk, ask questions and dwell in another world for a little bit longer.


Meet Elizabeth Zott: scientist by training, cooking show host by default. One meal at a time, she galvanizes her audience to question the lives they’ve been served.

Like the lunches Zott packs for her daughter, “Lessons in Chemistry” is irresistible, satisfying and full of fuel. It reminds you that change takes time and always requires heat.

Here are a few words I loathe in conjunction with fiction written by women: Sassy. Feisty. Madcap. These supposedly complimentary adjectives have a way of canceling out the very qualities they’re meant to describe: Opinionated. Funny. Intelligent. This last one is not to be confused with its patronizing cousin, Clever. Don’t even get me started on Gutsy, Spunky and Frisky — the unfortunate spawn of Relatable.

With that out of the way, let’s talk about LESSONS IN CHEMISTRY, by Bonnie Garmus (Doubleday, 386 pp., $29), a debut novel about a scientist in the 1960s who is opinionated, funny and intelligent, full stop. Unfortunately, Elizabeth Zott has been unceremoniously and brutally sidelined by male colleagues who make Don Draper look like a SNAG (Sensitive New Age Guy).

How, exactly, she was cheated out of a doctorate and lost the love of her life — Calvin Evans, a kindred scientist, expert rower and the father of her daughter, Madeline — are central elements in the story, but feminism is the catalyst that makes it fizz like hydrochloric acid on limestone.

Elizabeth Zott does not have “moxie”; she has courage. She is not a “girl boss” or a “lady chemist”; she’s a groundbreaker and an expert in abiogenesis (“the theory that life rose from simplistic, non-life forms,” in case you didn’t know). Not long after Zott converts her kitchen into a lab equipped with beakers, pipettes and a centrifuge, she gets hoodwinked into hosting a staid television cooking show called “Supper at Six.” But she isn’t going to smile and read the cue cards. Zott ad-libs her way into a role that suits her, treating the creation of a stew or a casserole as a grand experiment to be undertaken with utmost seriousness. Think molecular gastronomy in an era when canned soup reigned supreme. Baked into each episode is a healthy serving of empowerment, with none of the frill we have come to associate with that term.

In addition to her serious look at the frustrations of a generation of women, Garmus adds plenty of lighthearted fun. There’s a mystery involving Calvin’s family and a look at the politics and dysfunction of the local television station. There’s Zott’s love affair with rowing and her unconventional approach to parenthood and her deep connection to her dog, Six-Thirty.

Still, beyond the entertaining subplots and witty dialogue is the hard truth that, in 1961, a smart, ambitious woman had limited options. We see how a scientist relegated to the kitchen found a way to pursue a watered-down version of her own dream. We see how two women working in the same lab had no choice but to turn on each other. We meet Zott’s friend and neighbor, Harriet, who is trapped in a miserable marriage to a man who complains that she smells.

“Lessons in Chemistry” may be described with one or all of my verboten words, and it might end up shelved in that maddeningly named section “Women’s Fiction,” which needs to go the way of the girdle. To file Elizabeth Zott among the pink razors of the book world is to miss the sharpness of Garmus’s message. “Lessons in Chemistry” will make you wonder about all the real-life women born ahead of their time — women who were sidelined, ignored and worse because they weren’t as resourceful, determined and lucky as Elizabeth Zott. She’s a reminder of how far we’ve come, but also how far we still have to go.

  • What do science and rowing have in common? Why do you think Garmus decided to dedicate so many pages to the sport?

  • Aside from her presumption that her daughter is gifted, how is Zott’s approach to parenthood 50 years ahead of its time?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” by Maria Semple. You can’t get to know Elizabeth Zott without waxing nostalgic about Bernadette Fox, the original tortured, inscrutable, cynical yet vulnerable protagonist who couldn’t care less what you think. If you haven’t read this book by now, we definitely aren’t friends. Sorry, the movie doesn’t count; equating the two is like forfeiting a trip to Italy because you’ve eaten a can of SpaghettiOs.

Lab Girl,” by Hope Jahren. Interested in reading a more hopeful — and true — account of a woman in science? Start with this memoir from a professor of geobiology who’s now at the University of Oslo. Our critic called it “a gifted teacher’s road map to the secret lives of plants — a book that, at its best, does for botany what Oliver Sacks’s essays did for neurology, what Stephen Jay Gould’s writings did for paleontology.” (Jahren also gets props for showing “the often absurd hoops that research scientists must jump through to obtain even minimal financing for their work.”)

Categories: books

12 Best Book Releases Summer 2022 – Best New Books for Summer – Veranda

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Perhaps it’s the warm sunshine or the breezy feeling in the air, but it feels like there’s no better time to dive into a new book than during the summer. Whether you’re lounging by the pool at an award-winning wellness resort or resting under the pergola in your own verdant oasis, a thrilling tale can help you fully escape from the busy world around you. Of course, you could also go with a classic beach read, but these new books for summer are truly something to be giddy about.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brook takes readers on an impactful adventure through American history while Eleanor Brown carefully examines the definition of family. Countless authors make their literary debut with explosive looks at the world around us including Sarah Thankam Mathews, Toya Wolfe, and Soon Wiley. Whether you’re looking for a new summer book to devour in an afternoon or one that will educate you, we’ve got you covered.

To help guide you on what to read, we’ve selected our picks for the 12 best new book releases of the season. Now, it’s just up to you to figure out which novel (or three!) you’ll be packing in your vacation tote this summer.

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All This Could Be Different: A Novel
Sarah Thankam Mathews

Sneha considered herself one of the lucky ones. Fresh out of college, the young protagonist found a well-paying corporate job that ensured she could live comfortably and send money to her parents back in India. However, after a painful secret is revealed and the job quickly becomes grueling, Sneha finds herself struggling to keep her head above water. Not to mention, her love life also starts to take a dizzying turn with the entrance of the enchanting dancer, Marina. Her only solution: believe her friend’s radical plan may actually solve all her problems. All This Could Be Different serves as a poignant and funny observation of young adulthood and the communities we build.

All This Could Be Different debuts on August 2, 2022.

Seven Steeples
Sara Baume

Now 25% off

In a world obsessed wiith screens and clout, Bell and Sigh wanted nothing more than to escape from it all. So when a small cottage hidden in the Irish countryside comes onto the market, the couple wastes no time jumping on the opportunity and leaving behind their conventional means of living for a chance at peace. Through lyrical prose and astute reflection, author Sara Baume eloquently explores the meaning of everyday and our connections to the landscape around us.

Seven Steeples debuts on April 26, 2022.

The Grand Design: A Novel of Dorothy Draper
Joy Callaway

Now 10% off

Dorothy feels trapped in the beige-colored world of 1900s society. Longing for a colorful change, the young socialite begins drawing up her plans for a fulfilling future after finding inspiration at the ever-so-beautiful Greenbrier Resort. Decades later, the style maven returns to the place that changed her trajectory of life to restore it to its original glory. Author Joy Callaway recounts the famed story of Dorothy Draper and the historic retreat that influenced her to open the first interior design company in the United States.

The Grand Design: A Novel of Dorothy Draper debuts on May 17, 2022.

Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings

Migrants, refugees, and dreamers share their truthful experiences of the joys and heartbreak of beginning a new life in the United States. The provoking collection of 41 illuminating essays, poems, and artwork touches on a variety of subjects from race and class to parenthood and sexuality through first-person perspectives. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Viet Thanh Nguyen opens the book with a nuanced introduction to immigration in the country and what it means to be a migrant.

Somewhere We Are Human: Authentic Voices on Migration, Survival, and New Beginnings
debuts on June 7, 2022.

For the Animal Lover

Horse: A Novel

Geraldine Brooks

Now 34% off

Pulitzer Prize-winner Geraldine Brooks makes a spectacular return with a fascinating tale centered around one of the most celebrated racehorses in American history. Working in a nonlinear timeline, readers are first introduced to Theo, a modern-day art historian who decides to research the origins of a forgotten equestrian painting for a Smithsonian magazine article. Simultaneously, a scientist at the museum gets asked to look at an old horse skeleton that’s been stored away for decades. Their paths eventually cross only after readers are transported to 1850 to meet the true hero of the story, Jarret Lewis, an enslaved boy who is put in charge of caring for a bay foal.

Horse debuts on June 14, 2022.

Mustique Island: A Novel
Sarah McCoy

When Willy May docks her boat at the illusive Mustique Island in 1972, the former beauty queen expects she’ll spend the year rebuilding her life and relationship with her two daughters. Though just as she settles into her pearly beach house, she’s pulled into the island’s elite circle of royalty, rock stars, and social climbers. Willy May and her daughters quickly learn there’s something much more scandalous happening on picturesque Mustique.

Mustique Island debuts on May 10, 2022.

Last Summer on State Street: A Novel
Toya Wolfe

Now 10% off

Writer Toya Wolfe pulls from her own childhood experiences to craft a striking debut about community and the meaning of home. Set in Chicago’s Robert Taylor Homes, young Felicia “Fe Fe” Stevens finds solace in the company of three neighborhood friends after learning their high-rise is scheduled to be torn down. As the community around her starts to crumble so does Fe Fe’s relationship with her friends, and it isn’t until decades later that she can truly understand what happened that fateful summer.

Last Summer on State Street debuts on June 14, 2022.

Any Other Family
Eleanor Brown

What makes a family? This question is the driving force behind Eleanor Brown’s intimate novel that follows three different women, Tabitha, Ginger, and Elizabeth, through motherhood. The mothers find themselves connected after learning they each had separated adopted biological siblings. Determined to keep the siblings connected, the women must revaluate their own definition rules of family to ensure their children’s happiness.

Any Other Family debuts on July 12, 2022.

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting: A Novel
Sophie Irwin

Left with her father’s debts, Kitty Talbot needs to find a way to save her family from complete financial ruin. So, the strong-willed woman leaves her quaint English village to throw herself into the London Season to find a husband with a handsome fortune. The only thing standing in her way is the dashing Lord Radcliffe, who is determined to expose Kitty’s money-hungry plans to the court.

A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting debuts on July 12, 2022.

When We Fell Apart: A Novel
Soon Wiley

Now 15% off

Upon learning his girlfriend Yu-jin committed suicide, Min immediately goes on a mission to figure out the truth behind her death. The young Korean American always felt his girlfriend was on the path to the future she’s always dreamed of unlike himself who moved to Seoul to find a sense of purpose. Though as he begins searching for answers, Min realizes he may not have known much about Yu-jin and even himself.

When We Fall Apart debuts on April 26, 2022.

The Force of Such Beauty: A Novel
Barbara Bourland

Like many young girls growing up, Caroline had also fantasized about falling in love with prince charming and being whisked away to live in a glorious castle. However, when that dream becomes a reality, Caroline finds out that “happy ever after” is not all that it cracked up to be. Barbara Bourland dismantles the conventional princess story in The Force of Such Beauty to explosively examine the real-life notions of fame, power, and womanhood.

The Force of Such Beauty debuts on July 19, 2022.

The Making of Her: A Novel
Bernadette Jiwa

It’s Dublin in 1996, and Joan Egan receives a mysterious letter in the mail from Emma, the daughter she gave up for adoption 30 years ago. Earning to establish a relationship with Emma and find her own happiness, Joan must first confront her marital issue with her husband, Martin, and the tension building with her daughter, Carmel. Bernadette Jiwa’s powerful debut serves as a tribute to motherhood and the strength of women.

The Making of Her debuts on August 9, 2022.

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15 Best BookTok Books – Popular Books on TikTok – Cosmopolitan

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best booktok books

Margie Rischiotto/Courtesy of Publishers

If you’re a book lover and you can’t stop spending time on TikTok, then there’s a good chance you’re well aware of #BookTok. But justttt in case you haven’t heard of it before, know that the BookTok community is a place where TikTok users share their favorite reads, and there’s something for everyone. Certain titles have made it big thanks to the app, including older books. Instead of you scrolling through all of TikTok to curate recommendations, we took a deep dive on BookTok ourselves and picked out the best of the best to put right on top of your TBR pile.

Here are the best books on BookTok:

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For Women in STEM

‘The Love Hypothesis’ by Ali Hazelwood

Berkley Books

Ali Hazelwood’s debut became an instant BookTok sensation, and it’s pretty obvious why. Olive Smith lies to her friend that she’s currently seeing someone and ends up kissing the first guy she spots in the hallway to prove her right. Turns out, the random dude is actually her program’s toughest professor, Dr. Adam Carlson. They now have to pretend to be in a relationship to help sell the lie and yes, it does get very steamy.

That Knife to the Throat Kind of Book

‘The Cruel Prince’ by Holly Black

Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Holly Black finally returns to the fairie world of Elfhame over 15 years after Tithe was released. Now the story follows Jude Urgate, a mortal who was kidnapped and taken to live among the fey. Even without powers of her own, she tries to prove herself against those who don’t believe she belongs by teaming up with a powerful group and trying to take the crown down.

Sunshine/Grump Romance

‘Twisted Love’ by Ana Huang

After her brother leaves for a special year-long volunteer opportunity, Ava Chen has to learn to deal with his very cold best friend, Alex Volkov. But while he knows she’s off-limits as he tries to protect her, love has other plans for these two.

Need a Good Cry?

‘They Both Die at the End’ by Adam Silvera

This heartbreaking but also uplifting novel will remind you not to take any second of your life for granted. Two teenage guys both get a horrible call saying they will die that day. Deciding to spend their final moments together, Meteo and Rufus try to make the most of what they have while also giving love one last chance.

Fake Relationship Trope FTW

‘The Spanish Love Deception’ by Elena Armas

Atria Books

After lying to her family about having an American boyfriend all this time, Catalina Martin quickly accepts her colleague’s offer for him to pretend to be her long-time BF ahead of her sister’s wedding. But what starts as a fake relationship turns into something neither of them expected in this slow-burn romance.

You Are the Bane of My Existence

‘The Viscount Who Loved Me’ by Julia Quinn

Avon Books

Now 56% off

Dark Academia Lovers, Rise

‘The Atlas Six’ by Olivie Blake

Olivie Blake’s The Atlas Six is the definition of a BookTok sensation. Her original self-published version became a huge hit, and now it’s been picked up by Tor Books and has become a New York Times bestseller. When six new magical academicians get chosen to join a special society, they have to spend the next year dealing with each other and trying to prove themselves as only five will actually become members.

History, Huh?

‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston

St. Martin’s Griffin

Read on if you want to find out what happens when the Prince of England and the son of the President of the United States fall in love. It’s the international scandal that we all need!

Do You Want to Be Remembered?

‘The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue’ by V.E. Schwab

V.E. Schwab continues to leave us breathless with her work, especially in this adult title. In the 1700s, Addie makes a deal with the devil to live forever, but the catch is that no one will ever remember her. Imagine her surprise when she meets a mysterious guy who somehow knows who she is.

From the BookTok Queen

‘It Ends with Us’ by Colleen Hoover

Atria Books

Six years after the book’s original publication, BookTok fell in love with It Ends With Us and brought it to number one on the New York Times bestseller list. While Colleen has admitted she still doesn’t understand how this all happened, fans still can’t enough of Lily Bloom and her story. Colleen is even releasing a sequel in October 2022!

If You Need a New Series ASAP

‘Get a Life, Chloe Brown’ by Talia Hibbert

Avon Books

Get ready to fall for the Brown sisters as they try to navigate life and love in their own ways. Talia Hibbert’s series starts off with Chloe Brown, who is set to change her life with a special to-do list. And she asks her hot next-door neighbor to help her complete it.

Fine, Make Me Your Villain

‘Shadow and Bone’ by Leigh Bardugo

Square Fish

The hit Netflix series originally started as a very popular YA trilogy that has since exploded into its own universe. Fans can relive Alina Starkov’s journey to figuring out her power in the original books. After that, the sky’s the limit with the Six of Crows series and The King of Scars duology that follows.

Small Town Romance ~Vibes~

‘It Happened One Summer’ by Tessa Bailey

Tessa Bailey is an author who you’ve probably seen on your FYP thanks to her hilarious and viral TikToks about being a romance writer. So it’s only obvious that everyone is equally into her books, especially the It Happened One Summer series and its sequel, Hook, Line, and Sinker.

Picture Perfect Debut Novel

‘Delilah Green Doesn’t Care’ by Ashley Herring Blake

Berkley Books

After you take a moment to take in this gorgeous cover, you’re going to want to immediately pick up this debut. NYC photographer Delilah Green is forced back to her hometown thanks to her sister’s wedding, and things quickly get interesting as she gets to know more about local bookstore owner Claire Sutherland. Sounds like every book lover’s dream.

The Series That Changed the Whole Industry

‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ by Sarah J. Maas

If you’ve spent enough time on TikTok, you’ve definitely heard of Sarah J. Maas’s ACOTAR series. It’s been a phenomenon since it was first released in 2015, being one of the titles that helped create the New Adult genre before it even existed. And thank god it did, because now we get to continue to enjoy it years later. So thanks, SJM! We owe you big time!

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