This Week's Best New Books

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Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom

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Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom

by Ariel Burger

Witness: Lessons from Elie Wiesel's Classroom

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Before he taught others, Rabbi Ariel Burger was the student of Holocaust survivor, Nobel laureate, author and activist Elie Wiesel. One of the lessons Burger cherishes from his mentor and friend deals with moral education. He explains, "people are morally ignited less by the cognitive processing of learning information than by visceral experience... moments of gooseflesh, chills up the spine, the welling up of tears." Burger knows it is through this style of learning that a student becomes what Wiesel ... [ Read More » ]

2 of 25
Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence

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Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence

by Kristen R. Ghodsee

Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence

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Although it would have killed some of the fun, Why Women Have Better Sex Under Socialism: And Other Arguments for Economic Independence could have gone by the title Socialism for Dummies. In her introduction, Kristen R. Ghodsee, a professor of Russian and East European studies who has written only scholarly books until now, observes that "the collapse of state socialism in 1989 created a perfect laboratory to investigate the effects of capitalism on women's lives." In six sharp essay-like chapters, ... [ Read More » ]

3 of 25
Ways to Hide in Winter

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Ways to Hide in Winter

by Sarah St. Vincent

Ways to Hide in Winter

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Kathleen works in a small store at the edge of a state park in Pennsylvania's Blue Ridge Mountains. She was widowed at 22 by a car wreck that left her badly injured, but she insists that she does not have a limp. She wants only to be left alone. But then a stranger appears out of the harsh snow of mountain winter, wearing dress shoes and a disarming expression; his native country is Uzbekistan, and he gives no good reason why he should be lurking out-of-season at the hostel next to Kathleen's ... [ Read More » ]

4 of 25
The Songbird

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The Songbird

by Marcia Willett

The Songbird

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Prolific author Marcia Willett (Summer on the RiverChristmas in Cornwall) returns to the bucolic English countryside in The Songbird. The old Georgian estate Brockscombe Farm consists of a house, owned by the aging Francis Courtney, and three cottages.

In one cottage lives Charlotte, a 32-year-old web designer, her husband, Andy, and their five-month-old. The second cottage is home to William, Andy's father and Francis's cousin. William has been separated for several years from Fiona, ... [ Read More » ]

5 of 25
Night of Miracles

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Night of Miracles

by Elizabeth Berg

Night of Miracles

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Elizabeth Berg returns to tight-knit Mason, Mo., in Night of Miracles, an engaging stand-alone novel that picks up 10 years after The Story of Arthur Truluv. Lucille Howard--Arthur's never-married neighbor--is a vigorous 93-year-old who bakes sweet treats for Polly's Henhouse, a local café. She also teaches baking classes in her home. With all that work, she decides to take on an assistant. In a scene that is both tender and telling, Lucille reluctantly hires Iris Winters, a baking-illiterate ... [ Read More » ]

6 of 25
Never Grow Up

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Never Grow Up

by Jackie Chan, Zhu Mo, trans. by Jeremy Tiang

Never Grow Up

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Never Grow Up is Jackie Chan's second autobiography, following 1998's I Am Jackie Chan. It begins with the popular Chinese action film star receiving a lifetime achievement Academy Award in 2016 after starring in more than 200 films over five decades. From this vantage point, Chan and co-author Zhu Mo reflect on his life with a desire to offer more than just a collection of humorous anecdotes. With surprising honesty, Chan admits to marital infidelities (one resulting in a child) and his rocky relationship ... [ Read More » ]

7 of 25
The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey

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The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey

by Peter S. Beagle, illus. by Stephanie Law

The Last Unicorn: The Lost Journey

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Everyone knows that "the unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone," and traveled with a magician, became human and loved a prince. Not everyone knows that before Peter S. Beagle reworked his classic fantasy adventure The Last Unicorn, the unicorn's journey followed a different path. Now readers can discover her origins in this 50th-anniversary edition of Beagle's first draft, delicately illustrated by Stephanie Law.

When a worse-for-wear dragon turns up in the lilac wood and answers ... [ Read More » ]

8 of 25
Blended

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Blended

by Sharon M. Draper

Blended

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Coretta Scott King Award recipient Sharon M. Draper (Out of My Mind, Stella by Starlight, Panic) offers a timely middle-grade novel that addresses divorce, racism and identity in her trademark empathic and accessible style.

Isabella is an exceptional pianist, has two best friends, is obsessed with making glitter slime, and has loving, supportive parents. Unfortunately, when Isabella was eight, her parents divorced. The adjustment was challenging, but now Izzy is 11, and things have gotten rougher. ... [ Read More » ]

9 of 25
Don't Touch My Hair!

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Don't Touch My Hair!

by Sharee Miller

Don't Touch My Hair!

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The top of a girl's head and her thick, beautiful 'fro take up the first two pages of Sharee Miller's Don't Touch My Hair! Using watercolors, colored pencils and ink, Miller (Princess Hair) creates the soft, brown curves of the little girl's face and the sharp, black squiggles of her curls: "I'm Aria, and this is my hair." Aria joyously shows the reader the versatility of her hair--"I love it up or down. Styled or wild, I don't care!"--and expresses her desire to let it "just... be free." But that ... [ Read More » ]

10 of 25
Come November

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Come November

by Katrin van Dam

Come November

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When Rooney was nine years old and her little brother, Daniel, was a baby, her parents divorced. Nine years later, Rooney has an all-too-clear understanding of why her parents split up: Mom (Anneliese) is a member of the Next World Society, a group of people who believe that on November 17, they will Depart Earth and travel to an alien planet unaffected by climate change.

It's Rooney's senior year and she's supposed to be editor of the school newspaper--she loves writing and she's hoping to build ... [ Read More » ]

11 of 25
Jeeves and the King of Clubs

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Jeeves and the King of Clubs

by Ben Schott

Jeeves and the King of Clubs

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One of the most famous comic duos in literature returns in Jeeves and the King of Clubs. Ben Schott writes his novel in homage to P.G. Wodehouse, creator of the inimitable Bertie Wooster and his gentleman's personal gentleman, Jeeves. In this installment, the British Secret Services asks Bertie and Jeeves to help foil a plot to subvert the English government.

Bertie and Jeeves are recruited to spy on Roderick Spode, an upper-crust fascist. As Bertie says, "Eager to help His Maj in any way I can, ... [ Read More » ]

12 of 25
Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants

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Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants

by H.W. Brands

Heirs of the Founders: The Epic Rivalry of Henry Clay, John Calhoun, and Daniel Webster, the Second Generation of American Giants

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... [ Read More » ]

13 of 25
The Best Bad Things

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The Best Bad Things

by Katrina Carrasco

The Best Bad Things

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Katrina Carrasco's The Best Bad Things transports readers back to 1887, when a sting set up by Pinkerton agents and police detectives takes down a booming West Coast smuggling ring. "This is going to be the police bust of the decade," notes one detective to another during their investigation. "It's got shanghaiing, girls, opium... Everyone will be watching." Indeed, everyone is watching--including Alma Rosales, a one-time Pinkerton agent who now works for Delphine Beaumond, the mastermind behind ... [ Read More » ]

14 of 25
To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel

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To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel

by Harper Lee, Fred Fordham

To Kill a Mockingbird: A Graphic Novel

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Adapting a novel as universally beloved as Harper Lee's Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird into a graphic novel is fraught with peril. For many students, Lee's compassionate and humorous coming-of-age tale is their first exposure to grappling with issues of racial inequality, gender roles and compassion for those different in color, class and beliefs. Nevertheless, Fred Fordham (who illustrated Philip Pullman's The Adventures of John Blake: Mystery of the Ghost Ship) has done a magnificent ... [ Read More » ]

15 of 25
The Other Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgerton Prequel

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The Other Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgerton Prequel

by Julia Quinn

The Other Miss Bridgerton: A Bridgerton Prequel

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In this vibrant, engaging tale set in 1786 England, Poppy Bridgerton's ordinary life is turned upside down when she explores a known smugglers' cave on the Dorset coast. Discovered by two gruff sailors, she's kidnapped and taken aboard the ship of Captain Andrew James. Poppy believes Andrew is a pirate, but he's actually a privateer secretly working for the Crown. He has official business in Lisbon that cannot wait, so Poppy is confined to his cabin for the journey. Their initial annoyance with each ... [ Read More » ]

16 of 25
The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance for Extinct Animals

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The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance for Extinct Animals

by Torill Kornfeldt, trans. by Fiona Graham

The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance for Extinct Animals

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"There is no way in which a lost species can really be brought back to life," writes Swedish science journalist Torill Kornfeldt in her fascinating debut, The Re-Origin of Species: A Second Chance for Extinct Animals. "The nearest thing we can manage is a substitute." But as each chapter reveals, the "substitutes" that many scientists think are possible would be nearly identical to--and just as astonishing as--the originals.

Kornfeldt travels the world to meet scientists who are attempting "de-extinction," ... [ Read More » ]

17 of 25
Past Tense

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Past Tense

by Lee Child

Past Tense

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In Lee Child's Past Tense, Jack Reacher wants to go across the country, from Maine to California. On the way, he sees a sign pointing toward Laconia, N.H., his dad's hometown--a place he's never visited. Reacher decides to take a detour for a look at the old homestead before hitting the road again. His plans don't unfold that way.

Meanwhile, Shorty and Patty, a young Canadian couple, are driving to New York City. They need a rest stop and their old car is overheating, so they turn onto a rural road ... [ Read More » ]

18 of 25
North of Dawn

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North of Dawn

by Nuruddin Farah

North of Dawn

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North of Dawn continues Nuruddin Farah's focus on the Somalian diaspora. Mugdi and Gacalo, long settled in Oslo, Norway, are devastated when their son's conversion to radical Islam leads him to their home country of Somalia and his death in a suicide bombing. This horrific loss is also the beginning of the transformation of their lives: their son had extracted a promise that they would care for his wife and her two children if something were to happen to him. As the novel opens, in 2009, Mugdi is ... [ Read More » ]

19 of 25
A Light of Her Own

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A Light of Her Own

by Carrie Callaghan

A Light of Her Own

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Carrie Callaghan follows the intertwined journeys of two women in her debut novel, A Light of Her Own. As a young artist in 17th-century Holland, Judith Leyster struggles to make a living and earn the professional respect she deserves. She's gained valuable skills during her apprenticeship to Haarlem painter Frans de Grebber, and a close friend in his daughter, Maria. But Judith has her sights set higher: she wants to open her own workshop, train apprentices and win a place in the city's powerful ... [ Read More » ]

20 of 25
Late-Life Love: A Memoir

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Late-Life Love: A Memoir

by Susan Gubar

Late-Life Love: A Memoir

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In her early 70s, moving with her beloved older husband to a more manageable apartment, editor and critic Susan Gubar (Memoir of a Debulked Woman) turned to literature and the arts to find stories of romance and devotion in old age. Late-Life Love combines criticism with her memoir of the persistent love in her marriage, despite the pains and humiliations of advanced age.

In most works of art, love has been traditionally tied to youth. After a certain age, women in particular are supposed ... [ Read More » ]

21 of 25
Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment

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Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment

by Larry Dane Brimner

Blacklisted!: Hollywood, the Cold War, and the First Amendment

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Before Senator Joseph McCarthy was leading the charge in the United States' Red Scare, the Cold War fear of Communism manifested itself in the House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities, or HUAC, created to investigate potential threats. In Blacklisted, Larry Dane Brimner (Twelve Days in May) explores HUAC's 1947 campaign to reveal the political views of 19 writers and directors in the film industry, and the bold fight by the accused to preserve their First Amendment rights.

Quoting ... [ Read More » ]

22 of 25
Salt

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Salt

by Hannah Moskowitz

Salt

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Until just a few months ago, Beleza, Indi, Oscar and Zulu traveled the seas with their parents. Their mom and dad were sicarios: poachers who hunt sea monsters for prestige, sport and (sometimes) money. But then Mom and Dad went away, leaving behind only their travel journal. The four siblings haven't seen them since.

Now, Beleza, Indi, Oscar and Zulu are all alone on a ship so small they "can't breathe without getting air that's just come out of someone else's mouth." Elder sister Beleza has taken ... [ Read More » ]

23 of 25
The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure and Cook with Lard, Tallow and Poultry Fat

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The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure and Cook with Lard, Tallow and Poultry Fat

by Andrea Chesman

The Fat Kitchen: How to Render, Cure and Cook with Lard, Tallow and Poultry Fat

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... [ Read More » ]

24 of 25
Dark Sacred Night: A Ballard and Bosch Novel

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Dark Sacred Night: A Ballard and Bosch Novel

by Michael Connelly

Dark Sacred Night: A Ballard and Bosch Novel

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Los Angeles detective Renée Ballard is making the best of the "late show," the long, lonely overnight shift that turns over cases to other detectives. One night, she discovers none other than retired detective Harry Bosch going through cold-case files. Bosch, now a back-up investigator with the tiny San Fernando Police Department, knows as well as Ballard that he shouldn't be there. But their unerring sense of justice is powerful, and they unofficially team up to solve the murder of a 15-year-old ... [ Read More » ]

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The Barefoot Woman

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The Barefoot Woman

by Scholastique Mukasonga, trans. by Jordan Stump

The Barefoot Woman

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The Barefoot Woman by Scholastique Mukasonga (Our Lady of the NileCockroaches) is a loving tribute to a strong mother and a striking work of memoir.

Mukasonga and her family lived as exiles in Rwanda in the years leading up to the genocide of the Tutsi. This time in her life, when they were all together and alive, was short, but Mukasonga has vivid memories, especially of her mother, Stefania, a leader in the makeshift village where they were regularly terrorized by Hutu soldiers. In ... [ Read More » ]

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