Crisp breezes, blue skies, cooling temps: it’s almost fall! Along with new clothes and a new school year, there’s an exciting slate of original books coming to paperback. From breathtaking, historical sagas to hard-hitting political narratives on contemporary topics, these books cover the wide scope of genres, interests, and issues that encapsulate our current moment. Find your perfect literary fit below and crack open a fresh new book, just in time for the prime reading weather.
Julia Kelly, a master of historical fiction, returns with LIGHT OVER LONDON, a story that weaves together the journeys of two women born a century apart. Cara Hargraves, who is more interested in the past than the quotidian present, discovers a woman’s unfinished diary while cleaning out an old estate. Louise Keene, a nineteen-year-old Cornish woman in 1941, begins an ill-fated romance with an RAF pilot and then joins an anti-aircraft gun unit herself. Together, Cara and Louise discover that war is much darker than the triumphs and glories of the past.
A follow-up to her call-to-action book ALL THE SINGLE LADIES, GOOD AND MAD chronicles the fraught history of female fury in the United States. In doing so, Traister takes a firm, exacting look at the various kinds of anger expressed by women and the ways in which these forms of anger have been perceived by men, other women, and society at large. A must-not-miss nonfiction read in our current socio-political climate, GOOD AND MAD is a fearless and rigorous rallying cry to women worldwide.
HEARTLAND, a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award, follows Sarah Smarsh on her coming-of-age journey on a Kansas farm in the 1980s–1990s. The product of generations of impoverished farmers and teen pregnancies, Sarah recounts a childhood consistently limited by poverty, poor working conditions, abuse, and a lack of upward mobility. Filled with poignant personal narratives and cutting cultural commentary, Smarsh’s memoir provides a clear-eyed look at the American dream, the American heartland, and the class-based truths that undermine both.
A modern female twist on a classic Raymond Chandler novel, THE INFINITE BLACKTOP is the latest in Sara Gran’s Claire DeWitt detective saga. Claire wakes in an ambulance after narrowly avoiding her own murder. Now she must retrace her steps through two previous cases, both deeply personal, to discover who wants her dead. With classic noir atmosphere and tight thriller turns, THE INFINITE BLACKTOP luxuriates in its compelling plot, as well as its protagonist’s emotional upheaval in the face of cynicism.
The prolific, bestselling Jodi Picoult is back to confront the fearless, complex subject matter that has become her signature material. One afternoon, a desperate gunman takes a women’s reproductive health services clinic hostage. As the tense day unfolds, Picoult unspools the story of each hostage’s life, from the doctor whose faith must be tested, to a pro-lifer disguised as a patient. Compassionate and engaging, A SPARK OF LIGHT confronts the fury, fear, and grief that fuel each hostage and the very gunman who threatens them.
THE GREAT ALONE, Kristin Hannah’s follow-up to THE NIGHTINGALE, tracks Ernt Allbright, a Vietnam vet desperate to rekindle his family life. In an attempt to start fresh, Ernt moves his wife, Cora, and daughter, Leni, to the depths of the Alaskan wildness, where the landscape is as beautiful as it is brutal. Soon, however, Ernt becomes increasingly unhinged, leaving Leni and Cora to fend for themselves. Cinematic and emotionally wrought, THE GREAT ALONE delves deep into an exploration of the strength of family bonds, the human soul, and the pioneering spirit.