A new paperback, crisp as a fall apple — what could be nicer? Here are six fresh ones, ranging from suspense fiction to sweeping biography. Happy reading!
"Find You First" by Linwood Barclay (HarperCollins, $9.99). Barclay, a bestselling author of well-crafted novels of suspense ("Elevator Pitch"), kept me up late reading this one not long ago. In it, the heirs of a dying tech multimillionaire are mysteriously being targeted, one by one. "Barclay makes even secondary characters feel real," wrote Publishers Weekly in a starred review, calling the book a "suspenseful, expertly paced thriller."
"Conditional Citizens: On Belonging in America" by Laila Lalami (Vintage, $16). Lalami, the Moroccan-born author of several novels (including, most recently, the wonderful "The Other Americans") here writes a series of essays about American citizenship, using her own story — she became a citizen in 2000 — as a starting point. The book, wrote a Washington Post reviewer, "offers a searing look at the struggle for all Americans to achieve liberty and equality. Lalami eloquently tacks between her experiences as an immigrant to this country and the history of U.S. attempts to exclude different categories of people from the full benefits of citizenship."
"Eleanor" by David Michaelis (Simon & Schuster, $20). The gold standard for Eleanor Roosevelt biographies is, of course, Blanche Wiesen Cook's massive three-volume work, but for those looking for something about the groundbreaking former first lady that's just a little slimmer, Michaelis' book is a fine option. "Nothing about 'Eleanor' is staid or plodding," wrote a Washington Post reviewer. "Michaelis, the author of wonderful biographies of Charles Schulz and N.C. Wyeth, writes beautiful nonfiction prose much in the vein of the late Edmund Morris (the great biographer of Theodore Roosevelt)."
"150 Glimpses of the Beatles" by Craig Brown (Picador, $20). Winner of the 2020 Baillie Gifford Prize for Non-Fiction, this work follows the format Brown so successfully debuted in his "Ninety-Nine Glimpses of Princess Margaret": a portrait made up of many tiny anecdotes. "'150 Glimpses' is best when Brown poignantly chronicles the toll that being a Beatle took on these four still-young men in the 1960s — the photos of them that went from smiling to unsmiling — 'crushed by the weight of the world's adulation,'" wrote Bill Maher in a New York Times review. "And there's a book within the book about how it turned out for ex-Beatles Stu and Pete, Beatle-for-a-week Jimmie Nicol, the long-suffering, Hera-like Cynthia Lennon, and other supporting cast members and day players caught in the orbit of the sun gods."
"Memorial" by Bryan Washington (Penguin, $17, out Oct. 26). Named one of the top books of 2020 by multiple outlets, including The New York Times and Washington Post, this is a novel about family: gay couple Benson and Mike, with a story in which Mike's mother moves into their home just as Mike packs up to leave on an extended visit to his dying, estranged father in Japan. "Here's some good news for the writer's admirers," said a reviewer on NPR, noting Washington's previous award-winning short story collection "Lot." "'Memorial' isn't just every bit as brilliant as its predecessor. It's somehow even better. ... Washington is an enormously gifted author, and his writing — spare, unadorned, but beautiful — reads like the work of a writer who's been working for decades, not one who has yet to turn 30. Just like 'Lot,' 'Memorial' is a quietly stunning book, a masterpiece that asks us to reflect on what we owe to the people who enter our lives."
"The Wicked Widow: A Wicked City Novel" by Beatriz Williams (Morrow, $16.99). This might be just the thing to curl up with on a chilly autumn night: the latest from bestselling author Williams, and a sequel to "The Wicked Redhead." In it, two parallel New York City stories unfold, set in the same town house: one in the 1990s, one in the 1920s. "Williams' fast-paced story line features engaging dialogue and thematic connections" between the characters separated by time, wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer, noting, "Series fans will eat this up."