5 books not to miss: Colson Whitehead’s ‘The Nickel Boys,’ Daniel Silva’s ‘The New Girl’
"The Nickel Boys," by Colson Whitehead. (Photo: Doubleday)
In search of something good to read? USA TODAY’s Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases.
1. “The Nickel Boys,” by Colson Whitehead (Doubleday, fiction, on sale July 16)
What it’s about: Black boys experience horrific abuse at a juvenile reform school in the Jim Crow-era South inspired by the real-life and equally horrific Dozier School for Boys. Whitehead has already won one Pulitzer Prize for “The Underground Railroad”; don’t be surprised if he wins another.
The buzz: “Whitehead’s brilliant examination of America’s history of violence is a stunning novel of impeccable language and startling insight,” raves a starred review in Publishers Weekly.
2. “The New Girl,” by Daniel Silva (Harper, fiction, on sale July 16)
What it’s about: Legendary chief of Israeli intelligence Gabriel Allon is back in a new page-turning thriller, called into action when the daughter of the controversial crown prince of Saudi Arabia is kidnapped from her private school in Switzerland.
The buzz: “It all adds up to an irresistible thriller, built on the realpolitik of today’s Middle East but deepened by the universality of human tragedy,” says Booklist.
3. “Tell Me Everything,” by Cambria Brockman (Ballantine, fiction, on sale July 16)
What it’s about: At Hawthorne College, Malin is swept into a group of friends that remains tight-knit through all four years. Then, on the cusp of graduation, their clique is splintered by secrets. Malin is desperate to fix things and maintain her carefully curated image, but her actions set in motion a deadly chain of events.
The buzz: A starred review in Kirkus Reviews calls it “a truly chilling thriller with a twist so quiet, you never hear it coming.”
4. “Talking to Robots: Tales from Our Robot-Human Features,” by David Ewing Duncan (Dutton, nonfiction, on sale July 16)
What it’s about: In a fascinating work of imaginative futurology, a science journalist takes a look at our current technologies and anticipates the human-robot future that could await us – one full of warrior bots, politician bots, doctor bots and sex bots.
The buzz: Kirkus Reviews calls it “a refreshing variation on the will-intelligent-robots-bring-Armageddon genre.” Who can resist that?
5. “If You Want to Make God Laugh,” by Bianca Marais (Putnam, fiction, on sale July 16)
What it’s about: In post-Apartheid South Africa, three lives intersect: pregnant and impoverished 17-year-old Zodwa, wealthy socialite Ruth and disgraced former nun Delilah. An abandoned newborn on a doorstep further entangles the three women as the book explores the ravages of racism and sexual violence and the redemptive force of love.
The buzz: “Marais once again showcases her talent for pulling beauty from the pain of South African history with a strong story and wonderfully imperfect characters,” says Publishers Weekly.
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