"Haven" by Emma Donoghue (Little, Brown, $17.99). Donoghue, whose elegant novels range from historical fiction ("The Wonder," "Frog Music") to contemporary ("Akin," "Room"), here goes ultra-historical with a tale of three Irishmen on a voyage of discovery in the year 600. A review in The Guardian noted this book is written with a minimalism similar to "Room," adding, "This is a miniature created with a muted palette, sombre in aspect but crowded with quietly beautiful details."
"The Many Daughters of Afong Moy" by Jamie Ford (Atria, $17.99). The latest bestseller from Ford ("Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet") spans 250 years and seven generations, beginning with the title character, described as the first Chinese woman to set foot on American soil. Though a Booklist reviewer wrote that Ford's penultimate chapter, set in the future, felt forced, the author's fans
"are unlikely to be disappointed, his writing remains reliably immersive and enlightening."
"Two Nights in Lisbon" by Chris Pavone (Picador, $19). I inhaled this international thriller while on vacation last year, as it's one of those books that you can't read slowly. The tale of a woman who awakens in a hotel room in Portugal to find her new husband missing, it's an ever-twisting tale of identities — both husband and wife, it turns out, may not be who they seem. "Surprise builds on surprise," wrote a reviewer in a starred Kirkus Review, "and although the reader may sense where the complicated plot is headed, the twists keep coming ... This high-stakes drama grabs your attention and doesn't let go."
"Happy-Go-Lucky" by David Sedaris (Little, Brown, $18.99). Sedaris's latest collection of humorous essays blends familiar topics — his relationships with his father, his siblings, his longtime boyfriend Hugh — with new ones, such as the pandemic. New York Times reviewer Henry Alford wrote that "the lasting impression of "Happy-Go-Lucky" is similar to that of Sedaris's other books: It's a neat trick that one writer's preoccupation with the odd and the inappropriate can have such widespread appeal."
"This Time Tomorrow" by Emma Straub (Penguin, $18). The fifth novel from Straub ("The Vacationers," "Modern Lovers") has a delightful premise: Alice, a New Yorker coping with the illness of her father, wakes up after a few drinks on her 40th birthday to find herself 16 again, back in her childhood bedroom, with her father young and healthy. NPR reviewer Heller McAlpin called it "an entertaining charmer that unleashes the magic of time travel to sweeten its exploration of potentially heavy themes like mortality, the march of time, and how little decisions can alter your life."
"Miss Chloe: A Memoir of a Literary Friendship with Toni Morrison" by A.J. Verdelle (HarperCollins, $18.99). Verdelle, a novelist ("The Good Negress") became friends with Toni Morrison — born Chloe Ardelia Wofford — in the 1990s. This book documents "more than two decades of friendship and hero worship, including delights and resentments big and small ... along with "'two and a half spats' dished in detail" wrote a reviewer in a starred Kirkus Review, describing the book as, "Passionate, personal, insightful, testy, and unique."
"Siren Queen" by Nghi Vo (Tor Publishing, $18.99). The latest from Vo ("The Chosen and the Beautiful") takes place during the years of Hollywood's studio system, where a young Chinese American woman gets herself an acting career by blackmailing a predatory director, becoming both a star and an outsider. Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, wrote that "Vo's hypnotic prose blends metaphor with magic so seamlessly that reality itself becomes slippery. Her dazzling voice, evocative scene setting, and ambitious protagonist make this a knockout."
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