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Peruvian corruption, Eleanor Roosevelt’s forbidden affair and Key and Peele. These are just a few of the diverse—and wildly entertaining—subjects of this month’s best new books.
Writer Maggie O’Farrell’s life has been punctuated by near-death experiences—17, to be exact. Here she recounts all of them, from the childhood illness that left her bedridden for a year to a near-disastrous encounter with a murderer. Buy the book
The essays in Smith’s latest collection were written during the Obama presidency (and most have already been published), but they’re neither stale nor dated, and span topics from identity and freedom to the comedy of Key and Peele. Buy the book
Set in the 1940s, The Atomic City Girls is a fictionalized account of the young women who unknowingly (at first) worked on The Manhattan Project, which produced the first nuclear weapons during WWII. Buy the book
In this timely exposé, Bloomberg TV journalist Chang reveals how Silicon Valley got so sexist, why “bro culture” endures and how women are finally starting to speak out and effect change. Buy the book
Based on the author’s own experience opting out of the Israeli army (for which he was jailed), this novel explores a young man’s loyalties to family and country. Buy the book
Gritty and heartbreaking, The House of Impossible Beauties juxtaposes the glamour of the 1980s Harlem ball scene with the harsh realities faced by the gay and transgender club kids. Buy the book
Inspired by James M. Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice, Lippman’s 23rd novel is about two people locked in a game of secrets, passion and cold-blooded murder. Beyond suspenseful. Buy the book
This thriller centers on a group of drifted-apart friends linked forever by an incident at a vacation home in France. Think: an elevated I Know What You Did Last Summer. Buy the book
A psychologist researching memories is confronted by a group called the Night Doctors, a mysterious assassin and the possibilities of life after death. Buy the book
Peisner’s latest is a behind-the-scenes look at the profound role In Living Color played in bringing black comedy and hip-hop culture to the mainstream. Buy the book
An intriguing fictionalized account of the unexpected and forbidden affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and journalist Lorena Hickok, from the author of Away. Buy the book
This politically charged detective novel by Nobel Laureate Vargas Llosa weaves through the corrupt underbelly of Peru in the 1990s, as two wealthy couples get involved in a vortex of scandal and blackmail. Buy the book
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