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Currently on our nightstand: career advice from an art-world mogul, Brooklyn’s secret queer history and a spy novel like no other spy novel we’ve read before. Here’s what we’re digging into right now.

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american spy
Random House

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

The spy genre gets turned on its head in Wilkinson’s debut novel. The Cold War–era tale follows intelligence officer Marie Mitchell from New York City to an undercover mission in Burkina Faso, where she’s tasked with cozying up to a charismatic Communist leader. It has all the hallmarks of a page-turning espionage thriller—along with the complex themes and questions a black female perspective brings to the table.

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the most important women in the room is you
Touchstone

The Most Powerful Woman in the Room Is You by Lydia Fenet

As leading charity auctioneer and global head of strategic partnerships for Christie’s, Fenet convinces people to part with large sums of money all the time. So you can bet she has some excellent advice on how to own a room and build the career you want. She started as an intern some 20 years ago, and now she’s paying it forward in the form of insightful anecdotes and tips, along with pointers from several of her boss friends, like Martha Stewart and Nina Garcia.

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long live the tribe of fatherless girls
Bloomsbury Publishing

Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden

Spanning her affluent but troubled childhood in Boca Raton to present-day New York, Madden’s memoir paints a vivid picture of addiction, otherness, objectification and loss. If that sounds dark, well, at times it is—but it’s also funny, uplifting and a loving tribute to the author’s families, both chosen and inherited.

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affair of falcons
Ecco

The Affairs of the Falcóns by Melissa Rivero

Along with her husband and young children, Ana Falcón flees the political turmoil of 1990s Peru for New York City, only to be met with the financial and emotional tolls that come with being undocumented in a new and strange place. It’s another valuable chronicle of the immigrant experience (see also: Behold the DreamersThe Leavers), with an extra layer of personal significance: Rivera herself was undocumented for much of her Brooklyn childhood, becoming a citizen in her early 20s.

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when brooklyn was queer
St. Martin's Press

When Brooklyn Was Queer by Hugh Ryan

Most are familiar with Greenwich Village’s queer history (2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots), but Ryan unearths a forgotten world of LGBTQ culture across the East River, from Walt Whitman and other literary figures to the lesbians who worked in the Navy Yard during World War II. Ryan, the founder of the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, recounts both the many characters who made up the once-vibrant community and the systemic forces that sought to erase it.

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plum book
Random House

Save Me the Plums by Ruth Reichl

Food memoirist extraordinaire Reichl has gifted us with a delicious new course: a detailed account of the decade she spent as Gourmet’s editor-in-chief, right up until its last issue in 2009. Peppered with recipes and celeb chef cameos, Reichl’s writing offers a glimpse inside a venerated publication—it’s a must-read for foodies and print nostalgists alike.

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