A new week’s worth of books brings us a new book from a Japanese superstar, a new history of the Watergate scandal, and a volume of collected essays from Salman Rushdie just to name a few. Scroll on for more noteworthy picks hitting shelves today.
Heaven: A Novel by Mieko Kawakami
From the bestselling author of Breasts and Eggs and international literary sensation Mieko Kawakami, a sharp and illuminating novel about the impact of violence and the power of solidarity in our contemporary societies.
Hailed as a bold foray into new literary territory, Kawakami’s novel is told in the voice of a 14-year-old student subjected to relentless torment for having a lazy eye. Instead of resisting, the boy chooses to suffer in complete resignation. The only person who understands what he is going through is a female classmate who suffers similar treatment at the hands of her tormenters.
These raw and realistic portrayals of bullying are counterbalanced by textured exposition of the philosophical and religious debates concerning violence to which the weak are subjected.
Kawakami’s simple yet profound new work stands as a dazzling testament to her literary talent. There can be little doubt that it has cemented her reputation as one of the most important young authors working to expand the boundaries of contemporary Japanese literature.
King Richard: Nixon and Watergate–An American Tragedy by Michael Dobbs
From the best-selling author of One Minute to Midnight: a riveting account of the crucial days, hours, and moments when the Watergate conspiracy consumed, and ultimately toppled, a president.
In January 1973, Richard Nixon had just been inaugurated after winning re-election in a historic landslide. He enjoyed an almost 70 percent approval rating. But by April 1973, his presidency had fallen apart as the Watergate scandal metastasized into what White House counsel John Dean called “a full-blown cancer.” King Richard is the intimate, utterly absorbing narrative of the tension-packed hundred days when the Watergate conspiracy unraveled as the burglars and their handlers turned on one another, exposing the crimes of a vengeful president.
Drawing on thousands of hours of newly-released taped recordings, Michael Dobbs takes us into the heart of the conspiracy, recreating these traumatic events in cinematic detail. He captures the growing paranoia of the principal players and their desperate attempts to deflect blame as the noose tightens around them. We eavesdrop on Nixon plotting with his aides, raging at his enemies, while also finding time for affectionate moments with his family. The result is an unprecedentedly vivid, close-up portrait of a president facing his greatest crisis.
Central to the spellbinding drama is the tortured personality of Nixon himself, a man whose strengths, particularly his determination to win at all costs, become his fatal flaws. Rising from poverty to become the most powerful man in the world, he commits terrible errors of judgment that lead to his public disgrace. He makes himself—and then destroys himself.
Structured like a classical tragedy with a uniquely American twist, King Richard is an epic, deeply human story of ambition, power, and betrayal.
Languages of Truth: Essays, 2003 – 2020 by Salman Rushdie
Newly collected, revised, and expanded nonfiction from the first two decades of the twenty-first century—including many texts never previously in print—by the Booker Prize–winning, internationally bestselling author
Salman Rushdie is celebrated as a storyteller of the highest order, illuminating truths about our society and culture through his gorgeous, often searing prose. Now, in his latest collection of nonfiction, he brings together insightful and inspiring essays, criticism, and speeches that focus on his relationship with the written word and solidify his place as one of the most original thinkers of our time.
Gathering pieces written between 2003 and 2020, Languages of Truth chronicles Rushdie’s intellectual engagement with a period of momentous cultural shifts. Immersing the reader in a wide variety of subjects, he delves into the nature of storytelling as a human need, and what emerges is, in myriad ways, a love letter to literature itself. Rushdie explores what the work of authors from Shakespeare and Cervantes to Samuel Beckett, Eudora Welty, and Toni Morrison mean to him, whether on the page or in person. He delves deep into the nature of “truth,” revels in the vibrant malleability of language and the creative lines that can join art and life, and looks anew at migration, multiculturalism, and censorship.
Enlivened on every page by Rushdie’s signature wit and dazzling voice, Languages of Truth offers the author’s most piercingly analytical views yet on the evolution of literature and culture even as he takes us on an exhilarating tour of his own exuberant and fearless imagination.
The Blacktongue Thief by Christopher Buehlman
Set in a world of goblin wars, stag-sized battle ravens, and assassins who kill with deadly tattoos, Christopher Buehlman’s The Blacktongue Thief begins a ‘dazzling’ (Robin Hobb) fantasy adventure unlike any other.
Kinch Na Shannack owes the Takers Guild a small fortune for his education as a thief, which includes (but is not limited to) lock-picking, knife-fighting, wall-scaling, fall-breaking, lie-weaving, trap-making, plus a few small magics. His debt has driven him to lie in wait by the old forest road, planning to rob the next traveler that crosses his path.
But today, Kinch Na Shannack has picked the wrong mark.
Galva is a knight, a survivor of the brutal goblin wars, and handmaiden of the goddess of death. She is searching for her queen, missing since a distant northern city fell to giants.
Unsuccessful in his robbery and lucky to escape with his life, Kinch now finds his fate entangled with Galva’s. Common enemies and uncommon dangers force thief and knight on an epic journey where goblins hunger for human flesh, krakens hunt in dark waters, and honor is a luxury few can afford.
Cheat Day: A Novel by Live Stratman
A smart and funny debut novel about the unexpected consequences of one woman’s attempt to exert control over her entire life by adhering to a strict wellness regimen.
Kit and David were college sweethearts. Now married and twelve years older, they live in Kit’s childhood home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. While David has a successful career, jetting off on work trips to exotic destinations, Kit is stuck in a loop. She keeps quitting her job managing her sister’s bakery to seek a more ambitious profession, but fear of failure always brings her right back to Sweet Cheeks. Kit finds a fraught solace in cycling through fad diets, which David, in his efforts to be supportive, follows along with her. Their latest program is the Radiant Regimen, an intense seventy-five-day cleanse, and Kit is optimistic about embarking on a new chapter of clean eating and self-control.
But hungry in more ways than one, she soon falls into a flirtation with a carpenter named Matt who is building new shelves for the bakery kitchen. Unable to resist their mutual attraction, Kit and Matt fall into a passionate affair. Kit suppresses the guilt of her betrayal by adhering more and more strictly to the Radiant Regimen, pushing the diet, and her infidelity, to greater extremes.
Told in precise, intimate detail, Cheat Day is a sharply comic novel that explores family, loyalty, monogamy versus monotony, deprivation versus indulgence, and the limitations of modern wellness.
Version Zero by David Yoon
From the brilliant mind of New York Times bestselling author David Yoon comes a lightning-fast and scorchingly observant thriller about how we can save ourselves from the very real perils of a virtual world.
Max, a data whiz at the social media company Wren, has gotten a firsthand glimpse of the dark side of big tech. When he questions what his company does with the data they collect, he’s fired…then black-balled across Silicon Valley.
With time on his hands and revenge on his mind, Max and his longtime friend (and secretly the love of his life) Akiko, decide to get even by rebooting the internet. After all, in order to fix things, sometimes you have to break them. But when Max and Akiko join forces with a reclusive tech baron, they learn that breaking things can have unintended–and catastrophic–consequences.
Big Tobacco meets Silicon Valley in this corporate expos of what happened when two of the most notorious industries collided–and the vaping epidemic was born.
Howard Willard lusted after Juul. As the CEO of tobacco giant Philip Morris’s parent company and a veteran of the industry’s long fight to avoid being regulated out of existence, he grew obsessed with a prize he believed could save his company–the e-cigarette, a product with all the addictive upside of the original without the same apparent health risks and bad press. Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley, Adam Bowen and James Monsees began working on a device that was meant to save lives and destroy Big Tobacco, but they ended up baking the industry’s DNA into their invention’s science and marketing. Ultimately, Juul’s e-cigarette was so effective and so market-dominating that it put the company on a collision course with Philip Morris and sparked one of the most explosive public health crises in recent memory.
In a deeply reported account, award-winning journalist Lauren Etter tells a riveting story of greed and deception in one of the biggest botched deals in business history. Etter shows how Philip Morris’s struggle to innovate left Willard desperate to acquire Juul, even as his own team sounded alarms about the startup’s reliance on underage customers. And she shows how Juul’s executives negotiated a lavish deal that let them pocket the lion’s share of Philip Morris’s $12.8 billion investment while government regulators and furious parents mounted a campaign to hold the company’s feet to the fire.
The Devil’s Playbook is the inside story of how Juul’s embodiment of Silicon Valley’s “move fast and break things” ethos wrought havoc on American health, and how a beleaguered tobacco company was seduced by the promise of a new generation of addicted customers. With both companies’ eyes on the financial prize, neither anticipated the sudden outbreak of vaping-linked deaths that would terrorize a nation, crater Juul’s value, end Willard’s career, and show the costs in human life of the rush to riches–while Juul’s founders, board members, and employees walked away with a windfall.
New in Paperback
Homeland Elegies: A Novel by Ayad Akhtar
The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires: A Novel by Grady Hendrix
The Death of Vivek Oji: A Novel by Akwaeke Emezi
These titles and more are available for purchase in-store or online from BookPeople today.