Nothing says summer quite like this week’s new releases. Celebrate the making of the smash-hit In the Heights; learn what it takes to keep your skin glowing through all the sunny days of summer; get lost in fictional romps that are as sticky-sweet and enlivening as the season. There’s so much to love, read on for more!
Morningside Heights: A Novel by Joshua Henkin
When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with and marries Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.
Thirty years later, something is wrong with Spence. The Great Man can’t concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. With their daughter, Sarah, away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own to care for him. One day, feeling especially isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence’s estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives. Arlo, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father’s last, best hope.
Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It’s about the love between women and men, and children and parents; about the things we give up in the face of adversity; and about how to survive when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.
The in-your-face go-to skincare guide from mega-influencer Lauryn Evarts Bosstick, founder of The Skinny Confidential brand
The Skinny Confidential’s Get the F*ck Out of the Sun is the practical, yet incredibly fun and accessible, preventative skincare bible by lifestyle guru Lauryn Evarts Bosstick.
We all have our ever-growing list of skincare questions: What products are essential for a nightly routine? Will a jade roller actually take care of hungover, puffy eyes? Why is sunscreen so important, and does it really need to be applied every day? What oils and serums are best for glowy, dewy supermodel skin? Lauryn dives into all this and more with a voice reminiscent of a friend at a boozy mimosa brunch who has a little more experience (and a lot more research) under her belt. From product and beauty tool recommendations to Lauryn’s personal experience with facial massage, fillers, Botox, lymphatic drainage, and cryotherapy, this authoritative and cheeky book is essential for a DIY generation that’s all about shaking up old ideas about skin care and transforming the beauty industry.
Lauryn interviews other top influencers such as Kristin Cavallari, Patrick Starrr, the Summer Fridays’ cofounders, Shea Marie, Chriselle Lim, Jillian Michaels, Stassi Schroeder, Aimee Song, the Ladygang, Mandy Madden Kelley, Amelia Gray, Delilah Belle, Bobbi Brown, and Justin Anderson and skin-care doctors and mavens including Dr. Dennis Gross, Dr. Jason Diamond, Sonya Dakar, Georgia Louise, and Dr. Barbara Sturm to get real-deal insider tips and tricks, making this book the go-to resource for preventative skincare with the signature pink Skinny Confidential spin.
The Sweetness of Water: A Novel by Nathan Harris
In the spirit of The Known World and The Underground Railroad, “a stunning debut” (Oprah Daily) about the unlikely bond between two freedmen who are brothers and the Georgia farmer whose alliance will alter their lives, and his, forever—from “a storyteller with bountiful insight and assurance” (Kirkus)
In the waning days of the Civil War, brothers Prentiss and Landry—freed by the Emancipation Proclamation—seek refuge on the homestead of George Walker and his wife, Isabelle. The Walkers, wracked by the loss of their only son to the war, hire the brothers to work their farm, hoping through an unexpected friendship to stanch their grief. Prentiss and Landry, meanwhile, plan to save money for the journey north and a chance to reunite with their mother, who was sold away when they were boys.
Parallel to their story runs a forbidden romance between two Confederate soldiers. The young men, recently returned from the war to the town of Old Ox, hold their trysts in the woods. But when their secret is discovered, the resulting chaos, including a murder, unleashes convulsive repercussions on the entire community. In the aftermath of so much turmoil, it is Isabelle who emerges as an unlikely leader, proffering a healing vision for the land and for the newly free citizens of Old Ox.
With candor and sympathy, debut novelist Nathan Harris creates an unforgettable cast of characters, depicting Georgia in the violent crucible of Reconstruction. Equal parts beauty and terror, as gripping as it is moving, The Sweetness of Water is an epic whose grandeur locates humanity and love amid the most harrowing circumstances.
The Great Mistake: A Novel by Jonathan Lee
Andrew Haswell Green is dead, shot at the venerable age of eighty-three, when he thought life could hold no more surprises. The killing—on Park Avenue in broad daylight, on Friday the thirteenth—shook the city.
Born to a struggling farmer, Green was a self-made man without whom there would be no Central Park, no Metropolitan Museum of Art, no Museum of Natural History, no New York Public Library. But Green had a secret, a life locked within him that now, in the hour of his death, may finally break free.
A work of tremendous depth and piercing emotion, The Great Mistake is the story of a city transformed, a murder that made a private man infamous, and a portrait of a singular individual who found the world closed off to him—yet enlarged it.
The author of Self-Compassion follows up her groundbreaking book with new ideas that expand our notion of self-kindness and its capacity to transform our lives, showing women how to balance tender self-acceptance with fierce action to claim their power and change the world.
Kristin Neff changed how we talk about self-care with her enormously popular first book, Self-Compassion. Now, ten years and many studies later, she expands her body of work to explore a brand-new take on self-compassion. Although kindness and self-acceptance allow us to be with ourselves as we are, in all our glorious imperfection, the desire to alleviate suffering at the heart of this mindset isn’t always gentle, sometimes it’s fierce. We must also act courageously in order to protect ourselves from harm and injustice, say no to others so we can meet our own needs, and motivate necessary change in ourselves and society. Gender roles demand that women be soft and nurturing, not angry or powerful. But like yin and yang, the energies of fierce and tender self-compassion must be balanced for wholeness and wellbeing.
Drawing on a wealth of research, her personal life story and empirically supported practices, Neff demonstrates how women can use fierce and tender self-compassion to succeed in the workplace, engage in caregiving without burning out, be authentic in relationships, and end the silence around sexual harassment and abuse. Most women intuitively recognize fierceness as part of their true nature, but have been discouraged from developing it. Women must reclaim their power in order to create a healthier society and find lasting happiness. In this wise, caring, and enlightening book, Neff shows women how to reclaim balance within themselves, so they can help restore balance in the world.
In the Heights: Finding Home by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Quiara Alegría Hudes, Jeremy McCarter
The eagerly awaited follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller Hamilton: The Revolution, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s new book gives readers an extraordinary inside look at In the Heights, his breakout Broadway debut, written with Quiara Alegría Hudes, now a Hollywood blockbuster.
“[An] exuberant, unique, and invaluable record of dynamic, brilliant, and soulful creativity.”—Booklist (starred review)
In 2008, In the Heights, a new musical from up-and-coming young artists, electrified Broadway. The show’s vibrant mix of Latin music and hip-hop captured life in Washington Heights, the Latino neighborhood in upper Manhattan. It won four Tony Awards and became an international hit, delighting audiences around the world. For the film version, director Jon M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians) brought the story home, filming its spectacular dance numbers on location in Washington Heights. That’s where Usnavi, Nina, and their neighbors chase their dreams and ask a universal question: Where do I belong?
In the Heights: Finding Home reunites Miranda with Jeremy McCarter, co-author of Hamilton: The Revolution, and Quiara Alegría Hudes, the Pulitzer Prize–winning librettist of the Broadway musical and screenwriter of the film. They do more than trace the making of an unlikely Broadway smash and a major motion picture: They give readers an intimate look at the decades-long creative life of In the Heights.
Like Hamilton: The Revolution, the book offers untold stories, perceptive essays, and the lyrics to Miranda’s songs—complete with his funny, heartfelt annotations. It also features newly commissioned portraits and never-before-seen photos from backstage, the movie set, and productions around the world.
This is the story of characters who search for a home—and the artists who created one.
The Maidens: A Novel by Alex Michaelides
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Silent Patient comes a spellbinding tale of psychological suspense, weaving together Greek mythology, murder, and obsession, that further cements “Michaelides as a major player in the field” (Publishers Weekly).
Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.
Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.
Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?
When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.
How to Survive America by D. L. Hughley
Legendary comedian D.L. Hughley uses his “hilarious yet soul-shaking” (Black Enterprise) humor to confront racism’s unjust impact on the health and wellbeing of Blacks and minorities
White people love survival guides. But have you noticed they’re always about ridiculous activities in locations far from home, with chapters like “How to Survive an Avalanche” or “How to Live on Bugs in the Jungle.” Huh?!
You know who really needs a survival guide? Black and brown Americans. For surviving their own damn country! Minority populations wake up every day in a battle for their health and safety. Thankfully, legendary activist-comedian D.L. Hughley offers How to Survive America, a fearless satire that exposes racism’s unjust toll on our bodies and minds.
Even before COVID-19 disproportionately impacted minority communities, life expectancy for Blacks was a full three years less than for white Americans. The very air we breathe is more polluted, our water is more contaminated, our local food options are toxic, and our jobs are underpaid. Despite the obvious need, the quality of our health care is tragically inadequate. Our communities are statistically less safe than the average, and yet we’re terrorized by the law-enforcement and criminal-justice systems that are supposed to protect us, sending Blacks to prison at five times the rate of whites. Not least, our means of addressing these injustices—voting—is perennially under assault.
It’s enough to drive you crazy. Well, guess what? According to Cigna, Blacks are 20 percent more likely to report “psychological distress” yet “50 percent less likely to receive counseling or mental health treatment.” It’s almost like the entire country has been structured with no regard for our welfare. Hmmm.
Whether you’re Black, white, brown, or Asian, don’t leave home without arming yourself with How to Survive America!
The Brittanys by Brittany Ackerman
Bursting with bittersweet nostalgia, a funny, poignant, perfectly voiced debut that captures what it’s like to be a teenage girl–“full of brilliantly-rendered awkwardness and the hilarious minor horrors of a privileged adolescence, The Brittanys shimmers with the everyday incandescence of youth” (Kimberly King Parsons, author of Black Light).
They’re not the most popular freshmen at their Florida prep school, but at least everyone knows their name(s). The Brittanys.
Brittany Rosenberg: drives her golf cart around her subdivision to meet boys.
Brittany Gottlieb: insists you can’t lose your virginity if you haven’t gotten your period. (She heard it somewhere )
Brittany Tomassi: is from New York.
Brittany Jensen: once threw her tampon into a stranger’s swimming pool. A brash, bold, unapologetic tomboy. And the greatest person in the whole wide world.
At least as far as the fifth Brittany–our narrator–is concerned. Even within their friend group, she and Jensen are a duo: with their matching JanSport backpacks, Tiffany chokers, and Victoria’s Secret push-up bras, they are unstoppable. And now that they’re finally growing up, they’re going to do everything: dye their hair, attend no-parent parties, try pot . . . maybe even lose their virginities. 2004 is totally going to be their year
Except Jensen’s interests may be diverging from her friends’. And within our narrator’s own family–in the lives of her exhausted mother and beloved, genius older brother–life-changing events may be taking shape. Events that only years later, looking back, she has the perspective to see.
Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal by George Packer
Acclaimed National Book Award-winning author George Packer diagnoses America’s descent into a failed state, and envisions a path toward overcoming our injustices, paralyses, and divides
In the year 2020, Americans suffered one rude blow after another to their health, livelihoods, and collective self-esteem. A ruthless pandemic, an inept and malign government response, polarizing protests, and an election marred by conspiracy theories left many citizens in despair about their country and its democratic experiment. With pitiless precision, the year exposed the nation’s underlying conditions—discredited elites, weakened institutions, blatant inequalities—and how difficult they are to remedy.
In Last Best Hope, George Packer traces the shocks back to their sources. He explores the four narratives that now dominate American life: Free America, which imagines a nation of separate individuals and serves the interests of corporations and the wealthy; Smart America, the world view of Silicon Valley and the professional elite; Real America, the white Christian nationalism of the heartland; and Just America, which sees citizens as members of identity groups that inflict or suffer oppression.
In lively and biting prose, Packer shows that none of these narratives can sustain a democracy. To point a more hopeful way forward, he looks for a common American identity and finds it in the passion for equality—the “hidden code”—that Americans of diverse persuasions have held for centuries. Today, we are challenged again to fight for equality and renew what Alexis de Tocqueville called “the art” of self-government. In its strong voice and trenchant analysis, Last Best Hope is an essential contribution to the literature of national renewal.
New in Paperback
The Dragons, the Giant, the Women: A Memoir by Wayétu Moore
Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno Garcia
All Things Left Wild: A Novel by James Wade
These titles and more are available for purchase in-store or online from BookPeople today.