Air Traffic

A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America

By Gregory Pardlo, Knopf

A Pulitzer Prize-winning poet looks at his troubled youth, his father and the plight of black men in America.

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Review: How a young writer emerged from a troubled past to a Pulitzer


An American Marriage

By Tayari Jones, Algonquin

When a man is sent to prison for a crime he didn’t commit, his marriage is challenged in unexpected ways.

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Review: Oprah’s newest book club pick: ‘An American Marriage,’ by Tayari Jones



By Lisa Halliday, Simon & Schuster

A young publishing assistant has an affair with an American literary giant who sounds very much like Philip Roth.

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Review: A former lover of Philip Roth has published a novel about a writer like Philip Roth

True Crime

Beneath a Ruthless Sun

A True Story of Violence, Race, and Justice Lost and Found

By Gilbert King, Riverhead

Set in 1950s Florida, a riveting tale about a young man wrongly accused of murder, and the woman who helped free him.

Buy $28

Review: A riveting tale of small-town Southern prejudice — with an unusual twist


Chasing Hillary

Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling

By Amy Chozick, Harper

A poignant, insightful and sometimes exasperating memoir by a New York Times reporter who covered Hillary Clinton for 10 years.

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Review: Amy Chozick covered Hillary Clinton for a decade. Here’s what she learned — and what she endured.



By Madeline Miller, Little, Brown

A thrilling reimagining of the myth of Circe, the witch in Homer’s “The Odyssey.”

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Review: The original nasty woman is a goddess for our times


Directorate S

The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan

By Steve Coll, Penguin Press

A highly critical account of America’s 17 years of war in Afghanistan.

Buy $35

Review: America’s slow-motion military and policy disaster in Afghanistan and Pakistan


Enlightenment Now

The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress

By Steven Pinker, Viking

How the values of the Enlightenment — reason, science and fact-based arguments — can triumph in the face of nationalism, tribalism and authoritarian populism.

Buy $35

Review: Buck up, everyone! We are riding along the Enlightenment’s long path of progress


The Female Persuasion

By Meg Wolitzer, Riverhead

In this almost prescient novel about the women’s movement, a college student’s life is changed after a chance encounter with a feminist icon.

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Review: Meg Wolitzer’s ‘Female Persuasion’ captures our era’s gender politics


Fire and Fury

Inside the Trump White House

By Michael Wolff, Henry Holt

The dishiest political book of the year (so far) shows a White House littered with insults and intrigue, backstabbing and dysfunction.

Buy $30

Review: In Michael Wolff's book, the Trump White House is full of intrigue, and out of ideas


The Flight Attendant

By Chris Bohjalian, Doubleday

The ultimate airplane book: After a passionate one-night stand, a flight attendant wakes up next to a dead man. Did she kill him? She can’t remember.

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Review: ‘The Flight Attendant’ is, yes, the perfect airplane read


The Girl Who Smiled Beads

A Story of War and What Comes After

By Clemantine Wamariya, Crown

A terrifying but life-affirming memoir by a woman who survived the civil war in Rwanda to find success — and Oprah — in America.

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Review: A moment on ‘Oprah’ made her a human rights symbol. She wants to be more than that.


The Great Alone

By Kristin Hannah, St. Martin’s

An epic story about a teenage girl trapped in her parents’ toxic home after they move to Alaska.

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Review: Kristin Hannah’s next hit: A brave girl confronts her disturbed dad in the Alaskan wild



By Aminatta Forna, Atlantic Monthly

Traveling between past and present, this story crosses continents and weaves together lives that intersect years later in London over the course of just 10 days.

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Review: An exquisite novel about how chance and love connect us


The Heavens Might Crack

The Death and Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

By Jason Sokol, Basic

A deeply researched, dramatic account that reminds us that Martin Luther King Jr. was a radical who ignited passions both good and bad.

Buy $32

Review: Today an American icon, Martin Luther King Jr. once roused vicious hatred


A Higher Loyalty

Truth, Lies, and Leadership

By James Comey, Flatiron

The former FBI director provides lots of scenes, backstory and details about his career before and during the Trump administration.

Buy $29.99

Review: In his new book, James Comey calls for ‘ethical leadership.’ But does he live up to it?


How to Be Safe

By Tom McAllister, Liveright

In this unnerving, timely novel, a high school teacher’s life is ruined after she’s briefly considered a suspect in a mass shooting.

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Review: 3 novels that aim for the heart of America’s love affair with guns


The House of Broken Angels

By Luis Alberto Urrea, Little, Brown

Urrea’s boisterous novel revolves around a dying patriarch when three generations gather for a valedictory celebration.

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Review: A family saga with bounding heart, poetic delivery and plenty of swagger


How to Write an Autobiographical Novel

By Alexander Chee, Mariner

A memoir in essays that asks us to contemplate larger questions about identity, sexuality, family, art and war.

Buy $15.99

Review: The trailblazing writing life of Alexander Chee


The Line Becomes a River

Dispatches from the Border

By Francisco Cantú, Riverhead

A man who worked for the Border Patrol for four years describes his efforts to stop and help people coming into the United States.

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Review: Who gets to dream? America's immigration battles go beyond walls and borders.


The List

A Week-by-Week Reckoning of Trump’s First Year

By Amy Siskind, Bloomsbury

The first year of the Trump presidency, broken down into weekly compilations of outrageous acts.

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Review: Think you remember every outrage of the Trump presidency so far? A new book will test you.

Historical Fiction

The Maze at Windermere

By Gregory Blake Smith, Viking

Five subtly related stories spread over three centuries in the little seaside town of Newport, R.I.

Buy $27

Review: What was it like to live in a world both more formal and more brutal than our own?


The Music Shop

By Rachel Joyce, Random House

Can a man wholly dedicated to old vinyl records find modern love? Play on!

Buy $27

Review: An irresistible romantic comedy to begin your new year


The Overstory

By Richard Powers, W.W. Norton

This engrossing environmental novel intertwines several stories about people whose lives are devoted to trees.

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Review: The most exciting novel about trees you’ll ever read

Science Fiction

The Poppy War

By R.F. Kuang, Harper Voyager

Rin is an orphan secretly studying for an elite military academy to escape an unwanted marriage. The first novel in a planned trilogy.

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Review: Best science fiction and fantasy books out this month


The Recovering

Intoxication and Its Aftermath

By Leslie Jamison, Little, Brown

An uncompromising look at addiction — and writing about addiction — based on the author’s experience.

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Review: Will getting sober deaden a writer’s inspiration?


Red Clocks

By Leni Zumas, Little, Brown

In this powerful feminist novel, the Personhood Amendment has criminalized abortion, and a “Pink Wall” along our northern border keeps women from seeking treatment in Canada.

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Review: ‘Red Clocks’ imagines a world where abortion is outlawed. And it feels eerily real.



By Dave Itzkoff, Henry Holt

An immersive, intimate, warts-and-all portrait of a troubled comic star.

Buy $30

Review: Robin Williams: The hilarious, tortured life of a comic genius



By Rebecca Harrington, Doubleday

A delicious romantic comedy about love and work in the digital age.

Buy $24.95

Review: 7 electric new novels about the wired life


The Space Barons

Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and the Quest to Colonize the Cosmos

By Christian Davenport, PublicAffairs

A compelling look at the emergence of the commercial space industry, from the first flight of SpaceShipOne to the prospect of Earth orbit as a venue for tourism and recreation.

Buy $28

Review: Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk going head-to-head to conquer space travel


Space Odyssey

Stanley Kubrick, Arthur C. Clarke, and the Making of a Masterpiece

By Michael Benson, Simon & Schuster

A detailed and often thrilling account of the intense artistic collaboration behind the iconic film “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Buy $30

Review: Kubrick wanted 90 tons of sand dyed gray for ‘2001’ — and that was just the start



By Laura Lippman, William Morrow

Inspired by ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice,’ a superb psychological-suspense tale starring an enigmatic femme fatale.

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Review: Laura Lippman’s ‘Sunburn’ is classic noir, with no shortage of sex and violence



By Christine Mangan, Ecco

Two unreliable narrators share their versions of the events leading up to a murder in this atmospheric thriller set in Morocco.

Buy 26.99

Review: Who’s telling the truth? ‘Tangerine’ is a twisty tale of friendship, death and deceit

Social Science

Text Me When You Get Home

The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Friendship

By Kayleen Schaefer, Dutton

A celebration of female friendships that rejects the popular notion that women’s relationships with each other are fundamentally flawed.

Buy $24

Review: Women’s friendships aren’t dysfunctional — they’re essential


Theory of Bastards

By Audrey Schulman, Europa

A riveting page-turner about bonobos — yes, the chimp-like primates — and set in a very near and dire future.

Buy $18

Review: ‘Theory of Bastards’ is a feminist novel, but not the one you’re expecting



By Domenico Starnone, Europa

In this layered, alternately witty and melancholy story, an aging artist sees shadowy apparitions everywhere when he returns to his childhood home in Naples.

Buy $16

Review: Jhumpa Lahiri translates another Italian gem into English: Domenico Starnone’s ‘Trick’



By Charles Frazier, Ecco

The author of “Cold Mountain” returns to the Civil War with a story about Varina Howell Davis, the wife of the president of the Confederate States of America.

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Review: 20 years after ‘Cold Mountain,’ Charles Frazier is hot again


The Woman in the Window

By A.J. Finn, William Morrow

First-rate entertainment — a beautifully written, brilliantly plotted tale of love, loss and madness.

Buy $26.99

Review: Next year’s ‘Gone Girl’? Perhaps. ‘The Woman in the Window’ lives up to the hype


Why Baseball Matters

By Susan Jacoby, Yale University

A baseball fan pays homage to a sport that seems doomed in this age of distraction. How, she asks, can America’s pastime be saved?

Buy $26

Review: How baseball will survive in the age of distraction


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