It finally feels like fall — or, as I call it, The Season of Armchair Reading. Actually that’s every season, isn’t it? In any case, you probably need a paperback; here are a half-dozen new this month.
“What Happened” by Hillary Rodham Clinton (Simon & Schuster, $18.99). Should you wish to take yourself back to the 2016 election, here’s the best-selling account of what went down, written by the first woman major-party candidate for president of the United States. The New York Times, in recommending it last year, described the book as “a post-mortem, in which she is both coroner and corpse.”
“Uncommon Type: Some Stories” by Tom Hanks (Vintage, $16). The actor’s debut fiction collection, inspired by his love for vintage typewriters, was a best-seller last year; NPR said that it “offers heartfelt charm along with nostalgia for sweeter, simpler times — even if they never really were quite so sweet or simple.”
“The Twelve-Mile Straight” by Eleanor Henderson (HarperCollins, $16.99). Henderson follows up her best-selling debut “Ten Thousand Saints” with this novel set in the Jim Crow South. Seattle Times reviewer Ellen Emry Heltzel described it last year as “a masterful piece of storytelling that probes issues of injustice and race.”
“Logical Family” by Armistead Maupin (HarperCollins, $16.99). The author of the beloved “Tales of the City” saga published this memoir last year. Michael Upchurch, reviewing the book in The Seattle Times, said that “Teddy” (a family nickname) wonderfully conveys the author’s journey, “starting his life as a deeply closeted son of the South, before winding up as a Left Coast champion of personal liberties and a genial gay raconteur-uncle to us all.”
“The Ninth Hour” by Alice McDermott (Picador, $17). I read and loved this book last fall; it’s a quiet, meditative tale beginning in early-20th-century working-class Brooklyn, where an Irish immigrant, humiliated by the loss of his job, has killed himself. The narrative, gently ebbing, then follows the lives of his widow, his then-unborn child and the nuns who daily leave their convent to tend to the sick and poor. It’ll leave you thinking about goodness, and about how, in the words of one of the nuns, “the truth finds the light.”
“Home Fire” by Kamila Shamsie (Penguin, $16). Winner of the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Shamsie’s novel is loosely based on the Greek tragedy “Antigone.” It’s the story of three British Muslim siblings whose family is shattered when one joins the Islamic State group.
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