Among this week’s half dozen Paperback Picks are the debut novel by celebrated Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl and former Seattleite Ann Powers' analysis of the role that sex, gender and race played in creating popular American music.
Do you need a new paperback this week? Quite possibly you do! Here are six possibilities.
“Stay with Me” by Ayobami Adebayo (Vintage, $16). The Nigerian-born author will be in Seattle July 26 at Elliott Bay Book Co. — which means you have time to read her debut novel (don’t worry, it’s a slim one), about a marriage filled with secrets. The New York Times’ Michiko Kakutani described it as written “not just with extraordinary grace but with genuine wisdom about love and loss and the possibility of redemption.”
“The Chickenshit Club: Why the Justice Department Fails to Prosecute Executives” by Jesse Eisinger (Simon & Schuster, $18). This timely book from Eisinger, a Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica journalist, was described by NPR as “a wakeup call, delivered calmly yet with no shortage of well-reasoned urgency, to a nation whose democratic traditions are being undermined by backroom dealing, deregulation, and the consolidation of corporate power.”
“Goodbye, Vitamin” by Rachel Khong (Picador, $16). Khong’s debut novel, in which a young woman moves back home after her father begins to suffer from dementia, is both deliciously funny and gently poignant. I loved the book’s wry first-person narration, full of tartly perfect observations. “It was grotesque, the way I kept trying to save that relationship,” heroine Ruth muses, of an ex-boyfriend. “Like trying to tuck an elephant into pants.”
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“Who Is Rich?” by Matthew Klam (Random House, $17). Klam’s novel, about an affair that takes place at an annual writers’ conference, won accolades last year for its wit and perception; The New York Times called it “funny, maddening and, despite the well-worn subject matter, defiantly original.”
“George & Lizzie” by Nancy Pearl (Touchstone, $16). Seattle’s iconic librarian came out with her first foray into fiction last year; a “romp of a novel,” wrote Seattle Times reviewer Ellen Emry Heltzel, about an opposites-attract sort of marriage.
“Good Booty; Love and Sex, Black and White, Body and Soul in American Music” by Ann Powers (Dey St., $18.99). Powers is a former Seattleite who once covered music for The Rocket; she’s now critic/correspondent for NPR Music. Seattle Times reviewer Charles R. Cross described her book as “a sharp analysis of the role that sex, gender and race played in creating popular music in America.”