In search of something good to read? USA TODAY’s Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases. All books are on sale Tuesday.
1. “booth,” by Karen Joy Fowler (GP Putnam’s Sons, fiction)
What’s about: The PEN/Faulkner Award-winning author of “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” returns with a novel about the family behind one of American history’s most notorious figures: John Wilkes Booth. This snapshot of a troubled family in a country in its own throes of change promises difficult insights into our current moment.
Thebuzz: “The similarities to today are riveting and chilling,” says a starred review for Kirkus Reviews.
More:Want to understand what led to Russia invading Ukraine? Read these 8 books
2. “In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss,” by Amy Bloom (Random House, nonfiction)
What’s about: Bloom’s life, and that of her husband, Brian, was changed forever when an MRI confirmed the worst: Brian had Alzheimer’s. The couple then made the decision to go to Dignitas, an assisted-dying facility in Switzerland.
Thebuzz: “Rarely has a memoir about death been so full of life,” says a ★★★★ (out of four) review for USA TODAY.
3. “Read Dangerously: The Subversive Power of Literature in Troubled Times,” by Azar Nafisi (Dey Street, nonfiction)
What’s about: The author of “Reading Lolita in Tehran” returns with a book championing the power of literature to guide and galvanize in contentious political times.
Thebuzz: “This excellent collection provokes and inspires at every turn,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
4. “Refuse to Be Done: How to Write and Rewrite a Novel in Three Drafts,” by Matt Bell (Soho, nonfiction)
What’s about: We all have a book in us, and novelist Bell (“Appleseed,” “Scrapper”) wants to help you write it with this accessible, encouraging craft book offering helpful techniques for every step of the process.
Thebuzz: “Budding novelists, take note,” says Publishers Weekly, calling it a “heartening guide.”
5. “Don’t Know Tough,” by Eli Cranor (Soho Crime, fiction)
What’s about: Billy Lowe is the star running back for the high school football team in Denton, Arkansas. When his troubled home life causes him to act out on the field, head coach Trent Powers is determined to save him. Think “Friday Night Lights” with a Southern Gothic twist.
Thebuzz:Publishers Weekly calls it an “arresting debut” and says, “Readers will be curious to see what Cranor does next.”