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. “Lessons From the Edge,” by Marie Yovanovitch (Mariner, nonfiction)
What’s about: The American diplomat and former ambassador to Ukraine, who was recalled from her post and became a key witness in the 2019 Trump impeachment hearings examining then-President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure Ukrainian officials to investigate then-Democratic rival Joe Biden, offers timely insights in this urgent memoir. A child of parents who survived Soviet and Nazi terror, Yovanovitch has a personal stake in the preservation of democracy.
Thebuzz: “Full of shrewd insights and bitter ironies, Yovanovitch’s saga offers a revealing insider’s take on the labyrinth of foreign policy and on one of the most sordid episodes of Trump’s presidency,” says Publishers Weekly.
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2. “A Ballad of Love and Glory,” by Reyna Grande (Atria, fiction)
What’s about: Amidst the atrocities of the Mexican-American war, Mexican army nurse Ximena Salomé falls in love with Irish soldier John Riley, who has deserted the Yankee army to join the Mexicans in their fight.
Thebuzz: “It’s a great story and a revealing look at a lesser-sung chapter of American history,” says Publishers Weekly.
3. “Mecca,” by Susan Straight (FSG, fiction)
What’s about: From the National Book Award finalist comes a California epic told through interlocking stories examining race, history and family in the Golden State.
Thebuzz: “The author’s love of the Inland Empire and its people shines through on every page, and there is a Didionesque quality to Straight’s depiction of SoCal characters living in the shadow of prejudice and poverty, but in place of Didion’s free-floating anomie there is fierce compassion,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
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4. “The Kaiju Preservation Society,” by John Scalzi (Tor, fiction)
What’s about: As COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, unsuspecting food-delivery driver Jamie Gray gets roped into working for the Kaiju Preservation Society, studying large, dinosaur-like creatures roaming an alternate dimension.
Thebuzz: “A more ethical ‘Jurassic Park’ meets the camaraderie of ‘Parks and Recreation’ in this wonderfully witty and refreshingly earnest adventure yarn,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
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5. “The Match,” by Harlan Coben (Grand Central Publishing, fiction)
What’s about: In the latest installment of Coben’s thrilling Wilde series, a DNA match on an online ancestry database gives Wilde an opening to track down his father. But trying to find the truth behind his abandonment of him opens him to greater danger.
Thebuzz: “The topical follow-up to Coben’s best-selling ‘The Boy from the Woods’ addresses reality shows, DNA searches, cyberbullying, and social media influencers in a suspenseful novel guaranteed to be a hit,” says a starred review from Library Journal.