Leigh, Olivier loved ‘Madly’; Maisie Dobbs wields ‘Weapon’

1. “Truly, Madly: Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, and the Romance of the Century”

by Stephen Galloway (Grand Central, nonfiction)

What it’s about: Leigh and Olivier were two of the best actors of their generation with a love affair that seemed written in the stars – until the weight of fame and a long-undiagnosed mental illness turned their dream into a nightmare.

The buzz: “A good choice for lovers of theater and cinema – and for those who live for the drama,” says Kirkus Reviews.

2. “A Sunlit Weapon”

by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper, fiction)

What it’s about: The latest in the Maisie Dobbs series finds our heroine investigating a mystery involving first lady Eleanor Roosevelt.

The buzz: “A superb combination of mystery, thriller, and psychological study with an emphasis on prejudice and hatred,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

3. “All the White Friends I Couldn’t Keep: Hope – and Hard Pills to Swallow – About Fighting for Black Lives”

by Andre Henry (Convergent Books, nonfiction)

What it’s about: The Black social justice activist is done arguing with white people about racism and saw close friendships rupture in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement. Here, Henry charts a path for the antiracist movement by disrupting systems of inequality.

The buzz: A starred review from Publishers Weekly calls it “A timely declaration from an exciting voice, this is sure to inspire those in pursuit of radical change.”

4. “Against All Odds: A True Story of Ultimate Courage and Survival in World War II”

by Alex Kershaw (Dutton Caliber, nonfiction)

What it’s about: Journalist and WWII chronicler Kershaw tells the story of four of the war’s most decorated soldiers, Medal of Honor recipients who survived against all odds.

The buzz: “Kershaw describes his subjects’ heroic acts with earthy exuberance and lucidly explains military strategy. WWII buffs will be enthralled,” says Publishers Weekly.

5. “A Harmless Lie”

by Sara Blaedel (Dutton, fiction)

What it’s about: Copenhagen police detective Louise Rick gets a call that her beloved brother has attempted suicide after his wife left him. But did she really leave her own accord or are there darker forces at play?

The buzz: “Blaedel does a good job depicting abnormal psyches and, through harrowing flashbacks, the cliquish cruelty of adolescent girls. Scandinoir fans will be satisfied,” says Publishers Weekly.

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