'Everything's Trash But It's Okay' by Phoebe Robinson & 16 Other New Books To Know This Week
If you want to know about every single detail of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's life, this is your chance: a detailed biography of her life is one of the best new books out this week. But beyond RBG, there's a few memoirs, rom-coms, YA fantasies, and even one shady photography book to add to your TBR pile in the days ahead.
On the fiction side, Barbara Kingsolver is back with a new novel, as is The Essex Serpent author Sarah Perry. Other standouts include One Day In December, the perfect cold-weather rom-com, and A Very Large Expanse Of Sea by Tahereh Mafi, about growing up Muslim in a post-9/11 America.
On the nonfiction side, two celebrity memoirs hit shelves this week, one by Busy Philipps and the other by Phoebe Robinson. Both are poignant reflections on womanhood, each with their own spin and perspectives. Another very, very large nonfiction book hits bookshelves this week: Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Jane Sherron De Hart, a 500+ page biography of the Supreme Court Justice. And, if you love true crime and books, you're in for ta treat: The Library Book by Susan Orlean is both an examination of a heinous crime and a love letter to libraries. Plus, the late, great Stephen Hawking has blessed readers with one final book.
Here are this week's 18 must-read new books:
'Ruth Bader Ginsburg' by Jane Sherron De Hart
This book is thick enough to serve as a weight during one of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's famously difficult workouts. It's so large because RBG has lived a helluva life, and everything — from her days as a baton twirler in Brooklyn to her years spent studying at Harvard and Columbia Law Schools to her eventual ascension to the highest court in the land — is chronicled in this expansive history.
'This Will Only Hurt A Little' by Busy Philipps
Many bombshells from Busy Philipps's new memoir have already dropped — namely, that her co-star James Franco allegedly assaulted her on the set of Freaks and Geeks — but this book is more than what the headlines indicate. It's a funny, charming, and emotionally intelligent reflection on a life lived almost entirely in front the cameras.
'The Library Book' by Susan Orlean
Ironically, The Library Book — a book about the power and beauty of libraries — begins with a story about book burning. The 1986 arson of the Los Angeles Public Library, to be specific. The tragedy left 22 people injured and destroyed 400,000 books — and the perpetrator was never caught. This book is both an exploration of that crime and a love letter to that library... and libraries in general.
'Everything's Trash But It's Okay' by Phoebe Robinson
2 Dope Queens host (and New York Times bestselling author of You Can't Touch My Hair) Phoebe Robinson delivers searing social commentary on beauty standards, intersectionality, work-life balance, and more — all with her signature humor and honesty.
'Melmoth' by Sarah Perry
The mysterious legend of Melmoth the Witness throws the life of translator Helen Franklin into disarray in this chilling new novel from Sarah Perry. In a story for Bustle, Sadie Trombetta writes, "Like the best gothic works, Melmoth puts readers in the thick of that darkness with little more than a flashlight, and asks you to make out what you can of the shadows. Throughout the novel, the narrator implores readers to "look," to see things even characters in the novel either cannot or are too afraid to see."
'Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents' by Pete Souza
Pete Souza, the official White House Photographer for the Obama administration, releases another photography book this week, and it's basically just one long dunk on Donald Trump. Purchase this for all your Obama-lovin' friends (a good and funny gift) and your Trump-lovin' uncles (a bad but funny gift).
'She Wants It' by Jill Soloway
In an interview with writer Elisabeth Sherman for Bustle, Jill Soloway said: "If you’re really making art for yourself, then the process has integrity. It’s so important for women especially, because they’re checking signals from men that they’re performing a certain version of femininity. Look back inside yourself and pull out your truth. If you just connect to your idea of truth, you’ll become your real muse inside, and outside."
In her book, she expands on ideas about honesty and truth in art, and speaks candidly about her own rejections, pitfalls, and slip-ups on the road to creative success.
'Brief Answers to the Big Questions' by Stephen Hawking
No, Stephen Hawking did not return from the dead to write one final book — though if anyone could do it, it'd probably be him, right? In his final book, the famed cosmologist answers some enormous questions ("Does God Exist?") as only he can.
'The Winters' by Lisa Gabriele
Yes, this is the Rebecca retelling you've been waiting for. That's right: Queen Daphne Du Maurier is finally earning her place amongst the long list of authors whose work present day authors love to remix. In a story for Bustle, Sadie Trombetta writes: "Dark and richly atmospheric, The Winters is a mesmerizing tale about love and one of its ugliest consequence: jealousy."
'Unsheltered' by Barbara Kingsolver
Barbara Kingsolver tackles modern financial insecurities head-on in her latest novel, Unsheltered, which tells the tale of two separate families, living in two different centuries, at the same corner in Vineland, New Jersey.
'A Well-Behaved Woman' by Therese Anne Fowler
This novelization of the life of Alva Vanderbilt is a fascinating foray into the Southern woman's attempt to climb the social ladder in New York City after marrying into the newly-wealthy Vanderbilt family. In her attempts to secure her place in New York society, she built nine mansions, hosted grand balls, married her daughter to a Duke — all while fighting for women's suffrage and the rights of the women.
'One Day In December' by Josie Silver
Laurie didn't believe in love at first sight — until she locked eyes with a man through a misted-up bus window. She knew instantly he was the one... but then she lost him. She's certain she'll find him again, and she does. Except he's the new boyfriend of her best friend, Sarah.
'Glimmer of Hope' by the founders of March For Our Lives
'Heavy' by Kiese Laymon
Already longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal and named a finalist for the Kirkus Prize, Heavy is one of fall's buzziest memoir, with good reason. The book is a powerful, poignant questioning of the meaning of American success, who is allowed to have it, and what one must reckon with to achieve it.
'Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks For Me & You' by Lin-Manuel Miranda and illustrated by Jonny Sun
Two of the most comforting people on the Internet, Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Everyone's An Aliebn When Ur A Aliebn Too writer Jonny Sun, team up for this collection of insightful, uplifting messages and illustrations.
'A Very Large Expanse Of Sea' by Tahereh Mafi
Longlisted for the National Book Award for Young People's Literature, Tahereh Mafi's A Very Large Expanse of Sea follows a Muslim girl in the aftermath of 9/11. As she navigates a new reality where people feel even more emboldened to be racist, she meets a boy named Ocean James — and he seems to actually want to know her, for real.
'A Sorrow Fierce And Falling' by Jessica Cluess
The final book in Jessica Cluess's Kingdom of Fire series is here at last, which means you can now marathon-read all three books in one weekend. The series, set in Victorian London, follows Henrietta Howel, a female sorcerer who is prophesied to be the chosen one who can defeat the bloodthirsty demons terrorizing the city (and is also caught in a love... square?).