'To The Bridge' By Nancy Rommelmann & 4 Other New Books To Read This Week

It's Fourth of July week, and if you're anything like me, you're not feeling especially patriotic this year. So instead of heading out for fireworks decked out in red, white, and blue, you may instead want to brush up on the real history of the United States, volunteer for a political candidate, or just enjoy the days off with a picnic in the park and an excellent new book. Luckily, there's plenty of new book releases this week to add to your picnic bag.

This week brings with it three fascinating nonfiction books: To The Bridge explores the tragic, wrenching story of the mother who dropped her two children into the icy waters of Willamette River, leaving them for dead; Can You Tolerate This? is a riveting, dazzling collection of essays about young adulthood and all the anxieties and growing pains that define that period of life; and What To Read and Why is the perfect book for people who define themselves as readers and want to dive into a book about.... other books.

There's also plenty of fiction this week to keep you entertained at the beach or the park: The Calculating Stars is a sci-fi adventure that explores the very real gender disparity that exists in STEM fields in our existing reality; and The Banker's Wife is a fast-paced, twisted thriller that centers on the fact-finding missions of two very different women.

Whatever your mood, here are the five books you should dive in to this week:

'To the Bridge: A True Story of Motherhood and Murder' by Nancy Rommelmann

The result of seven years of research, To the Bridge is a haunting examination of the case of Amanda Stott-Smith, a mother who attempted to murder her two youngest children — her four-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter — by dropping them into the waters of the Willamette River in 2009, killing one in the process.

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'The Calculating Stars' by Mary Robinette Kowal

In Mary Robinette Kowal's version of 1952, a meteorite struck earth and obliterated much of the east coast of the United States, hastening the country's race to find a planet to colonize. Women — including Elma York — are major players in the ground efforts of this mission but aren't actually allowed to travel to space. But Elma wants to become the first Lady Astronaut — and she's not about to let anything stop her.

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'The Banker’s Wife' by Cristina Alger

When her husband's plane flies into a storm and drops completely off the radar, young widow Annabel is left to reckon with her grief — and her husband's many secrets. But there's a young journalist — the soon-to-be wife of Grant Ellis, the son of a powerful family — who may have the answers Annabel needs, should she choose to publish the story.

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'What To Read & Why' by Francine Prose

The latest from the author of Reading Like a Water, this book is a dazzling collection of literary critic and novelist Francine Prose's best reviews and essays on her favorite authors — from Jane Austen to Jennifer Egan.

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'Can You Tolerate This?' by Ashleigh Young

Poet Ashleigh Young makes her essay collection debut in Can You Tolerate This?, a stunning book that demonstrates Young's phenomenal ability to bridge the line between inner reflection and outward observation.

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