Considering the news coming out of Washington D.C. this week, you probably need a mental break. Luckily for you and me and everyone who hopes to maintain some level of sanity in these trying times, books are the perfect escape — and this week's new book releases are utterly transportive.
This week, Robert Galbraith — a.k.a. J.K. Rowling — is back with the fourth mystery in the Comoran Strike series, Lethal White. While there's no magic to be found in that book, there's plenty to be found in the others out this week: A Discovery of Witches author Deborah Harkness returns to the world of the supernatural with a new series about vampires; young adult author Marie Lu is back with Wildcard, the sequel to her cyberpunk adventure Warcross; and Carlos Ruiz Zafón returns to the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in his newest novel, The Labyrinth of the Spirits.
There's plenty of nonfiction out this week, too: Reese Witherspoon's guide to entertaining, Whiskey in a Teacup hits stores today; Jill Lepore is back with a single volume history of the United States; and Primates of Park Avenue author Wednesday Martin returns to the literary scene with a nonfiction exploration of female infidelity. Here are the 14 books you need to know this week:
'Lethal White' by Robert Galbraith
The fourth book from crime writer Robert Galbraith, a.k.a. J.K. Rowling, is just as twisted, dark, and thrilling as the previous three books — and perhaps one of the darkest things she's written yet. "Even if the world is the seedy underbelly of contemporary London and not magical Hogwarts, cracking the cover of a Galbraith novel is like stepping through a portal," Maddy Foley wrote in a review for Bustle. "You're immersed, all at once."
'Wildcard' by Marie Lu
In the sequel to Warcross, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu transports readers back to Tokyo, where Emika Chen has just made it out of the Warcross Championships. She is now caught in a horrifying web of betrayal, and in order to bring down an unexpected enemy, she must team up with a man named Zero and his ruthless crew of Blackcoats.
'Pride' by Ibi Zoboi
Zuri Benitez takes a lot of pride in her Afro-Latino roots, her family, and her Brooklyn neighborhood — but it might not be enough to save it from gentrification. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri is immediately turned off by their arrogant teenage son, Darius — even as her sister falls in love with his brother. As you may have already guessed, this is a Pride and Prejudice retelling, and it's not one to be missed.
'Unbroken' by Marieke Nijkamp
With stories written by 13 disabled creators, Unbroken is a gorgeous collection about disabled teenagers and their journeys through love, friendship, self-discovery, and more.
'What The Woods Keep' by Katya De Becerra
What The Woods Keep is the perfect novel to read as the days get shorter and mornings get darker. Hayden has just inherited her childhood home, but when she arrives, all the grim memories of her past comes flooding back to her: her mother's mysterious disappearance, her dad's theories about a supernatural race, and her own strange dreams about rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up. With the help of a childhood friend, Del, she discovers something truly unsettling about her childhood home.
'In Pieces' by Sally Field
In her wrenching new memoir, iconic actress Sally Field shares the darkest secrets of her past — including the sexual abuse she endured as a child, her struggles with depression and eating disorders, and the periods of loneliness, pain, and sadness she experienced during some of her most professionally successful moments. This is a necessary behind-the-scenes look at the life of a dynamic, complicated woman with pains and joys masked behind a glamorous facade.
'Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen' by Jose Antonio Vargas
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas shares his story of living in America undocumented for 25 years, and poignantly examines the nature of "home" and the ways immigration policy prevent people from finding one.
'Time’s Convert' by Deborah Harkness
Admit it, you've been longing for a vampire romance for years. The "trend" had allegedly "died" in publishing, but I'm here to tell you that vampires are immortal and so is readers' fascination with them. In Time's Convert, Deborah Harkness, the author of A Discovery Of Witches, spins a tale of life-ever-after, romance, and family drama, and it is gloriously entertaining.
'These Truths: A History of the United States' by Jill Lepore
Historian Jill Lepore tackles a fraught topic in this single volume history of the United States: Truth, and the role it's played in the centuries of the country's existence. Never more necessary than at this moment, Lepore's book is a steady and nuanced look at a country that promised its people three truths ("these truths") — political equality, natural truths, and the sovereignty of the people.
'Untrue: Why Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free' by Wednesday Martin
In this thought-provoking exploration of female infidelity, Primates of Park Avenue author Wednesday Martin blends social science, interviews with sex researchers and anthropologists, and chats with real women to examine faithlessness, monogamy, and female sexual autonomy.
'The Labyrinth of the Spirits' by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Carlos Ruiz Zafón returns to the universe of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books in Labyrinth of Spirits, the fourth and final book in the series that began with the beloved The Shadow of the Wind. A mystery, a love letter to books, and a magical adventure all wrapped up in one, this book is a masterful work of literature that will invigorate your love of reading.
'Whiskey In A Teacup' by Reese Witherspoon
If you follow Reese Witherspoon on social media, you probably know that she's a Reader with a capital R. She's recommended dozens of titles through her book club — including Where The Crawdads Sing, Still Lives, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, and more — but now she's finally giving readers her own book. Whiskey In A Teacup, as the title suggests, is a dose of sweet medicine with a kick, and it's a wonderful guide to entertaining, decorating, and celebrating, in the style of one of the nation's most beloved actresses.
'to make monsters out of girls' by Amanda Lovelace
'Unclaimed Baggage' by Jen Doll
In this touching ode to young friendship, three teens with nothing in common are unexpectedly thrust together by a strange summer job: They all work in a store called Unclaimed Baggage, where they catalog and sell items from people's lost luggage. Over the course of three sweltering months in Alabama, their friendship becomes the saving grace they each need.