Books with Buzz: 6 Hot New Reads

Oh, the secrets we keep. From secret science to help us live forever, to lost (and scandalous) manuscripts from the great masters, to fabricated family histories, these six books are on our (not-so-secret) list of this month’s must-reads.

 

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ZERO K (Scribner) by Don DeLillo

At age 79, the celebrated American novelist takes on death, immortality and the possibility of preserving life through cryonic freezing. Ross, a billionaire in his sixties is the primary investor in a remote and secret compound where bodies are preserved until a future time when pioneering technologies and biomedical advances can restore them to life. But business becomes personal when Ross’s younger wife has a terminal illness, and both Ross and his son, Jeffrey, offer her “an uncertain farewell.”

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WILDE LAKE (William Morrow) by Laura Lippman

When lies are told for so long, they can get confused with the truth. But Wilde Lake reminds us that even the most deeply buried secrets don’t always stay put. When Luisa “Lu” Brant follows in her father’s footsteps to become the newly elected state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, she prosecutes the murder case of Mary McNally, a waitress who was strangled in her apartment by a homeless man. It is a case that will eventually shed light on pivotal events of Lu’s own childhood, including the death of her mother, and calling into question her family’s true history and everything she thinks she knows about them.

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AND AFTER THE FIRE (Harper Collins) by Lauren Belfer

A fictional long-lost cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach is at the center of this literary thriller that alternates between modern day New York and Germany just after the Second World War. The novel’s premise: Bach has been widely recognized as a musical genius, but what if he was also an anti-Semite? Can art be wondrous and repugnant at the same time?

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THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY (Hachette) by Leigh Himes

What if life came with a rewind button and you could explore the road not taken? This is what happens when an underpaid publicist (who is also an underpaid mom) takes a tumble down a Nordstrom escalator — and when she recovers somehow finds herself living a lavish, fourteen-karat life married to the man she had once rejected.

 

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IMAGINE ME GONE (Hachette) by Adam Haslett

From a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award finalist, the story centers on the legacy of mental illness passed from a father to his son, and how it puts an entire family in a state of “constant emergency.” Readers, in a sense, become extended family members, tapping into their inner lives and secrets, as well as their frustrations, fear and perhaps most of all, enduring hope.

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THE SUMMER GUEST (Harper Collins) by Alison Anderson

Anton Chekhov is the undisputed master of the short story, but what if he wrote a novel, too —and the manuscript still existed? From the translator of Muriel Barbery’s critically acclaimed The Elegance of the Hedgehog comes this story of three women, across two centuries, brought together through the discovery of a diary belonging to a dying woman who briefly befriended a young Anton Chekhov during the long, hot summer of 1888. The journal not only recounts their brief but intense friendship, but also alludes to the tantalizing possibility of a lost novel penned by none other than Chekhov himself.