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May 15, 2018 BOOKLIST
Find more Notable Books
This list has been compiled for use by the general reader and by librarians who work with adults. The Notable Books Council, ALA Reference and User Services Association (RUSA), has selected the titles for their significant contribution to the expansion of knowledge or for the pleasure they can provide to adult readers. All titles were published in 2017.
American War. By Omar El Akkad. Knopf, $26.95 (9780451493583).
A second Civil War turns lives upside down in this devastating vision of a dystopian future.
Days without End. By Sebastian Barry. Viking, $26 (9780525427360).
A tender love story between two soldiers spans the mid-nineteenth-century American wars.
Exit West. By Mohsin Hamid. Riverhead, $26 (9780735212176).
A young couple’s relationship takes on the velocity of their city’s civil unrest and evolves as they experience life as refugees.
Here in Berlin. By Cristina García. Counterpoint, $26 (9781619029590).
Through interviews with myriad characters, a mysterious visitor to Germany unveils the lasting consequences of WWII.
Human Acts. By Han Kang. Hogarth, $21 (9781101906729).
Following the brutal Gwangju Uprising and the murder of a teenage boy, a series of linked stories relates the experiences of the victims and the survivors.
The Last Ballad. By Wiley Cash. Morrow, $26.99 (9780062313119).
A fateful decision puts a mother on a collision course with history during a 1929 textile-mill strike in North Carolina.
Less. By Andrew Sean Greer. Little, Brown/Lee Boudreaux, $26 (9780316316125).
A 50-year-old novelist experiences a second coming-of-age in this madcap romp through the literary world.
Lincoln in the Bardo. By George Saunders. Random, $28 (9780812995343).
Characters stuck in an ambiguous limbo after their deaths narrate the story of the president’s visits to the graveyard following the tragic loss of his son.
Pachinko. By Min Jin Lee. Grand Central, $25.98 (9781478907121).
This immersive multigenerational saga follows a Korean family in twentieth-century Japan.
Sing, Unburied, Sing. By Jesmyn Ward. Scribner, $26 (9781501126062).
A lyrical and psychologically astute exploration of the gravity of history that still ripples through the lives of a Mississippi family.
Solar Bones. By Mike McCormack. Soho, $25 (9781616958534).
A man sits at his kitchen table and ruminates on his life’s mistakes and accomplishments and ponders the meaning of it all.
Stay with Me. By Ayobami Adebayo. Knopf, $25.95 (9780451494603).
Secrets and loss torment a modern Nigerian couple.
Bellevue: Three Centuries of Medicine and Mayhem at America’s Most Storied Hospital. By David Oshinsky. Doubleday, $30 (9780385523363).
The story of New York’s enduring medical institution chronicles 300 years of public health care.
The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir. By Thi Bui. Abrams ComicArts, $24.95 (9781419718779).
A first-generation immigrant reflects on her family history in this nonfiction graphic novel.
The Blood of Emmett Till. By Timothy B. Tyson. Simon & Schuster, $27 (9781476714844).
Drawing on new information, the author returns to the 1955 lynching of an African American boy in Mississippi.
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister’s Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine. By Lindsey Fitzharris. Farrar/Scientific American, $27 (9780374117290).
A gory history of nineteenth-century surgery and the adoption of modern antiseptic practices.
Grant. By Ron Chernow. Penguin, $40 (9781594204876).
In this definitive biography, new scholarship illuminates the life of a complex American president.
Huê 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam. By Mark Bowden. Atlantic Monthly, $30 (9780802127006).
A multiple-perspective account of what proved to be a decisive moment in a conflict that is indelibly marked on the American psyche.
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body.By Roxane Gay. Harper, $25.99 (9780062362599).
This candid account lays bare the author’s personal demons.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI. By David Grann. Doubleday, $29.95 (9780385534246).
A combination of history and true crime in which a Native American tribe is defrauded and nearly eradicated.
The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women. By Kate Moore. Sourcebooks, $26.99 (9781492649359).
In early twentieth-century watch factories, dial painters suffer the deterioration of their bodies and fight to pave the way for workplace safety standards.
Robert Lowell, Setting the River on Fire: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character. By Kay Redfield Jamison. Knopf, $29.95 (9780307700278).
A multilayered exploration of an American literary giant and the relationship between creativity and mental illness.
You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me. By Sherman Alexie. Little, Brown, $28 (9780316270755).
A deeply moving memoir about a son’s complicated relationship with his mother told in 78 poems and 78 essays.
The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America’s Enemies. By Jason Fagone. Morrow/Dey Street, $27.99 (9780062430489).
A biography of the forgotten heroine who founded American cryptography and cracked the Nazi Enigma machine.
I Know Your Kind. By William Brewer. Milkweed, $16 (9781571314956).
Set in small-town Appalachia, this powerful collection humanizes America’s opioid epidemic.
The Virginia State Colony for Epileptics and Feebleminded. By Molly McCully Brown. Persea, $15.95 (9780892554782).
A dark imagining of life at a government-run institution.
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