Spring is upon us! Celebrate with a new paperback; summer reading is just around the corner.
"Lawn Boy" by Jonathan Evison (Algonquin, $15.95). Evison's charmer of a novel is about working-class struggle (its hero is a young man who's just gotten fired from his gig on a landscaping crew), family and figuring out your dreams. Its author, who lives on Bainbridge Island (the book is set on Bainbridge and North Kitsap) and whose other works include "All About Lulu," "West of Here" and "The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving," will speak at Third Place Books in Ravenna at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 19.
"The Woman in the Window" by A.J. Finn (HarperCollins, $16.99). Finn, a pseudonym for book editor Dan Mallory (who has his own fascinating trail of deception), crafts a sly, Hitchcockian novel about an agoraphobic New York woman who thinks she's seen a crime. "A book that's as devious as this novel will delight anyone who's been disappointed too often," wrote Janet Maslin in The New York Times upon its release; it became an immediate best-seller. Read it now; the movie, starring Amy Adams, arrives in theaters this fall.
"Happiness" by Aminatta Forna (Grove Atlantic, $16). Forna, prizewinning author of "The Memory of Love" and the memoir "The Devil that Danced on the Water," centers her 2018 novel on a curious incident: a fox, crossing London's Waterloo Bridge. "The story begins like a taut mystery and morphs into a romance between two tentative lovers, beset by loss," wrote Seattle Times reviewer David Takami, noting that "Happiness" begins slowly, but "burns brightly when it matters most."
"Speak No Evil" by Uzodinma Iweala (HarperCollins, $15.99). The author of the 2005 debut novel "Beasts of No Nation" (later made into a Golden Globe Award-nominated film) returns with a coming-of-age story about a gay Nigerian-American high-school student in Washington, D.C. Seattle Times reviewer Tyrone Beason described the novel (which won the American Library Association's Barbara Gittings Literature Award last year) as "a searing take on the notion of home, and the struggle to be at home with oneself."
"The Italian Teacher" by Tom Rachman (Penguin, $16). "If you've found yourself wondering lately whether you can love the art while hating the artist's behavior, Tom Rachman's moving tragicomic novel 'The Italian Teacher' provides savory and satisfying food for thought," wrote Seattle Times reviewer David Wright, of Rachman's follow-up to "The Imperfectionists." The tale of a famous painter and his family living in 1950s Rome, it's an ultimately redemptive story of second chances, wrote Wright, "exploring the heart-rending rifts between life and art."
"Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions" by Gloria Steinem (Picador, $20). Steinem's best-selling 1983 collection of essays—which includes her stint as a Playboy bunny (for an article, natch) and her moving tribute to her mother, "Ruth's Song (Because She Could Not Sing It)"—is back in a 25th anniversary edition, with a new forward by Emma Watson and a new introduction and updates throughout by Steinem.