In search of something good to read? USA TODAY’s Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases.
1. “The New Wilderness,”by Diane Cook (Harper, fiction, on sale Aug. 11)
What it’s about: Cook imagines a future in which wilderness has become invite-only. Bea and her 5-year-old daughter Agnes, who’s sick from the smog and pollution in their overdeveloped city, go to live in the Wilderness State. Their bond is tested as they get further from civilization.
The buzz: “A gripping adventure that denies its readers easy answers, ‘The New Wilderness’ is an important debut,” says a ★★★★ (out of four) review for USA TODAY.
2. “Then She Vanished,”by T. Jefferson Parker (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, nonfiction, Aug. 11)
What it’s about: Private eye Roland Ford takes a job for a fellow Marine and a rising politician. He’s a man with a lot of enemies, and when his wife goes missing, it seems like revenge, but their troubled marriage complicates the case.
The buzz: “Parker’s incisive character portraits and smooth, confident prose make his latest thriller taut and engaging,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
3. “The Boy in the Field,”by Margot Livesey (Harper, nonfiction, on sale Aug. 11)
What it’s about: One afternoon in 1999, three teenagers walking home from school discover a bloody, unconscious boy lying in a field, and their lives are irrevocably changed by the incident.
The buzz: “This is a memorable twist on the coming-of-age tale,” says Publishers Weekly.
4. “Little Scratch,”by Rebecca Watson (Doubleday, fiction, on sale Aug. 11)
What it’s about: This experimental novel follows a day in the mind of an unnamed woman as she narrates her routine, worries and stray thoughts.
The buzz: “A daring book whose innovations are balanced by the sad familiarity of its pain,” says Kirkus Reviews.
5. “Perilous Bounty: The Looming Collapse of American Farming and How We Can Prevent It,”by Tom Philpott (Bloomsbury, nonfiction, on sale Aug. 11)
What it’s about: Food politics commentator and farmer-turned-journalist Philpott examines the state of American industrial agriculture and the urgent crises it faces, including drought, topsoil loss and resource scarcity.
The buzz: “A solid, keenly drawn critique of American agricultural circumstances and consequences,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
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