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. “Greenlights,” by Matthew McConaughey (Crown, nonfiction, on sale Oct. 20)
What it’s about: The Academy Award-winning actor pens an unconventional and candid memoir filled with raucous stories and hard-won wisdom about living life to its fullest.
The buzz: McConaughey writes of the book and its central philosophy: “If you know how, and when, to deal with life’s challenges — how to get relative with the inevitable — you can enjoy a state of success I call “catching greenlights.”
2. “Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath,”by Heather Clark (Knopf, nonfiction, on sale Oct. 20)
What it’s about: This meticulously researched and lengthy biography of a much-romanticized poet promises to paint the full portrait of a complex woman and her remarkable literary achievements.
The buzz: “A major biography that redeems Plath from the condescension of easy interpretation,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
3. “Plain Bad Heroines,”by Emily M. Danforth; illustrated by Sara Lautman (William Morrow, fiction, on sale Oct. 20)
What it’s about: This queer, metafictional horror-comedy centers on a New England boarding school for girls, which was shuttered in the early 1900s after a spate of mysterious deaths and ends up back in the news a century later.
The buzz: “Even readers who aren’t fans of horror will appreciate this bighearted story,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.
4. “Knockout,”by Mia Kang (Abrams Press, nonfiction, on sale Oct. 20)
What it’s about: The fashion model and Muay Thai fighter charts her journey from self-loathing to self-love, sharing how she overcame an eating disorder and built confidence through martial arts.
The buzz: “This is a tough, triumphant memoir,” says Publishers Weekly.
5. “The Silence,” by Don DeLillo (Scribner, fiction, on sale Oct. 20)
What it’s about: In this short, timely novel set in the near future, five people gather in a Manhattan apartment on Super Bowl Sunday and experience a catastrophic event.
The buzz: “This is a small but vivid book, and in its evocation of people in the throes of social crisis, it feels deeply resonant,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.
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