WHAT YOU MISSED WEDNESDAY | MAY 22
Hi, y’all! This week’s What You Missed Wednesday includes activism, horror, self-help, and superheroes. Happy reading!
Well, That Escalated Quickly: Memoirs and Mistakes of an Accidental Activist by Franchesca Ramsey (Grand Central Publishing/Hachette, $27)
Franchesca Ramsey’s book is a funny, touching, and accessible introduction to online and IRL activism. Ramsey is candid about her own miscommunications and missteps, and her vulnerability establishes an easy rapport with the reader. She opens up about imposer syndrome, Twitter trolls, her interracial marriage, and much more. Plus, there’s a handy glossary of social justice concepts and buzzwords.
Star of the North by D.B. John (Crown Publishing Group/Penguin Random House, $27)
Reportedly inspired by a 2012 visit to North Korea, D.B. John’s pulse-pounding thriller opens with the kidnapping of a Korean-American teenage-girl. Fast-forward a decade, and her twin sister, Jenna, receives a lead indicating she still may be alive. What follows is a twisty, suspenseful journey into one of the most repressive countries in the world.
Pops by Michael Chabon (HarperCollins, $19.99)
Whether he’s escorting his stylish youngest son to Fashion Week, deciding how much of Huckleberry Finn to read aloud at bedtime, or keeping score at Little League, Michael Chabon is the consummate cool dad. Give this to the cool dads in your life, or keep it for yourself—I won’t tell.
Rock Steady: Brilliant Advice from My Bipolar Life by Ellen Forney (Fantagraphics/W.W. Norton, $19.99)
Known for her wise and wonderful graphic memoir Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me, Ellen Forney returns with Rock Steady. It’s part memoir, part self-help guide for anyone searching for practical, accessible self-care techniques as they cope with mental illness.
Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab (Tor, $27.99)
Originally released in 2013, Vicious is back, signed by the author, and gorgeously repackaged in scarlet red. It’s the story of two college roommates, brilliant loners who become obsessed with the supernatural results of near-death experiences. It’ll appeal to fans of Marvel and D.C., as well as The Magicians by Lev Grossman.
The Ensemble by Aja Gabel (Riverhead Books/Penguin Random House, $26)
Jana, Brit, Henry, and Daniel met when they were young musicians. Now, they are the four members of the Van Ness Quartet. The Ensemble follows the ebb and flow of their dynamic, from professional successes to romantic failures. Gabel’s debut is sensitive and finely wrought.
Brothers of the Gun: A Memoir of the Syrian War by Marwan Hisham and Molly Crabapple (One World/Penguin Random House, $28)
A powerful coming-of-age story written from inside the uprisings against Bashar al-Assad and the onslaught of ISIS, narrated by Marwan Hisham’s on-the-ground reporting. Pankaj Mishra praised it thus: “Many books will be written on the war’s exhaustive devastation of bodies and souls, and the defiant resistance of many trapped men and women, but the Mahabharata of the Levant has already found its wisest chroniclers.”
The Outsider by Stephen King (Scribner/Simon & Schuster, $30)
When a young boy from a small town is murdered, all forensic evidence points to Terry Maitland, a man no one would’ve suspected. Does Maitland’s all-American façade—father, English teacher, and coach—hide something more sinister? Or is he being framed for a heinous act?
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