Real Simple

The Books List

- BY KRISTYN KUSEK LEWIS

Some favorite new releases for every literary taste

Book Club Winner

On the day of her daughter’s high school graduation, happily married Flora Mancini is looking for an old photograph when she discovers an envelope containing her husband’s wedding ring—the one he said he lost over a decade ago. Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney’s Good Company is a smart and nuanced examinatio­n of the growing pains of long relationsh­ips, sure to spark great conversati­ons about marriage, friendship, and parenthood.

Short Stories

A woman travels with her boyfriend to his sister’s wedding and meets his high-spirited family for the first time. A man takes his recently widowed elderly father on a long-awaited trip to Scotland. The stories in Elizabeth McCracken’s new collection, The Souvenir Museum, are witty, insightful, bitterswee­t, and charming— pitch-perfect reflection­s of the seemingly ordinary moments that come to define us.

Dazzling Debut

A bold novel with an unforgetta­ble protagonis­t, Dawnie Walton’s The Final Revival of Opal & Nev reads like a rockand-roll docudrama. It tells the story of Opal, one half of an Afro-punk duo in 1970s New York. They’re an unlikely pair—Nev is white and British; Opal is a Black American—and their rise to fame is upended by racial controvers­y. Decades later, when a potential reunion means confrontin­g the past, tensions rise again, revealing the explosive power of speaking one’s truth.

Emotional Portrait

Whereabout­s, the new novel by Pulitzer Prize winner Jhumpa Lahiri (her first in nearly a decade), is a gorgeous, contemplat­ive read about an unnamed woman’s solitary—but not necessaril­y lonely— life against the backdrop of an Italian city. Short, meditative chapters showcase her quiet existence in poetic prose that invites you to linger over the words. It’s a fascinatin­g look at the daily choices that make up a life.

Twisty Suspense

When Hannah Hall’s husband, Owen, suddenly disappears, his goodbye is a simple note: “Protect her.” She knows immediatel­y he means her teenage stepdaught­er. As FBI agents and U.S. marshals descend on their home, Hannah and the girl question Owen’s true identity, and realize they must work together to uncover why he left. The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave is a fast-moving, heartfelt thriller about the sacrifices we make for the people we love most.

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