New books to read in July
In 2016, Pringle, an investigative reporter for the Los Angeles Times, received what turned out to be career-changing advice: the dean of the University of Southern California medical school was linked to a drug overdose. As he continued his reporting, Pringle, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, realized that the scandal was just the beginning and would lead to an explosive investigation.
“Brother Alive”, by Zain Khalid (Grove, July 12)
In a story that spans the United States to Saudi Arabia, three foster brothers raised by an imam on Staten Island grapple with faith, fate, and a legacy of secrets. One of the boys, Youssef, has a shapeshifting double named Brother who is “more than incorporeal but less than alive” and follows each family member who determines their place in the world.
A riff on HG Wells’ “The Island of Doctor Moreau,” this book is set in 1800s Mexico and follows the only daughter of an eccentric researcher who attempts to create animal hybrids: upright walking pigs , dogs that can talk. She, too, is subjected to his experiments—her father injects her with jaguar essences—but that’s only the beginning of the horror.
You may recognize Fitzgerald from his book recommendation segments on the Today Show or his role as founding editor of Buzzfeed Books, but those are just two in a long story: He’s been everything from a child of chorus to a bartender. In this essay-memoir, he grapples with his past and describes his journey to becoming a better man.
“Hawk Mountain”, by Conner Habib (Norton, July 5)
In this psychological thriller, Todd is newly estranged from his wife, about to start a new teaching job and carefully raise his young son alone when a chance encounter with a former high school bully turns his life upside down.
How was Weinstein able to accumulate so much power and what allowed him to escape the consequences for so long? Auletta, who covered Hollywood and the media for decades, puts Weinstein’s crimes into a larger context.
‘Honey and Spice’ by Bolu Babalola (the following day, July 5)
Kiki has a following at her college for her radio show, “Brown Sugar”, which helps other students avoid romantic traps. But once she’s spotted on campus with a man she’s warned her listeners to avoid, she must work overtime to save her reputation.
“Joan” by Katherine J. Chen (Random House, July 5)
There is no shortage of fiction inspired by Joan of Arc, but in Chen’s account, the saint found the fuel to fight the English in her traumatic childhood. “What choices does a woman have for revenge, for justice?” said Joan. “When I spoke to God that morning, I decided, if I should scream, let it be in battle.”
This first collection of interconnected stories is set in an indigenous community in Maine, where Talty grew up as a member of the Penobscot Indian Nation.
“Putin”, by Philip Short (Holt, July 26)
A biography that has been in the works for years offers an in-depth look at the Russian president’s life, career and concentration of power. Short, who has also written biographies of Mao and Pol Pot, draws on hundreds of interviews for this portrait, tracing Putin’s transformation into a ruthless autocrat.
In Steubenville, Ohio, in 2012, a 16-year-old was sexually assaulted by members of the local soccer team, who posted footage and footage of the incidents on social media. Two of the players were convicted of rape, and the case ushered in a judgment on how the internet can exacerbate real harm – but also be a tool for justice. Schwartzman, who spent years in the city for a documentary, brings together new reporting, impressions of the aftermath and a broader look at masculinity and responsibility.
“Take No Names”, by Daniel Nieh (Ecco, July 5)
Readers first met Victor Li in “Beijing Payback” while avenging his father’s death in China. Now, trying to start over, he finds an anonymous, albeit immoral, job: robbing warehouses belonging to people who have been deported and setting in motion an international scheme more meandering than you can imagine.