Readerly Top Picks in Paperback

Many of wonderful titles we’ve loved and recommended are now out in paperback. Enjoy!

Beside Myself by Ann Morgan (Bloomsbury USA) When Ellie assumes the role of her identical twin, and better-loved sister, Helen, the real Helen is left to muddle through a life with fewer prospects and resources than her favored former self. Morgan’s finely attuned examination of the components of identity, sibling rivalry, and mental illness delivers a riveting psychological thriller that’s nearly impossible to set aside. (Check out our Literary Mixtape for Beside Myself)

We Love You, Charlie Freeman by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin Books) Greenidge’s stunning debut bravely treks into the loaded and uncomfortable territories of race, sexuality, and the terrible history of maltreatment of African-Americans in the United States, particularly under the guise of scientific inquiry. Her deft rendering should not be missed given that her warm, thoughtful, and engaging storytelling belies the novel’s particularly dark themes.

Charlotte Bronte: A Fiery Heart by Jane Harman (Vintage) Award-winning writer Claire Harman brings her considerable talent to bear upon this engrossing dive into the life and loves of Charlotte Bronte.Drawing on a wealth of previously unavailable letters, Harman’s biography is brimming with historical and personal details, but still manages to read like a page-turner.

Tender by Elizabeth McKeon (Lee Boudreaux/Back Bay Books) Set over the course of a year in the intolerant Dublin of the 1990s, McKeon’s keenly observed portrait of college life, intense friendships and unrequited love between friends (one of whom is gay) masterfully examines the dramas and obsessions of youth.

After The Crash by Michel Bussi (Hachette Books) Michel Bussi’s utterly absorbing mystery centers around the infant survivor of a deadly plane crash that kills all the other passengers. The trouble begins when as two families step forward to claim the baby girl—one poor, and one with unlimited wealth and enough power and resources to guarantee their custody of the child. Though readers are soon apprised of the resolution, lingering questions cloud the issue, and startling revelations and steadily ratcheting suspense exist through the final pages of this intense novel about forbidden love, betrayal, and murder.