Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Amazon's Best Books of March: Part One



The Best Books of March are practically bursting with great, new and unusual titles--from a novel about behaviorism (Surprise: it's As Close to Us as Breathingwitty) to a harrowing true life examination of tenants and landlords in the poorest areas of Milwaukee. 

Our Spotlight Pick is As Close to Us as Breathing. I fell in love with this novel on page 1 and have never looked back. The story of three adult Jewish sisters sharing a summer cottage in WASPy Connecticut during WWII is one of the more devastating novels I've read in a very long time.

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All Stories Are Love Stories by Elizabeth Percer
 
All Stories Are Love Stories is "beautiful in its language and soul-touching in its characters," says Senior Editor Adrian Liang. It's about a Francisco earthquake that ironically allows some couples to rebuild their love.
 

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Evicted by Matthew Desmond
 
This is going to be the big nonfiction book of the season; it's devastating in its exploration of tenants and landlords in the poorest areas of Milwaukee. "It's always the highest compliment to say that a nonfiction book reads like a novel," says Senior Editor Adrian Liang. And this one does: a tough, gritty, all-too-true novel at that.
 

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Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax
 
Behave by Andromeda Romano-Lax is a historical novel, sort of, in that it chronicles the studies of (infamous) psychologist John Watson—the founder of the school of behaviorism—and his real-life wife and research associate. "This novel grapples with some very modern conundrums," says editor Erin Kodicek, like, for example, whether staying in "one's place" is always the best thing.
 

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Guapa by Saleem Haddad
 
Guapa is a novel that "takes readers on a journey across countries and cultures to demonstrate the impact of the definitions we place on ourselves and those around us," says our reviewer, Penny Mann. Over the course of 24 hours, Rasa, a young gay Middle Eastern man—who has just been outed by his grandmother--struggles with the potential loss of everything that matters to him. Mann calls it "humorous, powerful and deeply endearing."
 

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The Nest by Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney
 
Mark your calendars: You heard it here first. The Nest is one of those books that everybody will be talking about this spring. Senior Editor Chris Schluep says that while this debut is about a New York family with luxury problems, it's still very relatable: "The Nest is not populated with characters who are entirely lovable," he writes, "but I felt each was uniquely human and identifiable, and I especially wanted to know where life would take the four 40-something Plumb family siblings (particularly that rapscallion Leo)." Read it and see if a more pungent word than rapscallion comes to mind...
 


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