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"The Other Black Girl" by Zakiya Dalila Harris; Atria (368 pages, $27) ——— Nella Rogers is the only Black woman at the all-white, very unwoke Wagner Books in Zakiya Dalila Harris’ stunning debut, “The Other Black Girl,” an insightful, often uncomfortable, look at race, office politics, jealousy, ambition and friendship. Nella both revels in and reviles her status at the Manhattan publisher. ...

“Arsenic and Adobo” by Mia P. Manansala; Berkley Prime Crime (336 pages, $16) ——— Mia P. Manansala stirs up a lively mixture of Filipino culture, food and family bonds with an appealing heroine in her well-plotted, poignant and often sweet debut “Arsenic and Adobo.” “Arsenic and Adobo” also works as a story about fresh starts and the value of friends who are like family. Manansala makes full ...

"The Plague Year" by Lawrence Wright; Alfred A. Knopf (336 pages, $28) ——— What hath Lawrence Wright wrought? For decades the New Yorker staff writer has churned out high-caliber journalism; his six acclaimed books include the Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Looming Tower," an enthralling account of the Sept. 11 plot. Wright's also a playwright, a novelist and performs in a blues band. His ...

"The Lost Village" by Camilla Sten, translated from the Swedish by Alexandra Fleming; Minotaur (352 pages, $26.99) ——— Ghost stories and horror — especially psychological horror — have roots in the mystery/thriller genre. Each of these storytelling forms delve, in some way, into inexplicable goings-on and who is behind these eerie events. Camilla Sten’s often scary, highly entertaining debut ...

"The Breaker" by Nick Petrie; Putnam (400 pages, $27) ——— A major strength of Nick Petrie’s series about former Marine Peter Ash is how his character deals with — and moves past — his post-traumatic claustrophobia, the “white static” that has compelled him to sleep outside and be on the move. Petrie’s insightful exploration of the complicated and compassionate Peter, who had tours in Iraq and ...

"Finding the Mother Tree" by Suzanne Simard; Alfred A. Knopf (368 pages, $28.95) ——— Episodes of the cult television series "Twin Peaks" (1990-91) featured monologues with the enigmatic Log Lady, played to deadpan perfection by actress Catherine Coulson. She would cradle a cut of Ponderosa pine like a baby, channeling its koans. As a forester, biologist and ecological activist, Suzanne Simard ...

SAN DIEGO — Caitlin Rother did not set out to become a true-crime writer. But if you look back at the San Diego author's life, the clues were there all along. When she was a general-assignment reporter for the Berkshire Eagle and the Springfield Union-News in western Massachusetts in the late 1980s, Rother spent her spare time reading about sensational murder cases and devious criminals in New ...

"A Gambling Man" by David Baldacci; Grand Central Publishing (448 pages, $29) ——— International best-selling author David Baldacci — best known for his hard-charging contemporary thrillers — takes a step back into the past with “A Gambling Man,” his second, hard-charging historical thriller featuring World War II veteran Aloysius Archer. Set in 1949, the post WWII era is as much a character as ...

"Every Last Fear" by Alex Finlay; Minotaur (368 pages, $26.99) ——— The last conversation with a loved one can weigh heavily if that talk ends badly and, indeed, becomes the final contact with that person. New York University student Matt Pine remembers all too well that the last phone call with his father, Evan, erupted into an explosive argument. The contention was, as usual, over Matt’s ...

LOS ANGELES — The menu was always small at Sonoratown on the outskirts of the Fashion District, and the coronavirus didn't change that. The critically acclaimed Mexican restaurant still sells tacos and burritos filled with mesquite-grilled beef and chicken, flaky handmade flour tortillas and an awesome coconut horchata that's like an island vacation in a cup. But the small spot looked like a ...

Poetry is often referred to as an art, and it is one, but it’s also a practical tool. It can jostle your brain into new thoughts, change your mood with only a few words, keep you company like an old friend. Because April is National Poetry Month, I want to share a few poems that have kept me good company through the years. They’re poems I’ve turned to for enlightenment or consolation and sent ...

"Who Is Maud Dixon?" by Alexandra Andrews; Little, Brown (336 pages, $28) ——— The title of this smart, slyly clever debut from journalist Alexandra Andrews says it all. Just who is this Maud Dixon whose first novel is the most talked about book in the history of publishing? Discussions about the book are rivaled by the secret identity of Maud. All that is known about the author is that Maud ...

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