By Jill Lepore. (Norton, $19.95.) This sweeping book encompasses politics, social and religious life, technological shifts and more. Presenting “great men” along with oppressed groups, Lepore, a Harvard professor and New Yorker staff writer, captures the nation’s enduring strengths and brutal contradictions. “We need this book,” Andrew Sullivan wrote.
THERE WILL BE NO MIRACLES HERE
By Casey Gerald. (Riverhead, $17.) Gerald’s coming-out memoir takes him from an often parentless evangelical childhood in Dallas to Yale, where as a black football recruit he’s disillusioned yet fascinated by the workings of power. He moves on to entrepreneurial success and a popular TED Talk. Times reviewer Mitchell S. Jackson called the book “magnificent.”
THE PARKING LOT ATTENDANT
By Nafkote Tamirat. (Picador, $17.) The teenage narrator of this debut novel lives with her father on a remote and mysterious island commune, but looks back longingly to her childhood in Boston’s Ethiopian community, where she lived until a charismatic parking lot attendant changed everything. Emily St. John Mandel praised Tamirat’s “sharp, incisive” writing.
GONE SO LONG
By Andre Dubus III. (Norton, $16.95.) Like Dubus’ best-selling memoir, “Townie,” which recounted his difficult childhood, this novel explores male violence and its repercussions. Its protagonist is an ex-convict hoping to make amends with his estranged daughter as he faces his own mortality. Times reviewer Benjamin Markovits praised the book, saying Dubus “writes well about class.”
WINNERS TAKE ALL: The Elite Charade of Changing the World
By Anand Giridharadas. (Vintage, $16.) Giridharadas argues that a global class of wealthy philanthropists who purport to fight for equality and justice instead preserve the status quo, eroding support for public institutions as they dodge taxes. Joseph E. Stiglitz said that Giridharadas “presents a devastating portrait of a whole class.”
THE MERMAID AND MRS. HANCOCK
By Imogen Hermes Gowar. (Harper Perennial, $16.99.) A London merchant and a courtesan are brought together by the discovery of a dead mermaid in this debut novel. Times reviewer John Vernon called it a “splendid novel” in which “the real world of 18th-century London seems both lavish and perishable, and the fantastic world of mermaids feels deadly real.”