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Shelf Awareness

New, notable and buzz-worthy titles in literature

Edward Snowden - "Dark Mirror"

Former Orange County author and prize-winning journalist Martin J. Smith is back with his next gripping crime thriller, “Combustion,” a fast-moving mystery teeming with small-town secrets and a roaring SoCal wildfire.

No one breathes complexity and compassion into their characters quite like Gina Frangello, and her latest novel, “Every Kind Of Wanting,” features another stellar ensemble. When three families come together to have a “community baby,” emotional chaos ensues and loyalties diverge while the politics of love and ownership play out.

Gerri Hirshey’s new biography, “Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown,” gives an intimate look at the author of the seminal “Sex and the Single Girl” (1964) and famed editor of Cosmopolitan. Feminist or not, Brown’s life is a uniquely American tale of a self-made woman who made an undeniable impact.

Irish debut author Claire-Louise Bennett finds wonderment in the mundane in “Pond,” a beautifully strange collection of stories and vignettes. Lovers of modernist stream-of-consciousness writing and Lydia Davis will be dazzled by the meditative nature of Bennett’s quotidian ruminations.

Welcome to SoCal real estate: broken dreams, foreclosures, Klonopin. Joe McGinniss Jr. has been compared to Joan Didion and Bret Easton Ellis, so the subject matter of his latest novel, “Carousel Court,” couldn’t be more perfect. A dark literary tale of a disintegrating marriage with the soul of a psychological thriller.

Barton Gellman’s “Dark Mirror: Edward Snowden and the American Surveillance State” tries to unearth the truth about the vast expansion of government surveillance. Tradecraft, anonymous digital threats and other spy-novel mainstays appear in this true story that picks up where the documentary “Citizenfour” left off.


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