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Shelf Awareness: What's Hot in Literature Now

Seal Beach native Stephanie Danler captures the humble yet extravagant lives of New York City back waiters in “Sweetbitter” (Penguin Random House). From cocaine-infused all-nighters to vivid descriptions of the finer delicacies of restaurant life, Danler writes with a sensual flair that is bound to quench summer appetites … Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Emperor Of All Maladies,” Siddhartha Mukherjee is back with another sweeping medical tome in “The Gene: An Intimate History” (Scribner). Interweaving personal narrative with a panoramic view of scientific developments through the ages, Mukherjee brings new context to the well-worn nature vs. nurture debate and catalogs moral questions facing biotech … Emma Cline revisits the dynamics of the Manson clan from a female perspective in her debut novel, “The Girls” (Random House): the intimate tale of a young girl’s fascination with one wild, vivacious sister-member and the subsequent sexual indoctrination that ensues … More than a companion book to the Broadway smash musical, “Hamilton: The Revolution” (Grand Central) by Lin-Manuel Miranda and theater critic Jeremy McCarter is the perfect introduction to the sold-out phenomenon. With beautiful Hamilton-era design and typeface, the book offers Miranda’s complete libretto teeming with annotations and insights into the play’s creation … The New York Times doesn’t usually throw around the phrase “instant classic,” but that’s precisely what it has deemed debut novelist Garth Greenwell’s “What Belongs To You” (FSG). The story follows a gay expat living in Bulgaria and explores the dynamics of companionship between two almost-lovers. With a svelte narrative style and poetic sensibility, Greenwell moves readers emotionally in an effortless way… New Yorker-turned-Angeleno Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney offers a comic take on four surly siblings as they squabble over a dwindled inheritance in “The Nest” (Ecco). Readers are bound to find a version of their own siblings (or themselves) and laugh.

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