Top 10 fiction and non-fiction reads from the Wall Street Journal

Top 10 NEW fiction

‘Rich and Pretty’

Rumaan Alam (June 7)

Best friends—one rich, the other pretty—navigate life in their 30s. Mr. Alam took bits and pieces from his friendships with women to craft well-heeled Sarah, beautiful Lauren and their complex relationship. Early reviews praise “Rich and Pretty,” Mr. Alam’s debut, for its believable female characters. “A lot of it was observed from the front lines,” the author said.

‘The Girls’

Emma Cline (June 14)

Ms. Cline’s debut made news two years ago amid reports that Random House snagged the manuscript for seven figures in a three-book deal. Set in sex-and-drug-fueled 1960s northern California, the novel follows narrator Evie Boyd and a group of otherworldly girls under the spell of a Charles Manson-like cult leader named Russell. To the girls, he is “The Wizard” who receives messages from animals and heals people with his hands. He mesmerizes Evie, who observes that “his voice seemed to slide all over me, to saturate the air, so that I felt pinned in place.” But he is not what he seems. Even his sideburns aren’t real.

See also a review of Annie Proulx’s first new book in 10 years…

Read the full article here.

Non-fiction summer 2016 preview

This season’s notable nonfiction books take readers from Elizabethan England to the jungles of Myanmar to the Paris of Hemingway and Gertrude Stein in the 1920s. Also on the way: a biography of the Roman poet Catullus and a work unraveling the truth about the murder of a young American woman during the final days of South African apartheid.

‘Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years’

John Guy (May 3)

Tudor scholar John Guy, author of “Queen of Scots: The True Life of Mary Stuart,” gives Queen Elizabeth I’s final years some extra attention. Crowned at 25, the ‘Virgin Queen’ ruled for more than four decades, yet most historians have tended to focus on her ascension and early adventures. Using primary documents, from state papers and unpublished letters to large parchment rolls, Mr. Guy makes the case that the queen truly came into her own after the age of 50.

Read the full article here.


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