The best books of the week

Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family
Robert Kolker (nonfiction, Doubleday)
The Galvins were a midcentury American family, seemingly living the American dream: 12 kids, hard work, upward mobility. But appearances concealed a shocking secret, as six of the children were diagnosed, one by one, with schizophrenia, becoming one of the first families to be studied by the National Institute of Mental Health.

If I Had Your Face
Frances Cha (fiction, Ballantine Books)
A debut novel about four young women making their way in contemporary Seoul. Kyuri is a beautiful woman with a job at a “room salon,” where she entertains rich men; her roommate Miho is a talented artist. Down the hall from them is Ara the hairstylist, and one floor down is Wonna, a newlywed worried about being able to afford to live there.

Name Drop: The Really Good Celebrity Stories I Usually Only Tell at Happy Hour
Ross Mathews (Humor, Atria Books)
At a time when all of us could use a good, silly laugh, this collection of over-the-top dishy stories from the TV personality is a welcome balm, from his tale of a Christmas spent with the Kardashians to the time he was invited to host “The View,” and more.

The Florios of Sicily
Stefania Auci (fiction, HarperVia)
A sweeping epic novel about the Florios, a Sicilian family determined to do whatever it takes to become richer and more powerful than others after an earthquake in their hometown destroys most of their livelihood.

Pretty Things
Janelle Brown (fiction, Random House)
Grifting is the name of the game in “Pretty Things,” with liberal-arts grad Nina and her boyfriend Lachlan carrying out elaborate cons on rich LA homeowners. When Nina’s mom gets sick, Nina starts working on her most dangerous scam yet: a rich heiress named Vanessa, part of a childhood Nina would rather have left behind.

Master Class
Christina Dalcher (fiction, Berkley)
From the author of the dystopian “Vox” comes an equally dystopian take, a world wherein children are strictly classified according to academic ability, subject to change at any point. For those at the top, a golden future, while those with the lowest ability are sent off to grim state schools in rural areas and horribly abused.

Source: Read Full Article