George Michael biography, Lidia Yuknavitch's 'Thrust': 5 must-read new books this week

·2 min read

In search of something good to read? USA TODAY's Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases. All books are on sale Tuesday.

'George Michael: A Life'

"George Michael: A Life," by James Gavin.
"George Michael: A Life," by James Gavin.

By James Gavin (Abrams Press, nonfiction)

What it's about: Music biographer Gavin offers a probing, definitive portrait of the equally gifted and tortured artist, charting his meteoric rise in the ’80s through his public self-destruction and tragic death.

The buzz: "Gavin’s real stories of triumphs and tragedies poignantly explain one of pop’s most enigmatic stars," says Kirkus Reviews.

'Thrust'

By Lidia Yuknavitch (Riverhead, fiction)

What it's about: In the late 21st century, rising waters and a growing police state threaten Laisve, a motherless girl who uses her time-traveling abilities to rescue vulnerable people through history.

The buzz: A starred review from Publishers Weekly calls it "blistering and visionary" and says, "This is the author’s best yet."

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'The Angel of Rome: And Other Stories'

By Jess Walter (Harper, fiction)

What it's about: The author of "Beautiful Ruins" and "The Cold Millions" returns with a new collection of short fiction whose settings span from Italy to Idaho. In the title story, a shy student in Rome encounters the Italian actress of his dreams.

The buzz: A starred review from Publishers Weekly says reading the collection is "like sitting next to the guy at a dinner party who has something hilarious to say about everyone and knows all their secrets."

'Our Crooked Hearts'

By Melissa Albert (Flatiron, fiction)

What it's about: In Albert's new contemporary-fantasy young adult novel, a mother and daughter are bound together by witchcraft when 17-year-old Ivy begins having unnatural experiences – and finding mutilated rabbits.

The buzz: "Riveting, creepy, and utterly bewitching; do not miss this one," says a starred review for Kirkus Reviews.

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'A Life in Light: Meditations on Impermanence'

By Mary Pipher (Bloomsbury, nonfiction)

What it's about: The author of "Women Rowing North" and "Reviving Ophelia" offers luminous insights in this new memoir in essays, drawing from her experiences as a psychologist specializing in trauma.

The buzz: "Those struggling to overcome darkness will find a guiding light in this incandescent work," says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: George Michael biography, Lidia Yuknavitch: 5 new books this week

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