New In Paperback: July 11-17
The Cookbook Collector
by Allegra Goodman
The Cookbook Collector is about all kinds of appetites — for love, and sex, and God and money and, of course, food. The story revolves around two sisters: Jess, a beautiful 23-year-old graduate student in philosophy, hops impulsively from passion to passion. In contrast, we're told that Jess' older sister, Emily, is "possessed of a serene rationality." At only 28, Emily is the multimillionaire CEO of a dot-com startup. If that flighty sister vs. level-headed sister premise sounds familiar, it should. Author Allegra Goodman herself has called her latest novel "A Sense and Sensibility for the Digital Age." She says of one of her characters, a brilliant computer programmer, that "he had an acquisitive intelligence, and when he appropriated an idea, he improved it, until his own version ... obliterated its source." Goodman's update of Austen may not go quite that far, but this homage quickly comes to have a glorious life of its own.
452 pages, $15, Dial Press
by Laurence Gonzales
Lucy opens as an American primatologist named Jenny Lowe flees from a marauding group of Congolese rebels, and comes upon the camp of a British primate researcher who has already been attacked. She finds the primatologist's young daughter in the ashes of her camp, shuddering on the body of a dead bonobo. Lowe whisks her back to her home in Chicago, and finds that the girl raised in the jungle by her scientist father is bright, lively and sensitive. She quotes Kipling and Shakespeare and can smell the rain from a long way off. One night, Lowe returns home and finds the young girl racked by fever and asleep in the limbs of a tree. You see, Lucy is part homo sapien, part bonobo chimp. Lucy is the first novel that Laurence Gonzales, probably best-known for his book Deep Survival, has written in 25 years. And it's being acclaimed as a Crichton-like thriller.
320 pages, $15, Vintage
I Still Dream About You
by Fannie Flagg
In her latest take on Southern womanhood, Fannie Flagg focuses on a former Birmingham, Ala., beauty queen, now 60 and a Realtor, whose attempts at suicide are continually interrupted. Despairing over the recession and the 2008 election, as well as her fading beauty and lost chances in life, Maggie has planned a graceful exit, donating her sparse but tasteful wardrobe, paying her bills, leaving the balance of her meager bank account to charity. But when a friend calls with an irresistible invitation, her plans are postponed. Flagg, who is best known for her classic Fried Green Tomatoes, gives the story some breadth with a subplot about a friend's campaign to become Birmingham's first black mayor. Meanwhile, Maggie's quandary plays out with Flagg's trademark light touch and a sincere wit.
352 pages, $15, Ballantine
Three Cups Of Deceit
by Jon Krakauer
Journalist Jon Krakauer was an early supporter of Greg Mortenson, who has built a global reputation as a humanitarian for building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as detailed in his bestseller Three Cups of Tea. But Krakauer withdrew financial support for Mortenson's charity over concerns about how it was being managed. Last April, he collaborated with CBS' 60 Minutes on a damaging segment on Mortenson, alleging that many of the stories in the book are exaggerated or outright fabrications and questioning the financial practices of his charity, the Central Asia Institute. In Three Cups of Deceit, Krakauer turns his investigation of the layers of deception behind Mortenson's public image into a gripping account of good intentions gone wrong.
96 pages, $9.99, Anchor Books
Charlotte Abbott edits "New in Paperback." A contributing editor for Publishers Weekly, she also leads a weekly chat on books and reading in the digital age every Friday from 4-5 p.m. ET on Twitter. Follow her at @charabbott or check out the #followreader hashtag .
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