Now Read This: The Week's Best New Books, April 16th Edition - The Culture Files Blog - Los Angeles magazine

Now Read This: The Week's Best New Books, April 16th Edition

The Best Of L.A.


Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less 
(Crown Business, hardcover, $23)
By Greg McKeown
As CEO of THIS Inc. and blogger for Harvard Business Review, McKeown knows the ins and outs of the business world, but his new book on essentialism is neither a direct manual nor the usual tripe that is born out of this genre. His mantra about getting the right things done strikes a chord that could apply to the simplest of routines and the smallest of businesses. You'll find yourself asking, “Am I doing this for my employees or am I doing this for myself?”
Out: April 15

The Best Of The West


The Serpent of Venice 
(HarperCollins, hardcover, $20)
By Christopher Moore
A follow-up to Fool, Moore is still out to prove his prowess for mash-ups, this time combining the worlds of Shakespeare’s Othello and The Merchant of Venice with Edgar Allen Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado. For those who have read Moore’s work before, prepare for the same amount of literary satire, unsavory language, familiar plot debauchery and a cheeky homage to the Bard.
Out: April 22


The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age
(Metropolitan Books, hardcover, $28)
By Astra Taylor
The Internet is turning 25 this year, and in that quarter century, it has changed our society in a multitude of ways. Documentary filmmaker and author Astra Taylor presents a counterargument against the idea that gatekeepers such as Apple, Facebook, and Google have, in keeping with the need for advertising and sensationalism, left the Internet in a very non-neutral zone. Taylor acknowledges that technology alone will not change the situation, but rather the people must understand the social implications of the Internet before they can shape it into a level playing field.
Out: April 15

The Best Of The Rest


All The Birds, Singing
(Pantheon, hardcover, $25)
By Evie Wyld
London native Wyld’s second novel follows shepherd girl Jake, who lives on a cold British island with her slowly thinning flock of sheep. In finding out what or who might be killing her sheep, small rivulets of Jake’s past begin to drip their way into the present. Getting from chapter to chapter is tough—the plot is coupled with stark, often-bloody visuals that make you want to look away—but the story is written with a pressing suspense that will make it easy to plow through.
Out: April 15


In the Course of Human Events: A Novel  
(Soft Skull Press, hardcover, $24)
By Mike Harvkey
In his debut novel, Harvkey draws from personal experience to supply a sense of desperation and hopelessness of his protagonist Clyde Twitty. Clyde, living in Strasburg, makes a meager income while having to support his mother’s failing hairstyling business and his handicapped uncle. His life is on the verge of collapse until he meets Jay Smalls, a martial artist with extreme right-wing beliefs who gives Clyde a sense of purpose, but what starts as a friendship becomes dangerous and begins to consume him. This novel examines the feelings of hatred that can be born out of poverty in a raw, unforgiving light.
Out: April 15

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