Now Read This: The Week’s Best New Books, April 3rd Edition

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The Best Of L.A.

Railtown

Things a Little Bird Told Me: Confessions of the Creative Mind 
(Grand Central, hardcover, $26)
By Biz Stone
In this telling and riveting story of creativity, Stone discusses his abnormal journey into the world of business and how he came to start Twitter. Moments of humor and surprising strategy make this book stand out from other stories of success and offer a look into the mind of a man who’s been called one of the world’s most influential people.
Out: April 1

Railtown

Learning Not to Drown 
(Atheneum Books for Young Readers, hardcover, $18)
By Anna Shinoda
In this debut novel, Shinoda explores the often volatile and destructive relationships within a family. The story follows 17-year-old Clare and her relationship with her older brothers, Peter and Luke. Luke, who is addicted to drugs, has been in and out of prison several times. When he comes home again, Clare wants to believe things will be different, but when the reasons behind his arrests surface, she must decide whether to distance herself from her family or drown with them.
Out: April 1

The Best Of The West

Railtown

Casebook: A Novel 
(Knopf, hardcover, $26)
By Mona Simpson
When young Miles Adler-Hart unwittingly finds out about the disintegration of his parents’ marriage, he begins to investigate with the help of his friend Hector. Both boys dig through the life of Miles’ mother, Irene, rifling through drawers, bugging telephone lines, and strip-mining her computer. Though the deceptive work begins with naivety, the boys soon stumble onto the deep world of adult privacy and must decide what to do with the secrets they find.
Out: April 15

Railtown

The Empathy Exams: Essays 
(Graywolf Press, paperback, $15)
By Leslie Jamison
Jamison started as a medical actress (she’d be paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose). This collection of intuitive and probing essays based on the experience poses the question: how we should care for each other? Each essay gives a unique and stark call to ask what empathy truly looks like.
Out: April 1

Carthage

Frog Music: A Novel
(Little, Brown and Company, hardcover, $27)
By Emma Donoghue
On the heels of her success with Room, Emma Donoghue releases a new novel set in San Francisco in the summer of 1876. In the midst of a burning heat wave and a smallpox epidemic, French burlesque dancer Blanche Buenon is searching for the murderer who shot her friend, frog hunter Jenny Bonnet. Donoghue brings the historical setting to life through Buenon’s story, highlighting the nasty, seedy side of this diverse metropolis.
Out: April 1


The Best Of The Rest

Carthage

Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism
(Kingswell, hardcover, $27)
By Ron Suskind
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Suskind takes a tender look at the life of his autistic son Owen, who was unable to speak for years. By memorizing lines of Disney movies, Owen learned his own brand of language to express complex emotions of love, loss and friendship. In an effort to communicate with their son, Suskind and his wife Cornelia adopted the lives of fictional, animated characters, talking to Owen though Disney dialogue and song and soon realizing the illumitaing, life-giving importance of story.
Out: April 1


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