Kevin Wilson’s Nothing to See Here has everything you could possibly want in a book about ten-year-old twins who spontaneously burst into flames: humor, empathy, a great storyline, compelling characters, and, you know, twins who spontaneously burst into flames. Wilson has been a master of writing dysfunctional families for a long time now and his latest is the perfect example of his strengths: within a paragraph, if not a sentence, Wilson can go from witty, to devastating, to utterly profound. This is, without a doubt, the decade’s best book on twins who—and I cannot emphasize this enough—spontaneously burst into flames.
My favorite thing about Karina Longworth’s biography of Howard Hughes is that it’s not about Howard Hughes at all. Seduction is really the story of the women in Hughes’s life—Katharine Hepburn, Jane Russell, among others—in all their complicated, messy glory. Readers might know Longworth from her podcast “You Must Remember This,” in which she breaks down the myths of Hollywood history from the Golden Age to today. Seduction is a perfect companion to Longworth’s podcast—the ideal balance of scandalous anecdotes and well-researched historical context that make for a compelling, satisfying read.
If acerbic aristocrats, dead spouses reincarnated as cats, and impromptu cruises to Paris are of any interest to you, then, please, allow me to introduce you to Patrick deWitt’s third novel, French Exit. One of the things I most admire about deWitt’s writing is his ability to translate his signature wry humor and sharp eye to any time period or genre and absolutely nail it—French Exit is no exception. Set in contemporary New York, the novel follows the mother-son duo of Frances and Malcolm Price as they discover that they have run through their once-abundant finances. Hijinks ensue.