THE NEED, by Helen Phillips. (Simon & Schuster, 272 pp., $17.) With “forensic precision” and “nods to both sci-fi and horror” — according to our reviewer, Harriet Lane — this darkly comic novel mines the “cosmic precariousness” of newish motherhood, heightened when the mother in question, a plant fossil expert, is left alone inside with her “tiny despots” and must protect them from an unseen intruder.
THE MOSQUITO: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator, by Timothy C. Winegard. (Dutton, 496 pp., $18.) One of those “eye-opening books that permanently shift your worldview” is how our reviewer, Sam Kean, described this examination of the many ways in which mosquitoes have “upended” history, including their “decisive” role in winning American independence by decimating nonimmune European troops.
EVERYTHING INSIDE: Stories, by Edwidge Danticat. (Vintage, 240 pp., $16.) Published over a 12-year period, these stories are linked — our reviewer, Aminatta Forna, noted — by an “almost mythic” depiction of the land and people of Haiti, where Danticat was born; by the author’s “precise yet emotionally charged prose”; and by “the unreliability of the human heart.”
SHE SAID: Breaking the Sexual Harassment Story That Helped Ignite a Movement, by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey. (Penguin, 320 pp., $18.) This “gripping blow-by-blow” account of how two New York Times reporters with no connections in Hollywood managed to corroborate allegations against Harvey Weinstein that had been chased by multiple journalists before them, our reviewer, Susan Faludi, wrote, reads like “a feminist ‘All the President’s Men.’”
THE YELLOW HOUSE: A Memoir, by Sarah M. Broom. (Grove, 400 pp., $17.) “Part oral history, part urban history, part celebration of a bygone way of life,” this National Book Award winner (and one of the Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2019) explores “the greed, discrimination, indifference and poor city planning,” as our reviewer, Angela Flournoy, put it, that led Broom’s family home in segregated New Orleans East to be “wiped off the map” after Hurricane Katrina.
NIGHT BOAT TO TANGIER, by Kevin Barry. (Anchor, 272 pp., $16.) Two salty old Irish drug smugglers reminisce via “scabrously witty dialogue,” in our reviewer James Lasdun’s words, while waiting for one man’s long-vanished daughter. Written with “lyric intensity,” Barry’s Beckett-like tour de force is another of the Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2019.