Our favorites this month include an unsurprisingly raucous memoir from the frontman of indie rock band the Airborne Toxic Event, a heartwarming tale of villagers who join forces to save the house that Jane Austen once lived in, and the latest courtroom drama from best-selling author Scott Turow.
Learn more about these and all of our picks for the Best Books of the Month.
Hollywood Park: A Memoir by Mikel Jollett
Mikel Jollett’s memoir is wild and shocking, but also beautifully articulated and rationally shared. Jollett spent the first five years of his life in a cult that was one of the most infamous and dangerous in the country; under the cover of night, he and his brother fled Synanon with a person they were told to call “mom,” but life on the outside wasn’t much better. He grew up living on the margins of society — where alcoholism, drug addiction, and poverty reigned, sadness permeated, abuse was a given, and the notion of a traditional parent was as foreign as regular food on the table. Despite the hardships of his childhood, he found a path where music, compassion, and familial love set him free and on the road with his band the Airborne Toxic Event. Hollywood Park will fascinate you with its abnormality but will also remind you of the power of loyalty and empathy. —Al Woodworth
The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
Fans of novels such as The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and Lilac Girls should make sure to add The Jane Austen Society to their library. Set in the tiny village of Chawton, during and after World War II, it’s a story about eight people who, in saving the house Jane Austen last lived in from developers, unexpectedly save themselves from loneliness, grief, and loss. This humorous mix of characters, from both upstairs and downstairs, would do Julian Fellowes proud, and Natalie Jenner provides an affectionate, pitch-perfect character study of each. The Jane Austen Society pays tribute to the power of literature to heal and bring people together. But best of all, it will charm readers and make them feel as though they share the sorrows and the triumphs of their new friends: Adam, Adeline, Andrew, Evie, Frances, Dr. Gray, Mimi, and Yardley. —Vannessa Cronin
The Last Trial by Scott Turow
Bestselling author David Baldacci describes The Last Trial as "a brilliant courtroom chess match," and honestly, there's no more accurate summary than that. At 85 years old, Alejandro "Sandy" Stern is in the twilight of life and of a brilliant legal career. His health is failing and retirement is the next step. But then Dr. Kiril Pafko, a former Nobel Prize winner in Medicine, is charged with insider trading, fraud, and murder. Retirement plans are shelved as Sandy prepares to make one last foray into the courtroom to defend his longtime friend. But as the trial progresses and Sandy learns more about his friend's career in cancer research, he comes to question everything he thought he knew about Kiril. He even starts to question his own decades-long commitment to the principles of law. The justice system may be "one size fits all," but human nature comes in all shapes and sizes. How far will Sandy go to save a friend? And how far is too far? —Vannessa Cronin
A raucous memoir from the frontman of indie rock band the Airborne Toxic Event, a heartwarming tale of villagers who join forces to save the house that Jane Austen once lived in, and the latest courtroom drama from bestselling author Scott Turow.