A delightfully irreverent memoir that also pays homage to classic works of literature; a page-turning psychological thriller; and another visit to the OK Corral.
Learn more about these and all of our picks for the Best Books of the Month.
Sigh, Gone is a stunning memoir about refugees, racism, displacement, the lifeline of literature, fitting in—and fighting to do so. When Phuc Tran was just a boy, he and 11 family members survived the Viet Cong, fled Vietnam, and landed in their new home: the small town of Carlisle, Pennsylvania, which “seemed like a slice of American pie a la mode.” As his parents struggled with English and used violence for discipline, Tran wrestled with fitting in at school. Thankfully he developed the plan, a self-described “war of assimilation.” Operation one: be smart, learn perfect English. Operation two: “look punk. You know one way to show that you fit in? By not fitting in.” And that’s exactly what he did. With a measured, comedic voice saturated with introspection, Tran bravely lays his life (the beatings, the poverty, the vicious taunting) on the page without judgment and without rose-colored glasses. Literally fortified by literature (which he fell in love with), he uses the classics to explain his own childhood and adolescence to great effect. Read this book; it’s an important story of immigration, America, and the disconnect between generations, cultures, and how to find connection. And, if you’re like me, you will be in awe of his words, humor, insight, and dedication to sharing his experience in all of its glory and hurt. Plus, even though you might cry, you will definitely laugh out loud. —Al Woodworth
Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Marin experiences every parent's nightmare when, in the middle of a crowded farmer's market, she drops her son's hand for a moment to take a call on her cell, and when she turns to look for him he's vanished. Sixteen months later, Marin is crippled by grief, guilt, and loss. Her son is missing, perhaps dead, and her marriage to Derek is collapsing under the weight of the tragedy. So when the P.I. she hires to look for Sebastian tells her he's found evidence Derek is having an affair, Marin decides that even if she can't save her son, she can save her marriage, and she's willing to go to any length to do so. A dark, domestic thriller with a genuine shock ending, Little Secrets is one of those books that, like popcorn, you devour in one sitting. —Vannessa Cronin
Think you've already heard all there is to know about one of the most famous shootouts in history? Think again. Hot off the heels of last year's Wild Bill, and following up on Dodge City, which featured Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, and the Wickedest Town in the American West, Tom Clavin brings us Tombstone. This new book features the Earp brothers and Doc Holliday, along with a vendetta ride from hell, which captures the imagination, especially when you can't go anywhere yourself. —Chris Schluep
A delightfully irreverent memoir; a page-turning psychological thriller; and another visit to the OK Corral.