New in Paperback: ‘Becoming’ and ‘Hidden Valley Road’

DAYS OF DISTRACTION, by Alexandra Chang. (Ecco, 320 pp., $16.99.) Our reviewer, Elisabeth Egan, called this “honest” fictional take on “what it’s like to feel invisible” when you work remotely for a tech publication and your boyfriend doesn’t understand “the loneliness of being Chinese-American in a sea of white faces” a “thunderingly wise” debut novel from “a writer to watch.”

BECOMING, by Michelle Obama. (Crown, 464 pp., $18.99.) “Those focused on sound bites will be missing the larger meaning of a serious work of candid reflection by a singular figure of early-21st-century America,” Isabel Wilkerson noted in her review of the former first lady’s “refined and forthright, gracefully written and at times laugh-out-loud funny” memoir. The paperback edition includes a new introduction by the author.

SPIRIT RUN: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land, by Noé Álvarez. (Catapult, 240 pp., $16.95.) The son of Mexican refugees (his father is descended from the Purépecha people), Álvarez “comes face to face with the many strands of his inheritance,” in the words of our reviewer, Danielle Jackson, when he joins a six-month-long Peace and Dignity Journeys run to reunite Indigenous nations.

HIDDEN VALLEY ROAD: Inside the Mind of an American Family, by Robert Kolker. (Anchor, 400 pp., $17.) “Six sons with schizophrenia — the curse of the Galvin family is the stuff of Greek tragedy,” Sam Dolnick wrote in his review of this “fascinating and upsetting” look at “a family swallowed whole” by a disease no one understood. It was one of the Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2020.

RACE AGAINST TIME: A Reporter Reopens the Unsolved Murder Cases of the Civil Rights Era, by Jerry Mitchell. (Simon & Schuster, 448 pp., $17.) Mitchell’s account of investigative reporting he began in the 1980s that eventually led to long-overdue murder convictions for perpetrators of notorious 1960s hate crimes, including the killing of Medgar Evers and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., is “brave, bracing and instructive,” according to our reviewer, Randall Kennedy.

DEAR EDWARD, by Ann Napolitano. (Dial, 384 pp., $18.) Our reviewer, Angie Kim, described this “haunting,” “understated” novel, loosely based on the headline-grabbing true story of a “Miracle Boy” who was the lone survivor of a plane crash that killed 103 people, as “a masterful study in suspense, grief and survival.”

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