New in Paperback: ‘Amnesty’ and ‘Cool Town’

AMNESTY, by Aravind Adiga. (Scribner, 272 pp., $17.) The “driving force” of this “thriller-like” novel by the Booker Prize-winning Indian-Australian author of “The White Tiger” is an unsolved murder about which its undocumented protagonist has information. Praising its “humanity,” Juan Gabriel Vásquez, our reviewer, declared it “an urgent and significant book.”

GOLDEN GATES: The Housing Crisis and a Reckoning for the American Dream, by Conor Dougherty. (Penguin, 304 pp., $18.) Though this “masterly primer on the fight for new construction” in California’s Bay Area can feel “a little local,” our reviewer, Francesca Mari, noted, Dougherty, a Times economics reporter, convincingly argues that these “carnivalesque battles” are “a microcosm of the exasperating land-use issues threatening other thriving economies.”

GROWN UPS, by Emma Jane Unsworth. (Scout Press/Gallery, 368 pp., $16.99.) This “truly funny” comedic novel about a female web-obsessed millennial — our reviewer, Kelly Conaboy, wrote — is “less of an escape than it is a set of ‘Clockwork Orange’ metal eye clamps, forcing you to examine,” via “hand-wringing over exclamation points and emoji choices and the exact right timing of a fav, your own profoundly unhealthy relationship with social media.”

CLEANNESS, by Garth Greenwell. (Picador, 240 pp., $16.) Revisiting the territory of Greenwell’s 2016 novel “What Belongs to You,” these stories are a “wistful paean,” our reviewer, Colm Toibin, observed, to the place where the unnamed gay American expatriate teacher who is their first-person narrator “lived in uneasy exile, or learned to grow up, or both.”

COOL TOWN: How Athens, Georgia, Launched Alternative Music and Changed American Culture, by Grace Elizabeth Hale. (University of North Carolina Press, 384 pp., $20.) A history and American studies professor who once played in a band and ran an underground club in Athens, Hale analyzes why this sleepy college town spawned the likes of the B-52’s and R.E.M., and became “the model for the small, deeply local bohemias that together formed ’80s indie culture.”

THE ONLY GOOD INDIANS, by Stephen Graham Jones. (Saga Press/Gallery, 336 pp., $16.99.) Our reviewer, Danielle Trussoni, called this “panoramic view” of the struggles and triumphs of four Native American young men, haunted by the spirit of a pregnant elk they killed on a hunting expedition and by the burdens of tradition, a “gritty and gorgeous” horror novel.

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