With more free time than usual in recent weeks, I've been sampling a fair amount of recent fiction. Here are 3 novels I'm excited to recommend. Seriously, why read trash in August when books like these are around?
  1. You, by Caroline Kepnes
    Not since "Gone Girl" have I read a novel that’s so hard to put down. "You" is the story of young man and his obsession with a young woman, whom he stalks. His first-person narrative is so compelling and sympathetic that you’re willing to overlook some of his bad -- actually, very bad -- behavior. This is an exploration of deception –- the way we lie to others, and to ourselves. It’s smart, subtle, and memorable. Bonus: the sequel, "Hidden Bodies," is terrific.
  2. Underground Airlines, by Ben H. Winters
    Not to be confused with "Underground Railroad, "which I haven't yet read, "Underground Airlines" takes place in modern America. But it's an America where slavery has not been completely abolished. In this counter-history, four states have been allowed to maintain the awful practice. This is the riveting story of an escaped slave who -- well, I don't want to give away too much. Especially if you enjoyed "The Plot Against America," this one could be for you.
  3. The Humans, by Matt Haig
    You want high-concept? Try this: a visitor from a distant planet assumes a human identity and writes a detailed report of his time on earth, describing what human beings are like. Warm, witty, wise, and emotionally deep, this book is original and unforgettable.