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Books to look forward to in 2018: 'The Overstory,' 'Red Clocks,' more

Wasn’t it just yesterday we were lounging on beaches and plotting our summer reading? Well, time waits for no reader, and now we’re staring down a new year and a new raft of books coming our way. To help you keep up, here are 14 titles to put on your list for 2018. You’ll be back on that beach before you know it.

‘THE MOST DANGEROUS MAN IN AMERICA,’ by Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis

In December 1970, Timothy Leary -- renowned for
Photo Credit: Twelve Books

In December 1970, Timothy Leary — renowned for his advocacy of LSD and other psychedelic drugs — escaped from a California state prison where he was serving a 10-year sentence for possession of two marijuana cigarettes. This lively narrative, a time capsule from Nixonian America, recounts the 28-month manhunt that ensued. (Twelve Books, out Jan. 9)

‘RED CLOCKS,’ by Leni Zumas

This feminist dystopian novel, in the vein of
Photo Credit: Little, Brown

This feminist dystopian novel, in the vein of "The Handmaid's Tale," imagines an America that has passed the Personhood Amendment, outlawing abortion and adoption by unmarried people. “Red Clocks” cycles among four Oregon women — including a pregnant high school student and an illegal “Mender” living in the woods — as they grapple with the consequences. (Lee Boudreaux Books, out Jan. 16)

‘OLIVER LOVING,’ by Stefan Merrill Block

The title character of this excruciatingly topical novel
Photo Credit: Macmillan

The title character of this excruciatingly topical novel lies in a coma, 10 years after he was hit during a school shooting at a high school dance. Oliver’s family, and his small West Texas hometown, are still haunted by the tragedy, and one question lingers: Could Oliver possibly be conscious? A new medical test promises to reveal the answer. (Flatiron, out Jan. 16)

‘THE MONK OF MOKHA,’ by Dave Eggers

The author of
Photo Credit: Penguin Random House

The author of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” and “Zeitoun” writes about one Mokhtar Alkhanshali — a Yemeni immigrant who grew up in San Francisco, became fascinated with the rich history of coffee cultivation in his homeland, and returned to Yemen to work with local farmers — just as Civil War engulfed the country in 2015. (Alfred A. Knopf, out Jan. 30)

‘AN AMERICAN MARRIAGE,’ by Tayari Jones

From the author of
Photo Credit: Algonquin

From the author of “Silver Sparrow” comes this story of an unexpected love triangle: Celestial and Roy are an upwardly mobile Atlanta couple whose marriage is upended when Roy is sentenced to 12 years in prison for a crime he did not commit; Andre is a childhood friend who re-connects, powerfully, with Celestial while her husband is incarcerated. And then Roy is released. (Algonquin, out Feb. 6)

‘FEEL FREE,’ by Zadie Smith.

The British novelist known for novels such as
Photo Credit: Penguin Press

The British novelist known for novels such as “White Teeth,” “On Beauty” and “Swing Time,” is also an accomplished nonfiction writer. “Feel Free” collects 32 pieces — essays, reviews, lectures and more. All of them make her personal ruminations public, as she writes in the foreword: “I feel this — do you? I’m struck by this — are you?” (Penguin Press, out Feb. 6)

‘THE LINE BECOMES A RIVER,’ by Francisco Cantú

The Mexican-American author served with the U.S. Border
Photo Credit: Riverhead

The Mexican-American author served with the U.S. Border Patrol from 2008 to 2012, and this book is a look at his experience, which prompted acute nightmares and guilt, leading him to quit. The story becomes even more personal when a friend of Cantú’s, after visiting his sick mother in Mexico, is arrested returning to the United States. (Riverhead, out Feb. 6)

‘DIRECTORATE S,’ by Steve Coll

Journalist Steve Coll returns to Afghanistan in this
Photo Credit: Penguin Press

Journalist Steve Coll returns to Afghanistan in this sequel of sorts to his 2004 book, “Ghost Wars.” Here Coll examines how U.S. forces have struggled for more than 15 years and two administrations to rid the country of the Taliban — due largely to the secret machinations of Directorate S, a wing of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the I.S.I. (Penguin Press, out Feb. 6)

‘WHITE HOUSES,’ by Amy Bloom

Lorena Hickok was a journalist whose intense friendship
Photo Credit: Random House

Lorena Hickok was a journalist whose intense friendship with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt has been the subject of much historical speculation, including Susan Quinn’s 2016 book, “Eleanor and Hick.” Now the author of “Lucky Us,” “Away” and other titles gives us a fictional re-imagining of this pair, as narrated by Hick herself. (Random House, out Feb. 13)

‘UNMASKED,’ by Andrew Lloyd Webber

The composer of such musical theater blockbusters as
Photo Credit: HarperCollins

The composer of such musical theater blockbusters as “Jesus Christ, Superstar,” “Evita,” “Cats,” “Phantom of the Opera” and “School of Rock” turns 70 in March. To celebrate, he delivers this memoir of a life in the theater — expect cameos by Ben Vereen, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, Elaine Page and many others — as well as a bohemian childhood in England. (Harper, out March 6)

‘THE ITALIAN TEACHER,’ by Tom Rachman

What's it like to grow up in the
Photo Credit: Viking

What’s it like to grow up in the shadow of a father who is a famous artist? The author of “The Imperfectionists” and “The Rise & Fall of Great Powers” presents readers with the story of Pinch Bavinsky, son of Bear Bavinsky and the product of one of the painter’s many unhappy marriages. A painter himself, Pinch struggles to achieve success and understand his mercurial father. (Viking, out March 20)

‘THE RECOVERING,’ by Leslie Jamison

Subtitled
Photo Credit: Little, Brown

Subtitled “Intoxification and Its Aftermath,” this autobiographical and cultural study of “recovery” and sobriety is by the author of the critically acclaimed 2014 book “The Empathy Exams.” Along with her own experience of addiction, Jamison weaves in the stories of cultural figures including Raymond Carver, Billie Holiday, David Foster Wallace and others. (Little, Brown; out April 3)

‘THE FEMALE PERSUASION,’ by Meg Wolitzer

The new novel by the author of
Photo Credit: Riverhead

The new novel by the author of “The Interestings” (a Syosset native) seems perfectly crafted for the culture’s #MeToo moment: It opens with the meeting of college freshman Greer Kadetsky and Faith Frank, a 63-year-old feminist trailblazer, a guest lecturer at Greer’s small Connecticut school. Wolitzer charts both their relationship and their evolving understandings of feminism and what it means to be a woman in our society. (Riverhead, out April 3)

‘THE OVERSTORY,’ by Richard Powers

The National Book Award-winning author returns with a
Photo Credit: W.W. Norton

The National Book Award-winning author returns with a complex novel of storylines set in a dizzying range of times and places — the 20th century Pacific Northwest, antebellum New York, Vietnam during the war — all connected by trees that communicate with one another. It sounds wild — a far-out companion to Annie Proulx’s lament for the American forest, “Barkskins.” (W.W. Norton, out April 3)

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