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What’s new: ‘The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen,’ Michelle Kuo’s memoir of reading and friendship, Zinzi Clemmons’ debut novel

"The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83 ¼ Years Old" by Hendrik Groen Photo Credit: Grand Central

THE SECRET DIARY OF HENDRIK GROEN, 83 1/4 YEARS OLD, by Hendrik Groen. A bestseller when it was published in the Netherlands in 2014, this novel is presented as the diary of its elderly pseudonymous author. Groen lives in an Amsterdam nursing home and rages against its petty rules and regulations, starting an Old-But-Not-Dead Club and flirting with the widow next door. (Grand Central, $26)

READING WITH PATRICK: A Teacher, a Student, and a Life-Changing Friendship, by Michelle Kuo. In 2004, the author was a Teach for America volunteer, mentoring Patrick Browning, a quiet black teen in rural Helena, Arkansas. Later, at Harvard Law School, Kuo learns that Patrick has been charged with murder, and she returns to carry on their reading of Frederick Douglass, James Baldwin and other classics. (Random House, $27)

WHAT WE LOSE, by Zinzi Clemmons. This singular debut novel — stitched from episodic passages, photographs, charts and lists — is narrated by Thandi, the mixed-race child of an American father and a South African mother whom she has lost to cancer. The result is a lyrical and hip meditation on grief, identity, family and romance that almost reads like a memoir. (Viking, $22)

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