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Your Shelf Life: 5 Books to Read in May

A curated list of this month's top reads


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Amelia Gray imagines the life of Isadora Duncan, “the mother of modern dance,” in Isadora. Duncan’s real life events—including the drowning of her two young children—provide the book’s bones, while Gray adds the flesh of psychological portraiture.

Lisa Ko’s heartbreaking debut novel The Leavers is about a boy whose mother, an undocumented Asian nail technician, doesn’t come home from work one day. The book won the 2016 PEN/Bellwether Prize, for novels addressing issues of social justice.

The internationally acclaimed Haruki Murakami has unveiled the short story collection Men Without Women, a meditation on isolation and the emotional consequences for his male characters.

Men are also the subject of Joshua Ferris’s first short story collection, The Dinner Party. These male protagonists are cheaters, neurotics, and complainers, but Ferris’s dark humor persists.

Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) is a window into the brilliant brain of David Sedaris, who has kept a diary for forty years. This collection of observations and absurdities has fueled his most cherished essays.

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