In this fast-paced, claustrophobic thriller, Han Yu-jin wakes in a blood-soaked bed with no memory of the previous night. In a story told through revealing flashbacks and unnerving present tense interactions with Yu-jin’s family, the pages turn with a sense of discovery, danger and anticipation that makes The Good Son a great summer read.
A prolific and dexterous author of both novels and shorter narratives, T. C. Boyle has won awards for literary excellence, nature writing, and, with the title piece of his ninth collection, been included among The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy writers. These twelve stories give us a future rich with revolutionary technologies and rife with environmental challenges, but one also featuring conflicted characters who face many of the existential pitfalls familiar to us today. Thanks to The Relive Box (Ecco, $25.99), a father and daughter can re-watch a happy past while ignoring their crumbling, isolated present. In another piece an epic California drought brings an affluent neighborhood a deluge of greed and desperation, while for a couple considering a genetically designed child, their ambitions lead to the dilemma of keeping up with the Jones’s DNA. The stories, whether dark or light, reveal how we continually look to the marvels of new science to soothe the constant human ache.
Editor, biographer, and storyteller Michael Korda has a very particular set of skills, and they are all masterfully employed in Alone: Britain, Churchill and Dunkirk, Defeat into Victory (Liveright, $29.95). Merging history with memoir, Korda expertly weaves the events of May 1940 with the dramatic effect they had on his family. The rise of Winston Churchill, the German war machine marching across Europe, and the unprecedented, inspiring rescue of allied soldiers at Dunkirk are all here, humanized by the author’s own memories of his famous movie-industry family and his escape from London as a child. Compellingly and comprehensively written, peppered with pictures and maps, Korda’s book takes an immense, seminal, and now mythic event and makes it live again from both a global and a personal perspective.