The anecdotes about my mother in my book are pitched from my perspective. What I wanted to do is give her the opportunity to offer her perspective.

“My mother and I sat down together in her house in Illinois in the days right after Christmas,” remembers Sara Barron.

“The whole thing should’ve gone off without a hitch, but it did not. And that is because in the half-hour prior to the scheduled interview, we got into an argument about what I perceive as my mother’s eating disorder versus what my mother perceives as her own healthy approach to eating.”

Vanessa Michael Munroe returns! The informationist, chameleon, and hunter who has built her life on a reputation for getting things done—often dangerous and not-quite-legal things.

In the wake of going head-to-head with international sex traffickers in The Doll, Munroe has retreated to Djibouti, where, while passing as a man, she finds work as an interpreter for a small, private, maritime security company. On the run, wounded, without connections or resources, and with the life of the captain as bait and bartering chip, Munroe believes that the only way to save Leo, assuming he’s still alive, is to hijack the ship back.

Anonymous death came early and often.

“The parlors and bedrooms in which honest folk lived were (as now) rather dull places,” wrote Ben Hecht, late in his life, trying to explain this persistent trait of old Chicago. “It was pleasant, in a way, to know that outside their windows, the devil was still capering in a flare of brimstone.”

Each of the thousand trains that entered and left the city did so at grade level. You could step from a curb and be killed by the Chicago Limited. Every day on average two people were destroyed at the city’s rail crossings. Their injuries were grotesque. Pedestrians retrieved severed heads.

As a writer, I’m always thrilled when a character shows up in my head, demanding that I write a story about her.

“The point is that you breathe life into these characters who show up and agree to talk to you,” says Maddie Dawson, author of The Opposite of Maybe, “and then—just like with the real humans you raised—there comes a time when you have to listen to them.

We read to be intrigued, delighted, and to find out what happens next—and sometimes, it turns out, writers are just as surprised as readers by what our characters decide to do.”

When a medical procedure goes horribly wrong and famous actor Ralph Meier winds up dead, Dr. Marc Schlosser needs to come up with some answers.

It all started the previous summer. A violent incident disrupts the idyll, darker motivations are revealed, and suddenly no one can be trusted. As the ultimate holiday soon turns into a nightmare, the circumstances surrounding Ralph’s later death begin to reveal the disturbing reality behind that summer’s tragedy.

Summer House with Swimming Pool is a controversial, thought-provoking novel that showcases internationally bestselling author Herman Koch at his finest.

If you could lay all HeLa cells ever grown end-to-end, they’d wrap around the Earth at least three times, spanning more than 350 million feet.

There’s a photo on my wall of a woman I’ve never met, its left corner torn and patched together with tape. She looks straight into the camera and smiles, hands on hips, dress suit neatly pressed, lips painted deep red. It’s the late 1940s and she hasn’t yet reached the age of thirty.

Her light brown skin is smooth, her eyes still young and playful, oblivious to the tumor growing inside her—a tumor that would leave her five children motherless and change the future of medicine. Beneath the photo, a caption says her name is “Henrietta Lacks, Helen Lane or Helen Larson.”