The best books of the week

Below the Fold
R.G. Belsky (fiction, Oceanview Publishing)
When a homeless woman is murdered in New York, Clare, a TV news director, decides to dig deeper into the case that ordinarily wouldn’t get much attention. Soon, uneasy links emerge — one of them involving the wealthy mogul who owns Clare’s TV station.

The Latte Factor: Why You Don’t Have to Be Rich to Live Rich
David Bach and John David Mann (finance, Atria Books)
A short and accessible book about finances, told through an accessible story about twentysomething Zoe, an underpaid publishing employee bumping through life. Quick and helpful, with easily remembered lessons such as “pay yourself first.”

The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna
Juliet Grames (fiction, Ecco)
Stella Fortuna’s mother is convinced that life in Italy is she is cursed; in their small Italian village, bad luck always seems to find her. When the family emigrates to the United States before World War II, Stella and sister Tina have to navigate a strange new world.

The Farm
Joanne Ramos (fiction, Random House)
Deep in the Hudson Valley, Golden Oaks is an upscale retreat for surrogates. While pregnant, they are fed, clothed and paid well to carry a baby for a wealthy couple. The catch is the “hosts,” many of them poor immigrants, can’t leave the grounds or see their own families. A brilliant satire about privilege.

The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West
David McCullough (nonfiction, Simon & Schuster)
The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian turns his focus to the settling of the Northwest Territory by the pioneers who overcame great hardship along the way.

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee
Casey Cep (nonfiction, Knopf)
The fascinating story of an Alabama serial killer — the Rev. Willie Maxwell, accused of murdering five family members to get the insurance money — and the true-crime book Harper Lee was working on after “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

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