The best books of the week

The Sun Down Motel
Simone St. James (fiction, Berkley)
The Sun Down isn’t the kind of motel you want to check into: In addition to being in the middle of nowhere, its rooms are dingy, stained, and populated with ghosts. Told over a span of 30 years and through two female protagonists, this novel is a creepy delight.

Here For It: Or, How to Save Your Soul in America
R. Eric Thomas (essays, Ballantine Books)
Chances are you’ve read an article by R. Eric Thomas (he’s got a particular flair for making politics seem like an episode of much-watch TV) and laughed out loud at your desk. In this book of essays, he talks about his upbringing, his experience of being one of few black students at a mostly white high school, his sexuality, and more.

Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America
Conor Dougherty (nonfiction, Penguin Press)
Affordable housing is an issue across the country, but nowhere is it more extreme than in the San Francisco area. A stunning, well-researched look at different aspects of the Bay Area housing crisis.

Saint X
Alexis Schaitkin (fiction, Celadon Books)
A family vacation in a Caribbean paradise turns into a nightmare when Claire’s older sister Alison disappears; her body is found a few days later. Years after Alison’s death, Claire is living in NYC when a chance encounter brings her to Clive Richardson, one of the original murder suspects.

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