1. Don’t let the Young Adult designation for Nic Sheff’s new novel Schizo steer you away from this writer’s follow-up to his memoirs Tweak: Growing up on Methamphetamines and We All Fall Down. This book is both dark and hopeful—a brilliant balancing act.
2. Lila by Marilynne Robinson, who returns to the town of Gilead to tell the story of the title character, a young homeless girl who finds shelter and romance in a local church. Robinson once again fills her pages with a simple and profound sense of grace.
3. Declaring His Genius: Oscar Wilde in North America by Roy Morris, Jr., in which Morris recounts the then 27-year-old Wilde’s 1882 lecture tour of the United States. Wilde not only drinks elderberry wine with Walt Whitman and allows the poet to kiss him but also visits an elderly Jefferson Davis and his wife and daughter at their home in Biloxi, Mississippi.
4. Walter Isaacson’s The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution. Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, is in San Francisco this week to participate in Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit, which the Institute is presenting in conjunction with the magazine.
5. Damage Control: A Memoir of Outlandish Privilege, Loss, and Redemption by Sergei Boissier. If you want to have a look into the world of outlandish wealth and how that can’t buy you a mother’s love, then read this remarkable book. Boissier gives us an unsparing portrait of such a world and such a mother. Her name is Dollsie and she is a kind of evil twin to Auntie Mame. Redemption and forgiveness and decadence all come together in this unforgettable narrative.