Here are six recommended, new-in-paperback novels that take us around the world, for cozy late-winter reading.
“The Scent Keeper,” by Erica Bauermeister (St Martin’s, $16.99). This novel takes place in the Pacific Northwest and centers on a 12-year-girl with an uncannily honed sense of smell. Kirkus Reviews singled out Bauermeister’s “lyrical, haunting prose.”
“Black Leopard, Red Wolf,” by Marlon James (Penguin, $18). James’ inventive saga — the first in a planned trilogy taking place in a fantasy land inspired by African history and mythology — follows a tracker hired to find a child who has mysteriously vanished.
“Good Riddance,” by Elinor Lipman (Mariner, $15.99). When the days are dark and the hours seem long, you just might need the warm, chatty delights of a Lipman novel. This one, her 11th, is about an old yearbook that goes astray, causing troubles for its owner’s grown daughter and the busybody documentary filmmaker who finds it.
“Lost Children Archive,” by Valeria Luiselli (Vintage, $16.95). This award-winner is the story of both a family driving across America in the heat of summer, and the thousands of unaccompanied children attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
“Normal People,” by Sally Rooney (Random House, $17). Irish author Rooney’s follow-up to her rapturously received 2017 debut, “Conversations with Friends,” follows two young people, Connell and Marianne, from high school through university and young adulthood. It’s not quite a love story, but Connell and Marianne share something more than friendship.
“The Bird King,” by G. Willow Wilson (Grove Atlantic, $16). From the Seattle-based author of “Alif the Unseen” comes this historical fantasy, set in the royal court of Granada during the Spanish Inquisition and featuring the friendship between a concubine and a palace mapmaker with an extraordinary gift.