Family Fiction

Mirror readers, these are the books that reflect the complexities and joy of your life, right now.
No Biking in the House Without a Helmet
Photo: Marko Metzinger/Studio D

No Biking in the House Without a Helmet

368 pages; Farrar, Straus and Giroux
To most readers, Melissa Fay Greene is the prizewinning author of such journalistic gems as The Temple Bombing and Praying for Sheetrock. To her neighbors in midtown Atlanta, she's also known as the lady who, in 1999, the year before her oldest child left for college, decided to adopt more kids, at least partially to ward off empty-nest syndrome. At last count, she and her husband, Don Samuel, a defense attorney, have added five kids to their "bio" group of four: one from a Bulgarian orphanage and four from Ethiopia. Why they did it—and how they do it—is the subject of Greene's moving, enlightening, and surprisingly funny new memoir, No Biking in the House Without a Helmet (Sarah Crichton/FSG), which folds an adoption primer into a meditation on family.
— Sara Nelson