The Best 19 Books to Read This August
A memoir that serves up the troubled family history behind an iconic American dessert; crime fiction force Laura Lippman's roundup of her favorite new thrillers; 10 titles to pick up now, including two comedies set in Russia; and more.
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The Perfect Nanny
Flip the Lord Lucan case and you've got Slimani's controversial, Prix Goncourt–winning domestic thriller. The French Moroccan writer based her novel on Yoselyn Ortega, the caregiver who horrified Manhattan in 2012 when she fatally stabbed two children in her charge, then attempted suicide. Slimani's version has an unstable Paris nanny in the employ of Myriam, a mother who no longer wants to be a stay-at-home. The reimagining is fascinating, not least because we know so little about Ortega's mindset leading up to the crime. Myriam's ambivalence about being a parent—and how this seems to implicate her—makes the fictional portrayal all the more harrowing.
— Laura Lippman