11 New Books We Recommend This Week

CHÉRI and THE END OF CHÉRI, by Colette. Translated by Rachel Careau. (Norton, $26.95.) At the time of her death, Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette was one of the most famous writers in the world, and this heartbreaking, astute pair of novels — about the affair between an aging courtesan and a much younger man — are among the best of her vast, impressive canon. Careau’s “meticulous and agile translation,” says our reviewer, Tash Aw, “brings to Anglophone readers some of Colette’s finest writing, rich in the sensuality for which she is widely known — but also in the sharpness of her social observations, so ahead of her time that they come across as radical even by contemporary standards. Above all, Careau captures the technicality of Colette’s prose. She manages shifts in mood and characterization as well as the complexity of Colette’s sentences — sometimes terse, sometimes richly metaphoric — and she does so in a way that feels at once faithful to the author’s era and utterly timeless.”

MEAN BABY: A Memoir of Growing Up, by Selma Blair. (Knopf, $30.) In her powerful, moving memoir, the veteran actor opens up about growing up in a quirky family, surviving sexual abuse at the same private school that encouraged her artistic pursuits, making a name for herself in Hollywood, stepping out of the boxes other people put her in and, especially, living publicly with the challenges of multiple sclerosis. “‘Mean Baby’ is not an illness memoir,” Susan Burton writes in her review. “It is a traditional autobiography, in that it covers the whole of Blair’s life so far. But M.S. haunts the book — it’s what we know is in those cards. Blair’s disease offers her a new way to see her past, and she uses it to divine her own history.”

I KISSED SHARA WHEELER, by Casey McQuiston. (Wednesday Books, $19.99.) McQuiston, well known as a romance novelist, enters the Y.A. realm with this story of a queer teenage rebel, Chloe, investigating the disappearance of her high school’s golden girl, Shara, and the secrets behind her carefully maintained image of perfection. “‘I Kissed Shara Wheeler’ is an unfettered joy to read,” our reviewer, Olivia Waite, writes. “It’s a love story starring two brilliant, ruthless queer girls who fight for what they want, and woe to any unjust authorities that stand in their way.”