5 books not to miss: Mena Suvari memoir 'The Great Peace,' gripping novel 'Fierce Little Thing'

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In search of something good to read? USA TODAY's Barbara VanDenburgh scopes out the shelves for this week’s hottest new book releases. All books are on sale July 27.

1. “The Great Peace,” by Mena Suvari (Hachette, nonfiction)

What it’s about: The actress, best known for her career-making role in “American Beauty,” pens a harrowing coming-of-age memoir, detailing how as a young star in Hollywood she lost herself in drugs, sex and abusive relationships, sharing life lessons she learned along the way.

The buzz: Library Journal calls it “An honest and unadorned Hollywood confessional that casts a light on the darkness behind the scenes.”

“The Great Peace,” by Mena Suvari.
“The Great Peace,” by Mena Suvari.

2. “Fierce Little Thing,” Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (Flatiron, fiction)

What it’s about: Five friends, now grown, receive letters and return to the lakeside commune where they met as kids to confront their blackmailer, who threatens to reveal the terrible thing they did as teenagers.

The buzz: “A compelling study of power, sociopathy, and the possibilities of survival,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

More: Nature lovers, need something to read at the beach? Look no further than this list

3. “The Women's March: A Novel of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession,” by Jennifer Chiaverini (William Morrow, fiction)

What it’s about: This historical novel dramatizes a crucial but little-remembered 1913 suffragist march in Washington, D.C., through three women who risked their lives for the right to vote.

The buzz: Kirkus Reviews calls it “informative and insightful.”

4. “Island of Thieves,” Glen Erik Hamilton (William Morrow, fiction)

What it’s about: Expert thief Van Shaw is hired by an eccentric business magnate to protect his art collection from other thieves, but when he stumbles across a murder on his new boss's island estate, he becomes the prime suspect.

The buzz: “Hamilton’s fast-paced plot never loses its way despite numerous jaw-dropping twists,” says a starred review from Publishers Weekly.

5. “New Teeth,” by Simon Rich (Little, Brown and Company, fiction)

What it’s about: From the humorist comes a funny and personal collection of 11 stories about raising babies, growing older and what it means to make a family.

The buzz: “A fertile mind provides many smiles in this entertaining collection – and more than a few out-loud laughs,” says a starred review from Kirkus Reviews.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 5 books not to miss: Mena Suvari's memoir 'The Great Peace,' more

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