Looking for a mesmerizing read? Add this disparate trio of titles to your list:
Author F.R. Tallis is a clinical psychologist, which is reflected in his deft character development and realistic dialogue in “The Passenger” (Pegasus, $26, 400 pages). The story details the brutal life aboard a German submarine in 1941, but there’s more: A ghostly presence is leading the crew toward doom.
With his excellent 10-title “Harry Hole” series, Jo Nesbo has become the pride of literary Norway and an international best-seller. In a different vein, his new stand-alone novel, “Midnight Sun” (after “Blood on Snow”), follows Ulf, a renegade “fixer” who is fleeing the wrath of his former boss, a deranged drug lord (Knopf, $24, 288 pages).
Family dysfunction gets the warm-and-fuzzy treatment by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney in her debut “The Nest” (Ecco, $27, 368 pages). The mire centers on four upper-class siblings who must navigate a shared inheritance amid familial chaos. One of Ecco’s hot spring titles.
▪ Stories on Stage is a literary series in which local actors perform authors’ short works or excerpts from novels. Continuing its seventh season will be a double-header featuring prize-winning author, editor and screenwriter Vendela Vida for her latest novel, “The Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty.” An excerpt will be read by Lori Russo. Vida is married to novelist Dave Eggers, founder-editor of McSweeney’s publishers in San Francisco.
Also taking the stage will be J.L. Cooper, a practicing psychologist whose short stories and poetry have been nationally honored. His prize-winning story “Path of the Ground Birds” will be read by Matt Rives.
Doors will open at 7 p.m. March 25 at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 25th and R streets, Sacramento. A $5 donation is suggested.
▪ Face In a Book will host Lynn Carthage of El Dorado Hills for “Betrayed,” the second entry after “Haunted” in her “Amaud Legacy” series for young adults. Join her launch party at noon Sunday, March 20, at 4359 Town Center Blvd., El Dorado Hills, 916-941-9401.
Raven Gellerman is a character in the “neo-gothic teen fantasy,” named for an El Dorado Hills teen after her parents won an auction bid at a local school. “I had fun including Raven as a mysterious and perhaps malevolent character,” Carthage said.