Books of the Week: Don DeLillo's Latest, a Buzzy Debut Novel and a Scientology Memoir

The Assistants - Book Cover -Screen Shot-P 2016
Courtesy of Putnam

With the start of May, booksellers are beginning to look to the summer reading season. A likely beach-read contender debuts this week (The Assistants), but serious books also are on the calendar (Zero K). And the most talked-about book of the week is a dishy memoir (Ruthless).

The week’s top picks:

The Assistants by Camille Perri (G.P. Putnam’s Sons)

This was a Rights Available pick — noting its killer Devil Wears Prada meets Office Space pitch — and it also is getting buzz from booksellers and librarians. A group of disgruntled assistants to powerful corporate executives scheme to embezzle money to pay off their debts via small mistakes in expense reports. Reviews have been strong.

Zero K by Don DeLillo (S&S/Scribner)

The newest novel from one of America’s most celebrated writers (the most celebrated?) already has been optioned by FX for development by Scott Rudin (though adaptations of DeLillo’s work are scarce). And it also has drawn the best reviews for one of his books since Underworld published in 1997. Here he tackles life, death and re-animation in a story about a billionaire and his son who gather a cryogenic compound to help prepare the billionaire’s younger wife for death and freezing in the hopes she can be brought back to life in the future.

Ruthless by Ron Miscavige (St. Martin’s Press)

The estranged father of Scientology leader David Miscavige presents an unflattering portrait of his son in this memoir of his time in the Church (he joined in 1969) and why he felt the need to “escape” from it in 2012. The book was the subject of a full hour of ABC's 20/20 and has come under attack from the Church.