Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup

By John Carreyrou. (Vintage, 368 pages, $16.95, new in paperback.)

 

This bestselling, stranger-than-fiction tale of corporate fraud describes the rise and fall of Theranos, the much-ballyhooed startup that looked ready to revolutionize the medical industry, except for a secret at its core: Its central product didn’t work. Bill Gates — who knows a thing or two about startups — named it as one of his five favorite books of 2018. The book “tackles some serious ethical questions,” Gates wrote on his blog, “but it is ultimately a thriller with a tragic ending. It’s a fun read full of bizarre details that will make you gasp out loud.”

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times

 

Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive

By Stephanie Land. (Hachette, 288 pages, $15.99, new in paperback.)

 

Unfolding against a Pacific Northwest landscape, Land’s book movingly depicts her years as a young single mother, in which she extricated herself from an abusive relationship and supported her daughter by cleaning houses — physically demanding work that paid minimum wage without benefits — and struggling against a system seemingly stacked against the working poor. Reading it last year, I was struck by the richness of its details (you feel as if you’re scrubbing those kitchen counters, sticky with grease) and by Land’s clearheaded determination to make a world for her child.

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times