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Column, farewell. I’ve been old for quite a while, now, and producing this column is beginning to tire me out, a little, and that’s showing up in the column. A little. I’ve believed … more
Giuliani: The Rise and Tragic Fall of America’s Mayor by Andrew Kirtzman (Simon &  Schuster). Here’s something a certain New Yorker, once a Hoosier, wrote to some other former … more
The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell (Knopf). This is, of course, the author of Hamnet, the literary historical novel of a couple of years ago—which this column somehow managed to … more
Afterlives by Abdulrazak Gurnah (Riverhead). A (perhaps surprisingly) beautiful historical novel by the 2021 Nobel laureate, a British author of Tanzanian birth. Gurnah writes in English, of course, … more
The Many Daughters of Afong Moy by Jamie Ford (Atria). Some- thing like an epic, in the description, but fast and fun to read and as much future fiction as histo ical: it’s set in 2045, or at … more
Alias Emma by Ava Glass (Bantam). A superfast spy thriller, set in London; the action—not combat, mostly fleeing, if they can move fast enough and stealthily enough—it’s … more
Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional by Isaac Fitzgerald (Bloomsbury). This guy, with his Auld Sod last name and Old Testament first name, is clearly well known to almost everybody but me: often on … more
Self-Portrait with Ghost: Short Stories by Meng Jin (Mariner/Morrow). Faithful readers with good memories (all of us here, surely) will remember a lead review in January, ’20, of Meng … more
A Life in Light: Meditations on Impermanence by Mary Pipher (Bloomsbury). A psychologist (that’s what her Ph.D says), but pretty clearly her real calling from the start was not psychotherapist, … more
Future Stories: What’s Next? by David Christian (Little, Brown). This is a small-ish, slightly playful book of philosophy. So a book of (somewhat) playful but (seriously) thoughtful … more
These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany (Grand Central). A first novel whose author has a lot of strings to her bow; novels may not be her constant focus, but this one raises real hope. … more
Rough Draft by Katy Tur (One Signal/Atria). A memoir, as observant and witty as one expects from this likable and brainy TV newsperson, but rather deeper than that necessarily signals. She emerges … more
Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). International intrigue thriller, beginning with the disappearance of our central woman’s new husband – we think … more
Notes on Your Sudden Disappearance by Alison Espach (Henry Holt). Lovely novel, smart and sweet and racked with grief, by a writer the column has, clearly inexcusably, neglected. The one who … more
The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner (Atria). What? A warm-hearted but sharp-eyed family novel by Jennifer Weiner, with Summer in the title? Who saw that coming? Well, we all did, of course, and … more
The Fervor by Alma Katsu (Putnam). Versatile, inventive Katsu here again ingeniously places her supernatural horror fiction within a historical event. Which is, in this case, one that has been … more
Two Heads: A Graphic Exploration of How Our Brains Work with Other Brains by Uta Frith, Chris Frith, and Alex Frith; Illustrations by Daniel Locke (Scribner). Oversized (a bit past 7” x … more
A Tiny Upward Shove by Melissa Chadburn (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). What a first novel! Chadburn is an established essayist, but has made no fiction that I know of before this novel. It’s … more
Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel (Knopf). Beautiful novel by an author I ought to be arrested for never having noticed before (and high on best best-seller lists next Sunday). Clearly … more
What Comes After by JoAnne Tompkins (Riverhead). One of last year’s best first novels, set aside by the column then (I remember why: it’s hard to summarize, hard to be clear and … more
A Sunlit Weapon: A Maisie Dobbs Mystery by Jacqueline Winspear (Harper). This classic series keeps finding ways to get richer. There’s a crime to be solved, as usual, but this is more a … more
The Shame Machine: Who Profits in the New Age of Humiliation by Cathy O’Neil with Stephen Baker (Crown). An ingenious, at once enraging and entertaining, pop-sociological screed against, not … more
Ocean State by Stewart O’Nan (Grove). O’Nan is often attentive, as here, to working class life, which it’s clear he knows; he lives in it with us. I don’t recall another … more
All suspense, all the time (we sometimes have weeks like this, don’t we?) The Cage by Bonnie Kistler (Harper). Regular readers will surely remember the dramatic moment a few weeks ago … more
The Revenge of Power: How Autocrats are Reinventing Politics for the 21st Century by Moisés Naím (St. Martin’s). “People love dictators,” said a friend aof mine, … more
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