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Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout (Random House). Her third Lucy Barton novel (depending on how you count; she’s central, again, in this one, and narration is first-person again). An early … more
The Book of Magic by Alice Hoffman (Simon and Schuster). A lovely novel, intricately worked out and carefully cast, about, yes, people who can make magic; so a fantasy (of sorts—it certainly … more
Crossroads by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). For all his (only occasional) crabbiness, and his apparent sense of himself as A Great Writer, there’s just no arguing with the … more
The Speckled Beauty by Rick Bragg (Knopf). Bragg, a memoirist/essayist of wit and grace, has been publishing books like this, not exactly philosophical but not exactly not, for a few decades, now. … more
First Casualty: The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11 by Toby Harnden (Little, Brown). “In war, the first casualty is the plan,” sounds like an expression of hopelessness; … more
Fault Lines by Emily Itami (Custom House). Intelligent, sophisticated first novel, that’s going to be hard to describe accurately without convincing you it’s a commonplace … more
Revelator by Daryl Gregory (Knopf). Fine big historical horror novel, set in the Smoky Mountains, in Tennessee, over a couple of timelines in the 1930s and ’40s. The Revelator we get to know … more
Bloodless: A Pendergast Novel by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child (Grand Central). Just out, and already at the top of bestseller lists. This great series, eerie and sometimes funny, has been a … more
A Brief History of Motion: From the Wheel, to the Car, to What Comes Next by Tom Standage (Bloomsbury). The title’s a bit of a trick, I suppose. But the subtitle owns up: this is (yet … more
Learning in Public by Courtney E. Martin (Little, Brown). This book will have you cringing when I’m only half through describing it—even as I’m telling you, well, but, you should … more
The Quiet Zone by Stephen Kurczy (Dey Street). In a town adjacent to a supersized electronic telescope monitoring the universe, cell phones and certain other common electronic screens to focus on … more
When We Were Strangers by Alex Richards (Bloomsbury). A YA novel, actually, though you mightn’t notice unless you’re a really attentive reader. Central characters are young and in the … more
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