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JACK by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The column has been talking about “straight” fiction, deeply felt, carefully characterized novels. Marilynne Robinson is that and then … more
JACK by Marilynne Robinson (Farrar, Straus and Giroux). The column has been talking about “straight” fiction, deeply felt, carefully characterized novels. Marilynne Robinson is that and then … more
IS THIS ANYTHING? by Jerry Seinfeld (Simon & Schuster). Don't look this book over in a shop; but do by all means take it home. The first few minutes of browsing—well, once past the welcoming and … more
THE END OF THE DAY by Bill Clegg (Gallery/Scout Press). What a good season this is turning out to be for deeply intelligent, emotionally stirring fiction! This is a novel for serious readers, about … more
FAMILY IN SIX TONES by Lan Cao and Harlan Margaret Cao (Viking). An extraordinary, inspiring joint memoir. A couple of smart, strong, and strong-minded people, here. The mother a Vietnamese American … more
ANXIOUS PEOPLE by Frederik Backman (Simon & Schuster). Backman is yet another famous and beloved writer that the column has overlooked. He's out of the ordinary in a number of ways, all of which help … more
ANALOGIA: THE EMERGENCE OF TECHNOLOGY BEYOND PROGRAMMABLE CONTROL by George Dyson (Farrar, Straus & Giroux). Okay, so the title is nearly meaningless, and the subtitle might scare you teeth-clenching … more
HOLLOW KINGDOM by Kira Jane Buxton (Grand Central). This is a week with five (count 'em) terrific books; all equally a pleasure to recommend, but the other four are more easily described. This one is … more
FALLOUT: THE HIROSHIMA COVER-UP AND THE REPORTER WHO . . . by Lesley M. M. Blume (Simon & Schuster). If you've read John Hersey's classic book on America's nuclear behavior in Japan, you mightn't … more
A PRIVATE CATHEDRAL by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster). The big new Dave Robicheaux crime epic (but then, more)—as always, self-contained, can be read as a stand-alone. I've been saying he gets … more
ON CORRUPTION IN AMERICA: AND WHAT IS AT STAKE by Sarah Chayes (Knopf). Journalist, is what she and her publisher call Chayes. The job description, scholar and philosopher of expensively attired, … more
SUMMER by Ali Smith (Pantheon). There's little more for me to tell you about this most exhilarating of masterpieces. There's this: Even though I've said that it didn't matter much in what order you … more
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