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Sunday, October 29, 2017

12 New Books We Recommend This Week | New York Times - Book Review

Editors’ Choice

The millions of fans of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy have something to be very happy about this season: the start of a new trilogy, companion to the first, called “The Book of Dust.” 

Photo: New York Times

Pullman’s invented universe is a wonder to behold, but so is the meticulously drawn world of New York City in Julia Wertz’s graphic homage, “Tenements, Towers & Trash.” Speaking of garbage, Joe Ide’s new mystery starts in a junkyard with evidence that points to murder; can his charismatic leading man, Isaiah Quintabe, crack the case? Books about Russian history and current events round out our list this week, from biographies of Lenin and Stalin to Masha Gessen’s study of post-Soviet life, “The Future Is History.”

TENEMENTS, TOWERS & TRASH: An Unconventional Illustrated History of New York City, by Julia Wertz. (Black Dog & Leventhal, $29.99.) 

Wertz has become a cult favorite for her graphic memoirs, which take on serious themes — her alcoholism and chronic illness — while leaving room for silly stoner humor. Her new book is a departure, focusing on her great love, New York. “It’s a passionate anatomy of the city,” our critic Parul Sehgal writes, “a book of dramatic streetscapes and hidden histories — mostly of infamous women, like the 19th-century celebrity abortionist Madame Restell, who catered to socialites and built her Fifth Avenue mansion a block away from a Catholic church, supposedly to taunt the faithful.” 

THE RED-HAIRED WOMAN, by Orhan Pamuk. Translated by Ekin Oklap. (Knopf, $27.95.) 

In his latest novel, Pamuk traces the disastrous effects of a Turkish teenager’s brief encounter with a married actress, elaborating on his fiction’s familiar themes: the tensions between East and West, traditional habits and modern life, the secular and the sacred. Larded throughout the novel are references to two ancient and opposite tragedies of fathers and sons.

LENIN: The Man, the Dictator, and the Master of Terror, by Victor Sebestyen. (Pantheon, $35.) Sebestyen has managed to produce a first-rate thriller by detailing the cynicism and murderous ambition of the founder of the Soviet Union. Lenin foreshadowed a thoroughly “modern political phenomenon,” the author writes: he was the “godfather…of ‘post-truth politics.’”

Source: New York Times 

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