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Sunday, May 12, 2019

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

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Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times by Gregory Cowles, Senior Editor, Books. 

The other day, comparing notes on the books that have kept us company lately, some of us realized that things had somehow taken a very sinister turn. (Murder, extinction, bubonic plague and “The Handmaid’s Tale.” And we weren’t even asking Marilyn “I’m down with cannibals” Stasio.)

Consider this week’s list of recommended titles a kind of penance, then. It’s May, after all, and in this part of the world the trees have started budding and the birds that aren’t extinct have started singing. What better time to read Ali Smith’s novel “Spring,” which balances its political anxieties with emotional complexity and a warmth appropriate to the season? Continuing with fiction, you might pick up Stewart O’Nan’s character study “Henry, Himself,” or settle in with Julie Orringer’s historical novel “The Flight Portfolio,” about Varian Fry’s exploits saving dissidents from the Nazis. Jennifer duBois is back, with a novel about a talk-show host who goes too far, and Laila Lalami sets her latest novel in the towns of the Mojave Desert, where a hit-and-run death ties together the stories of nine very different characters.

The more-or-less-good vibes continue in nonfiction, with Paul Mendes-Flohr’s consideration of the great religious philosopher Martin Buber; Oliver Sacks’s vivacious final essays; Sheri Berman’s cleareyed analysis of European democracy and its fitful gains; and a look back at the 2008 financial crisis by the economists who did most to save us from the brink of disaster. Just don’t ask them about the future.

Source: New York Times