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Behold the Dreamers: A Novel

“Behold the Dreamers” suffers from a dearth of action, the Wall Street crash qualifying as the only exception, albeit one relegated to the background. Mbue partially compensates for this deficit by injecting the story with generous doses of suspense.


I'm Supposed to Protect You from All This: A Memoir

“I’m Supposed to Protect You From All This” is a compelling first effort by a 29-year-old who refuses to protect herself, or her readers, from the complexities and cruelties of motherhood.


How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything: Tales from the Pentagon

Brooks provides a masterful analysis of how global connectedness has created vast new responsibilities (and vulnerabilities) for the armed forces of the United States.


Where the Jews Aren't: The Sad and Absurd Story of Birobidzhan, Russia's Jewish Autonomous Region

Her sad and absurd tale is less about a failed social experiment and more about the contradictions of writing without roots while longing for home.


The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race

Its subjects, blackness and black people, are at the root of the U.S. nation-state, the ever-present other, still so often the source of its poetry, pain and promise, and here in this book they, too, sing America.


Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon

In these pages, Mr. Tye conscientiously strips away the accretions of myth that have come to surround Robert F. Kennedy, while at the same time creating a sympathetic portrait of this complex, searching man — a genuine pilgrim and a hard-nosed politician, a fierce romantic dedicated to “the art of the possible.”


An Abbreviated Life

It is about understanding and recovery, and about looking back in order to take the first step forward.


The Veins of the Ocean: A Novel

“The Veins of the Ocean” is its own willing plunge into deeper, darker realms.


Pond

“Pond” makes the case for Bennett as an innovative writer of real talent.


How to Set a Fire and Why: A Novel

It may be Ball’s deliberate strategy to make us watch his story drift away into a fog of vague language, but it also fails to bring out what is most memorable about one of his most vivid and engaging characters, Lucia Stanton.


Miss Jane: A Novel

The complexity and drama of Watson’s gorgeous work here is life’s as well: Sometimes physical realities expand us, sometimes trap; sometimes heroism lies in combating our helplessness, sometimes in accepting it.


Chronicle of a Last Summer: A Novel of Egypt

El Rashidi offers a sharply perceptive and judiciously accurate portrait of Egypt’s complex culture.


The Latter Days: A Memoir

“The Latter Days” is clean, strong and deep, a raging river of a story that its author carried until she couldn’t hold it back. It is an arrow straight from Mormon country, from the Mountain West and from the heart.


Heroes of the Frontier

In the abrupt end, Eggers stops us short, giving us a shaggy dog story that starts to give you its paw and then seems to think the better of it.


Pond

She’s diffused our often confusing and chaotic world into something more manageable, yet all the while making itty-bitty molehills into mountains.


Losing It: A Novel

Rathbone’s accuracy is what makes her so funny; it’s her grace as a writer that elevates this book from a series of comedic one-liners to art.


Brazillionaires: Wealth, Power, Decadence, and Hope in an American Country

Brazillionaires is a welcome addition to the very sparse canon of good books about Brazil.


Julian Fellowes's Belgravia

A fast-paced novel set in Victorian England that has every human foible and emotion on display.... [M]ost readers won’t begrudge the satisfying conclusion to an absorbing story.