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South and West: From a Notebook

In “South and West: From a Notebook,” they exemplify Didion’s signature brand of reportorial haiku — her pitiless camera eye, razor-sharp wit and telling techniques of self-deprecation that only bring the reader — at least this reader — further along for the ride.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

The novel is an alluring escape, a satisfying and vivid fable that uses an Akha belief to tap into our own longings for coincidence.

A Train through Time: A Life, Real and Imagined

“A Train Through Time” offers the reader an opportunity to “ride along” with an intelligent and reflective narrator as she inventories her life and offers us an insider’s view of some of the most morally challenging moments in our country’s history.

Edgar and Lucy

For all of its existential searching, “Edgar and Lucy” ends up being a riveting and exuberant ride, maybe best described by its young protagonist’s musings about his nascent life.

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Snyder’s beautifully weighted book is the perfect clear-eyed antidote to that deliberate philistinism

A House Full of Daughters

Here, brilliantly laid bare, are both the trials of being a daughter and of documenting daughterhood in all its complexity.

The Kingdom

While it lacks the force of Carrère’s magnificent Limonov, and though the interventionist approach can be irksome, The Kingdom is full of riches, impassioned and fanatically honest.

Exit West: A Novel

“Exit West” is lit with hope. Hamid has said that “part of the great political crisis we face in the world today is a failure to imagine plausible desirable futures,” and that “fiction can imagine differently.”

The Evening Road

His gaze remains steady on his troubled narrators, caught in moments of crisis — spilling secrets, facing difficult choices.

Other Minds

The beauty of Godfrey-Smith’s book lies in the clarity of his writing; his empathy, if you will.


Vivid and immersive, Pachinko is a rich tribute to a people that history seems intent on erasing.

In This Grave Hour

Winspear teeters on the brink of stating the emotionally obvious at times but largely pulls back and weaves a convincing historical drama together with a rocky journey for her heroine.

The Devil's Triangle

After all that’s been written about the ark in countless adventure stories, it’s hard to find any new ground to cover. But there are action and thrills aplenty in Coulter and Ellison’s new addition to their Brit in the FBI series (The End Game, 2015, etc.).

The Cutthroat

Despite an awkward transition or two and a bit of padding (there’s a recipe for Welsh rarebit), the Bell series hits the right note for those who like crime fiction with a unique setting.

The Idiot

The central meaning here seems to be simple: Life is a mundane process that plays out over dull conversations and seemingly unimportant crushes, but it’s the banal that creates a self.

Exit West: A Novel

The skies in Hamid’s novel are as likely to be populated by helicopters, drones and bombs as they are by dreams and twinkling stars.

In the Name of the Family: A Novel

Dunant is sensitive to contemporary echoes and so offers into the bargain a lesson from history for our divided age.

The Price of Illusion: A Memoir

As she recovers from her addiction to Conde Nast and fashion, Joan Juliet Buck is at last free to be the writer she always wanted to be.

Every Hidden Thing

While the writing’s earthiness might deter some, it brings the thrill of discovery, first love and a nail-biting chase vividly alive in this dinosaur adventure emphatically for older readers.