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The Tropic of Serpents

The Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan is a great follow-up to A Natural History of Dragons.

You Should Have Known

Ms. Korelitz is able to glide smoothly from a watchful, occasional sinister comedy of New York manners into a much more alarming type of story.

The Empathy Exams

I’m not sure I’m capable of recommending a book because it might make you a better person. But watching the philosopher in Ms. Jamison grapple with empathy is a heart-expanding exercise.

The Blazing World: A Novel

“The Blazing World” offers a spirited romp through art history, Continental philosophy, psychiatry and neurobiology as its initial premise widens into extended meditations on how perception is determined by cultural preconceptions, on the limits of artificial intelligence and on the dialogic nature of artistic creation.

Wonderkid: A Novel

Wesley Stace’s winningly dry, occasionally hilarious and enervatingly long-winded novel about a popular 1990s rock band for kids.

Worst. Person. Ever.

In “Worst. Person. Ever.” Coupland offers an excess-on-excess satire of what he may see as the worst culture ever.


Mostly good suggestions. But like all self-help advice, they don’t measure up against the entrenched forces that are indifferent if not hostile to the emotional well-being of a majority of Americans.

Every Day Is for the Thief: Fiction

A less stylish writer would have become bogged down by the demands of narrative, spelling out the narrator’s relationships with his family and friends in a way that “Every Day Is for the Thief” deftly avoids.

Long Man: A novel

“Long Man” carries the weight of tragedy, but in Greene’s hands it does not feel excessively tragic.


Nevertheless, this is a memorable book. Terse, outraged at the inhumanity, the environmental and cultural ruination, “Marshlands” is a work of insistent witness.

The Man Who Loved Dogs

“The Man who Loved Dogs,” beautifully rendered into English by Anna Kushner, is an exhaustively reported work, chockablock with history — from the Russian Revolution, the rise of fascism and Stalin’s show trials to the steely suffocation of post-Castro Cuba.

American Fun: Four Centuries of Joyous Revolt

The historian who revisits well-trodden ground must offer either something new or at least a new way of looking at it. In “American Fun” John Beckman does both — stringing unfamiliar episodes of U.S. history together in a new and ingenious way.

The Black-Eyed Blonde

“The Black-Eyed Blonde” is all riffs and echoes and ultimately — to borrow another Chandlerism — as empty as a headwaiter’s smile.

American Spartan

“American Spartan” is the real-life story of living a fantasy, sprinkled with allusions to an impossibly ambitious strategy.

Frog Music: A Novel

Call it a mind-bendingly original crime novel, or a dazzling historical mystery, but in the end, this is a really a book about love - a mother's love for a strange child, for an exotic friend and finally, for herself.

The Empathy Exams

I prefer a little less moral outrage and solemnity in essays than I'm getting here, and a little more humor, balance, perspective and (why not?) stoicism.

The Haunted Life: and Other Writings

The real surprise in "The Haunted Life" is not the discovery of a lost manuscript, but of how much - after hundreds of books, dozens of movies, an infinity of articles and learned opinions - we still have to learn about the man and writer Jack Kerouac.

A Sliver of Light: Three Americans Imprisoned in Iran

An uncensored memoir that not only shows that time served can be worthwhile, but also worthy.

Frog Music: A Novel

Inspired by an account of this crime she read years ago in a museum gift shop book, Donoghue takes this event and puts her formidable, eloquent mark on it.


Lockstep is an enjoyable novel that will probably go down well with younger readers and with those who are in the mood for a quick, light read.