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The Death of Bees

Wild, witty and as funny as it is unsettling, "The Death of Bees" is really about both the strength of sisters, the sparkle of imagination and how even the most motley of half lives can somehow coalesce into a shining whole.

See Now Then

One can't help thinking that Kincaid's easily Googleable ex-husband will not be pleased by the arrival of "See Now Then." How should the rest of us feel? Exhilarated, grateful - and relieved, perhaps, that Kincaid can't see inside our own heads.

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories

We're meant to be charmed by the twee sad sack of these bits - the cover copy goes for words like "enchanting" and "sweet" - but we're left wondering when he'll grow up.

The Love Song of Jonny Valentine: A Novel

"The Love Song of Jonny Valentine" is a fun, highly diverting read.

Kill Anything That Moves

"Kill Anything That Moves" is a paradigm-shifting, connect-the-dots history of American atrocities that reads like a thriller; it will convince those with the stomach to read it that all these decades later Americans, certainly the military brass and the White House, still haven't drawn the right lesson from Vietnam - which was that billions were spent to wantonly slaughter as many as 2 million civilians, and that this slaughter was the official policy.

Both Flesh and Not: Essays

This is the sort of prose, the sort of particularity, the almost violent anti-pretentiousness while also pulling absolutely no aesthetic, ethical punches, that makes me love David Foster Wallace.

Harvest: A Novel

In his compassionate curiosity and his instincts for insurgent uncertainty, Crace surely ranks among our greatest novelists of radical upheaval, a perfect fit for our unstable, unforgiving age.

See Now Then

See Now Then” is the kind of lumpy exorcism that many writers would have composed and then allowed to remain unpublished. It picks up no moral weight as it rolls along. It asks little of us, and gives little in return.

The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories

If you’re tired of going to bed with flabby, self-important books that push you into long-term commitments and rarely deliver on their promises, treat yourself this Valentine’s Day to a box of Godiva chocolates and Simon Rich’s hysterical new story collection, “The Last Girlfriend on Earth.” It just might be the best one-night stand you’ll ever have.

Love in the Time of Algorithms: What Technology Does to Meeting and Mating

His book is worth at least a speed date.

The House Girl

If only Josephine’s stirring tale had been emancipated from the story of her modern-day defender, “The House Girl” might have run free.

The Painted Girls: A Novel

The Painted Girls is a captivating story of fate, tarnished ambition and the ultimate triumph of sister-love.

Touch & Go

A character says in the beginning of the novel, “Pain has a flavor. The question is, what does it taste like to you?” Touch & Go is the opposite of pain; it’s a total pleasure.

Drinking with Men: A Memoir

There’s never a last call for alcohol, though, and maybe that’s not what Rosie Schaap needs at all. Whatever it is, you hope she finds it, because even with its missing pieces, Drinking With Men makes you wish the best for this tender barfly.

Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data

Naked Statistics poses five specific questions in its conclusion that statistics can help answer, including “What is the Future of Football?” and “Who Gets to Know What About You?,” but the book is filled with practical lessons, like how to judge the validity of polls, why you should never buy a lottery ticket, and how to keep an eye out for red flags in public statements.

Vampires in the Lemon Grove: Stories

If Vampires in the Lemon Grove is an indicator of the future, Russell’s stories will be seizing our imaginations — and nibbling at the edges of our nightmares — for years to come.

Harvest: A Novel

As with Crace's other novels, "Harvest" is deftly written, in language — formal, slightly archaic even — that reflects the setting it describes.

Give Me Everything You Have

This lack of perspective crops up earlier in the book. Amid Lasdun's well-articulated feelings of bafflement and dismay at being stalked, there are stretches of obliviousness: to power relationships, to nuance in language, even to how he tells the story.

Citizenville: How to Take the Town Square Digital and Reinvent Government

Newsom's is a boosterish approach: Government openness can result only in improved civic life. Get government out of the way and let entrepreneurs figure out how to use the reams of data collected by government agencies. By creating apps, mostly.

The Gathering Dark

Despite the brief turn-around towards the end, The Gathering Dark is not a book I can easily recommend. My first book by Christine Johnson will now most likely be my last.