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You Don't Have to Live Like This

Markovits’s seventh work of fiction is a considered examination of tense race relations, warning us that communities are delicate ecosystems that shouldn’t be tampered with, even by those with the best of intentions.


Ideal

Plausible imagery is not Rand’s strong suit.


Go Set a Watchman

By publishing Go Set a Watchman now, Harper Lee has merely demolished a fiction; if she’d published it then, she might have prolonged that era’s most intolerable facts.


Blood Brothers

In part it’s this raw honesty, along with Michael Hofmann’s masterly translation, which makes the book so contemporary and vital.


To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is a beautifully rendered book, and yes it does still feel relevant - its discussions of racism and the attributes ascribed to certain people because of their ethnicity are discussions we're still having today.


Immunity

The novel feels effortlessly assembled. Its pacing is precise, its characterization vivid, its prose clear and unfussy.


Midnight's Furies: The Deadly Legacy of India's Partition

It may be that all good books arouse an expectation they cannot wholly satisfy. “Midnight’s Furies” is a good book but ultimately a small one.


China Rich Girlfriend: A Novel

Kwan speaks of this culture with the authoritative tone of an insider, and the best passages are his footnotes with anthropological analysis detailing the habits of various subspecies of “crazy rich Asians.”


Summerlong

If you’re looking for a sustained, intensely meaningful performance, the novel may disappoint. But if you’re down for a fling — complete with titillating premises and foregone conclusions — then dive in. It’s summertime, after all.


Go Set a Watchman

Though it lacks the lyricism of “Mockingbird,” the portions of “Watchman” dealing with Scout’s childhood and her adult romance with Henry capture the daily rhythms of life in a small town and are peppered with portraits of minor characters whose circumscribed lives can feel like Barbara Pym salted with some down-home American humor.


Big Science: Ernest Lawrence and the Invention that Launched the Military-Industrial Complex

Hiltzik’s tale is important for understanding how science and politics entwine in the United States, and he moves it along efficiently, with striking details and revealing quotations.


The Weather Experiment

Moore’s history is just as evocative, and full of wisdom for modern times.


I Saw a Man: A Novel

It is a measure of Mr. Sheers’s artfulness and exquisite narrative control that even though he withholds for half of the novel the solution to the mystery posed in the first paragraph, he never loses us.


In Search of Sir Thomas Browne: The Life and Afterlife of the Seventeenth Century's Most Inquiring Mind

The book does not merely seek to revive Browne as a pivotal figure in the history of English prose: a minor writer with a major style.


Go Set a Watchman

“Go Set a Watchman’s” greatest asset may be its role in sparking frank discussion about America’s woeful track record when it comes to racial equality.


A Master Plan for Rescue: A Novel

“A Master Plan for Rescue” balances beautifully on the thin line between wishful thinking and reason, between the imagination and the intellect.


Blackout: Remembering the Things I Drank to Forget

Blackout is certainly an inspirational story, but without the insufferable clichéd platitudes of self-help.


The Fellowship

Like the parson’s egg, The Fellowship is excellent in parts.


You Don't Have to Live Like This

You Don’t Have to Live Like This comes at the perfect time, extracting white attitudes about race and justice, and ever so gently forcing us to think about them, even when, like Marny, we’d prefer just to watch.


Trials of Passion: Crimes in the Name of Love and Madness

This is fascinating stuff with an intriguing feminist perspective on the topic. Anyone who enjoys legal thrillers with a psychological edge will open this book like a birthday present.