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The book is, like Robinson’s other books, a little jewel. Her finely crafted text sometimes takes on a poetic feel and she is a master of those moving denouements that bring a tear to the eyes.

Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption

The message of this book, hammered home by dramatic examples of one man’s refusal to sit quietly and countenance horror, is that evil can be overcome, a difference can be made. “Just Mercy” will make you upset and it will make you hopeful.

Mr. Bones: Twenty Stories

“Mr. Bones” is a series of characteristically dark and sharply focused snapshots from the world that Paul Theroux has observed — and ­invented.

The Betrayers: A Novel

“The Betrayers” can serve as a master class for fledgling writers, and an inspiration for any reader trying to figure out how novels will be saved.

Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America

It offers a tempering reminder of how Johnson’s notorious insecurities and egotism, as well as his misbegotten policy in Vietnam, brought him down.

The Zone of Interest: A novel

The Zone of Interest is a frustration. Amis only has so many books left in him. This is a rather large mulligan very near the end.

The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher

Relentless bleakness, what Mantel may deem the opposite of sentimentality, is its own limitation, a shadow sentimentality that also omits at the author's whim large swatches of life: the loveliness and mercy. And for what?

Nora Webster: A Novel

"Nora Webster" is a surprising book. It's provincial, gray, pensive, good-hearted and may actually be a perfect work of fiction. At the least, it's very very good.

Some Luck: A novel

The rolling out of all those life events, big and small, have a cumulative, thought-provoking effect.

The Zone of Interest: A novel

This turns out to be a much more volatile irony, and a more resonant one, than any of Amis’ more controlled and controlling satirical interventions.

Wolf in White Van

The book is not the kind of rallying cry or dark comfort that Mountain Goats fans are used to, but a complex meditation—partially about the potential costs of those very cries and comforts.

How to Build a Girl

Johanna may fumble in projecting her vision to the world, but her internal monologue speaks with the steady wisdom and pointing wit of a certain world-famous 39-year-old humorist.

The Secret Place
Slate : Safe as Houses (October 07, 2014)

The map she draws with the Dublin Murder Squad series is layered and relational: The street view always depends on who’s looking.

Slate : A Likeness of Wings (October 06, 2014)

Lila is easily the richest and most satisfying in this triptych of masterly works.

Consumed: A Novel
Slate : Bibliodrome (October 07, 2014)

Cronenberg’s prose reads as though he’s transcribing the sound and image of a movie he hasn’t made.

All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid
Slate : Monkey Business (October 08, 2014)

Bai’s important call for perspective is a reminder to all of us in the press and the electorate to recognize the complexity of the human condition, whether we’re casting aside candidates because they wear a funny helmet in a tank or because they once committed adultery.

On Immunity
Slate : Vaccine as Metaphor (October 09, 2014)

Biss’s reading of the political dimensions of vaccination, on the ways in which one’s own health and sickness are contingent on that of others, is particularly thoughtful and penetrating.

Slate : Blackness Visible (October 17, 2014)

Its genius resides in that capacity to make so many different versions of American life proper to itself, to instruct us in the depth and variety of our participation in a narrative of race that we recount and reinstate, even when we speak as though it weren’t there.

Slate : The Plath Cure (October 10, 2014)

For those who are familiar with The Bell Jar, this is a chance to see it again through the fresh eyes of teenagers, and a fine companion piece for those who are unsure of how to manage the darkness.

Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes

Bitter is as judicious and wise a cookbook as the taste can hope for.