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The Zero Marginal Cost Society

If Rifkin’s predictions have value, however, it is in bringing home the extent of the technologically induced upheaval that may lie ahead. How we deal with the consequences is up to us.


The UnAmericans: Stories

One senses here that Antopol is indeed writing what she knows. And one wants to tell her to do only that in the future. But also to keep in mind that there is more to life than the one wrong turn — and that there ought to be more to fiction as well.


Silence Once Begun: A Novel

In this book Ball the poet and novelist joins forces with “Ball” the lovelorn journalist to relate a piercing tragedy in a language that combines subtlety and simplicity in such a way that it causes a reader to go carefully, not wanting to miss a word.


The Spinning Heart: A Novel

These are men and women with hard lives and soft hearts, many speaking in lively, unaffected idiom.


Stokely: A Life

His life, as this biography so adroitly establishes, is central to understanding the primary lesson of the 1960s for black America. It was the point at which the country came to a moral fork in the road and opted to go straight.


The Sun and Other Stars: A Novel

Despite a mostly hollow (and very large) supporting cast, the sincerity of this tale of psychological recovery gratifies.


A Place in the Country

“A Place in the Country” extends Sebald’s canon deeper into the past, and into the Alemannic (which the translator Jo Catling defines as the region comprising southwest Germany, northwest Switzerland and Alsace).


The Orchard of Lost Souls

Only Mohamed’s luminous prose lights the way and checks the relentlessness of the narrative.


More Than Conquerors

Hustad has written a generous and arresting account of an upbringing that might have turned a lesser writer bitter.


Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century

Fong tells a good story, and in this time of unrelenting criticism of our medical system, we need to be reminded of how much we’ve learned in the past hundred years, how much we know, how miraculous it all is, what a blessing.


A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man

It’s a fascinating story, but also an exceptionally knotty one.


The Free

The challenge for the writer of social realism is to enlist the plastic qualities of fiction to produce something lifelike, in which artifice creates the shimmer of recognition.


Every Day Is for the Thief: Fiction

This is an extraordinary novel, a radiant meditation on the nature of happiness and faith, corruption, misfortune and belonging.


The Story of the Jews

In this revealing and moving book, though, Schama shows that exiling the Jews from our histories is not so simple.


The Blazing World: A Novel

Hustvedt wraps literary allusions into this extraordinary puzzle — there are echoes of Pygmalion in Harry’s relationship with young Anton Tish, the first of her artistic alter egos, and Frankenstein’s monster imagery recurs throughout.


Astoria

In his new book, “Astoria,” veteran journalist Peter Stark tells the story of how that primordial Astor tried to make good on a dream that might have gone far beyond simple money-making.


Everything I Ever Needed to Know About _____* I Learned from Monty Python

With helpful books like this one, readers may be made more alert to the persistent absurdities of modern life and to the bracing anarchy preached by Monty Python.


Devotion and Defiance: My Journey in Love, Faith and Politics

On page after page, we meet women who have been tormented by jealous husbands, shunned suitors or cruel in-laws — and then victimized again by indifferent authority figures or institutions of law and order.


Overwhelmed

Although it illuminates a painfully familiar experience, “Overwhelmed” doesn’t speak for or about everyone. It lingers most on the conditions under which middle-class mothers and fathers labor, but the Overwhelm afflicts the child-free, too.


A Circle of Wives

Who killed the doctor? I’m not telling, but I finished reading this absorbing novel after 11 last night. That’s the mark of a successful mystery.