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South and West: From a Notebook

In “South and West: From a Notebook,” they exemplify Didion’s signature brand of reportorial haiku — her pitiless camera eye, razor-sharp wit and telling techniques of self-deprecation that only bring the reader — at least this reader — further along for the ride.

The Idiot

“The Idiot” is not just a campus novel but also a vibrant novel of ideas, and we see in young Selin a nascent literary scholar and travel writer with a propensity for analysis, connections and mordant wit.

The Evening Road

His gaze remains steady on his troubled narrators, caught in moments of crisis — spilling secrets, facing difficult choices.

A Train through Time: A Life, Real and Imagined

“A Train Through Time” offers the reader an opportunity to “ride along” with an intelligent and reflective narrator as she inventories her life and offers us an insider’s view of some of the most morally challenging moments in our country’s history.

Exit West: A Novel

“Exit West” is lit with hope. Hamid has said that “part of the great political crisis we face in the world today is a failure to imagine plausible desirable futures,” and that “fiction can imagine differently.”

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

The novel is an alluring escape, a satisfying and vivid fable that uses an Akha belief to tap into our own longings for coincidence.

Edgar and Lucy

For all of its existential searching, “Edgar and Lucy” ends up being a riveting and exuberant ride, maybe best described by its young protagonist’s musings about his nascent life.

The Kingdom

While it lacks the force of Carrère’s magnificent Limonov, and though the interventionist approach can be irksome, The Kingdom is full of riches, impassioned and fanatically honest.

A House Full of Daughters

Here, brilliantly laid bare, are both the trials of being a daughter and of documenting daughterhood in all its complexity.

On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Snyder’s beautifully weighted book is the perfect clear-eyed antidote to that deliberate philistinism