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ISBN-13: 9780393081572
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company, 4/2013

Books of The Times

Food and You, From One End to the Other

‘Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal,’ by Mary Roach


"Gulp” is far and away her funniest and most sparkling book, bringing Ms. Roach’s love of weird science to material that could not have more everyday relevance. Having graduated from corpses (“Stiff”), the afterlife (“Spook”) and sex (“Bonk,” full of stunts featuring Ms. Roach as guinea pig), she takes on a subject wholly mainstream. She explores it with unalloyed merriment. And she is fearless about the embarrassment that usually accompanies it. 



Life After Life (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9781565122550
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Shannon Ravenel Books, 3/2013


Learning 'Life' Lessons With McCorkle's Seniors

March 27, 2013 7:00 AM 


McCorkle's novel glistens with empathy for quirky, often flawed but above all believably human characters who are trying to navigate challenging relationships with spouses, parents and children. Her gentle wit and sympathetic portrayal of the offbeat and the elderly evoke Anne Tyler as well as several Southern storytellers, including Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Clyde Edgerton and All Things Considered commentator Bailey White. As in Thornton Wilder's Our Town, a not entirely rosy portrait emerges of a small community where people know a lot about each other — though often not the most important things — and where the dead live on in local memory.

ISBN-13: 9780802120755
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Published: Grove Press, 3/2013


'I Want to Show You More,' Jamie Quatro


Updated 4:01 pm, Friday, March 15, 2013

The writing itself also moves between the real and the unreal, with roughly half of the stories falling into the realm of magic realism. It might be natural to draw comparisons between some of today's great short fiction writers, such as Amy HempelLydia Davis and David Means, but with these imaginative stories, Quatro very much establishes her own distinctive voice and style.



ISBN-13: 9781594204579
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Penguin Press HC, The, 3/2013

The Washington Post

Hugo Chavez — where Marx met Oprah.

'Comandante' by Rory Carroll

By , Published: March 6

We see, in this vivid narrative, a government that is Shakespearean in its failings. By 2000, one year after Chavez was installed, a campaign everyone could believe in — rout the corrupt! elevate the poor! invigorate the nation! — had produced a clone of Cuba’s faltering communist state. “Fatherland, socialism or death!” had replaced the old Venezuelan battle cry, “Patria o muerte!,” and Chavez made no secret that he would go to any length to see that things went his way.


ISBN-13: 9780374263041
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Published: Sarah Crichton Books, 2/2013

The Sound of Silence

‘Shouting Won’t Help,’ by Katherine Bouton

Katherine Bouton reveals how deeply deafness and denial are linked in “Shouting Won’t Help,” her memoir of coping with adult-onset hearing loss. A decline in auditory function is almost a default feature of aging, with over two-thirds of adults 70 or older afflicted by at least some hearing loss. But the author is one of the millions of people whose hearing began failing when she was much younger, and she masterfully depicts its effects on her personal and professional life. 



ISBN-13: 9780307957238
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 2/2013

I don't have a good track record when it comes to raving about Karen Russell. Last year, along with my two fellow judges, I nominated Russell's novel, Swamplandia!, as well as two other finalists, for the Pulitzer Prize. Result? The Pulitzer Board made headlines by deciding not to give out the award in Fiction. Nevertheless, I rave on: this time about Russell's new short story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Russell is so grand a writer — so otherworldly, yet emotionally devastating; so daffy and daring — that she doesn't need an imprimatur to stake her claim to literary genius.


ISBN-13: 9781250025739
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: St. Martin's Press, 2/2013

Books of The Times

Stalking a Most Prolific Phantom

‘Banksy: The Man Behind the Wall,’ by Will Ellsworth-Jones


Mr. Ellsworth-Jones’s book is at its most fascinating in tracing Banksy’s evolution from outsider, spraying walls in Bristol like dozens of other young graffiti practitioners, to international artist with work that “commands hundreds of thousands of pounds in the auction houses of Britain and America.” He is adept at examining some of the existential dilemmas this success created for Banksy — dilemmas shared by many outsider and counterculture artists, who suddenly find their work embraced by the very mainstream they’d once scorned.



See Now Then (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780374180560
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 9/2012


'See Now Then,' by Jamaica Kincaid

Updated 6:45 pm, Friday, February 8, 2013

The language here is so charged with epic feeling, so deliberately grandiose, that each time the stuff of contemporary American life pops up - McDonald's Happy Meals, Kmart, Ralph Lauren, Michael Jordan - we're startled into the recognition that this story is set in our own time.

ISBN-13: 9780312674465
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Picador, 1/2013

Ogawa makes each of the stories seem like odd, if convincing, standalone works of short fiction and at the same time like metafictional products created by the characters in several of the stories. Are you reading about a trip to the zoo in a novel by one of the characters, or a trip to the zoo in a story by Ogawa? By the time you begin to recognize this paradox as the guiding principle of the stories, you're in too far to stop.





ISBN-13: 9781594486043
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Riverhead Hardcover, 1/2013


'The Miniature Wife,' by Manuel Gonzales

Updated 5:30 pm, Friday, January 25, 2013
The stronger stories showcase Gonzales' fecund imaginative abilities. There are true moments of Kafkaesque absurdity and Borgesian fantasy, but also hints that Gonzales is tracing that long line of Russian surrealists, from Gogol's madcap antics to Ludmila Petrushevskaya's bleak little fairy tales. Wakeful dreams darken into living nightmares. Confusion and clarity are equally dangerous.

Umbrella (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780802120724
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Grove Press, 1/2013

Books of The Times

A Swollen Stream of Consciousness

‘Umbrella’ by Will Self

You give yourself over to “Umbrella” in flashes, as if it were a radio station you’re unable to tune in that you suspect is playing the most beautiful song you will ever hear. Just when you are ready to give up on it entirely, this novel locks into moments of ungodly beauty and radiant moral sympathy. It tests your patience. It tests your nerve. You will not always be convinced the effort is worth it. 


My Beloved World (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780307594884
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Knopf, 1/2013
Sotomayor's most engaging writing comes in these chapters on higher education, when she reckons with the consequences of affirmative action and the social gaps that separated her from richer classmates. 

ISBN-13: 9780399161643
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Blue Rider Press, 11/2012

Books of The Times

If Lebowski Calls, Will You Be in? Or Out Bowling?

Jeff Bridges and Bernie Glassman’s ‘Dude and the Zen Master’

“The Dude and the Zen Master,” fortunately, is not just less but also more than it wants to be. It includes compelling discussions of Mr. Bridges’s marriage, acting technique and close relationship with his father, the actor Lloyd Bridges, who died in 1998. Many readers may not know Mr. Glassman, a former aeronautical engineer who has used Buddhist teachings, which many treat as an excuse to withdraw from the world, to start effective, lasting programs to help the poor and the homeless. 


ISBN-13: 9781451657845
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Atria Books, 12/2012

Books of The Times

Time Passes, but a Song’s Time Doesn’t

‘The Holy or the Broken’ by Alan Light

Mr. Light, a frequent contributor to The New York Times, is a fine companion for this journey through one song’s changing fortunes. He occasionally has the magazine writer’s weakness of using slight interviews that have been conducted on the fly. But most of his conversations about the song, its writer and its many interpreters are thoughtful and illuminating. 





ISBN-13: 9780743236713
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Scribner, 11/2012


'Far From the Tree,' by Andrew Solomon

Published 10:01 a.m., Monday, November 26, 2012
Part journalist, part psychology researcher, part sympathetic listener, Solomon's true talent is a geographic one: He maps the strange terrain of the human struggle that is parenting. "Far From the Tree" is the product of a decade of research and interviews with 300 families. For each horizontal identity under discussion, Solomon moves easily from often-harrowing individual stories, told largely in the subjects' own words, to broader observations informed by his theoretical research, and arrives at a surprising level of synthesis.

Grace: A Memoir (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780812993356
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House, 11/2012

Books Of the Times

The Very Model of a Fashion Insider

Grace Coddington Gives Inside Look at Vogue in Memoir

Ms. Coddington’s work as an editor does not outglam her youthful adventure stories. But it’s at the heart of this book, and she presents it with both passion and whimsy. She fills the book with comedic little sketches and handily caricatures many friends and colleagues.


Sweet Tooth (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780385536820
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Published: Nan A. Talese, 11/2012

SF Gate

'Sweet Tooth,' by Ian McEwan

Sylvia Brownrigg

Monday, November 19th, 2012


For the experienced McEwan reader, in addition to the suspense created by the plot - how long can Serena keep her real work a secret? What is the story behind the death of her Cambridge lover? - there is the titillated registering of parallels between Haley's biography and McEwan's own.

Waging Heavy Peace (Hardcover)

ISBN-13: 9780399159466
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 days
Published: Blue Rider Press, 10/2012

Books of The Times

While He Can Still Remember

Neil Young’s Memoir, ‘Waging Heavy Peace’

...this isn’t a book to part with. It is as charismatically off the wall as Mr. Young’s records, and the recent concert films so imaginatively directed by Jonathan Demme. And however privately calculating it may be, it seems completely free of guile.