May 31, 2010 Who says unlikable characters make for unlikable books? The prickly people in Zoe Heller's The Believers are infused with wit and intelligence. Author Meghan Daum says she has recommended the poignant satire to more friends than she can count.
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May 28, 2010 Though the 2010 FIFA World Cup is still weeks away, writer Cord Jefferson feels Americans could do with an early tune-up on the world's most popular sport. Here are three books to put your soccer ball in motion.
May 26, 2010 Private Life, the new novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley, follows the life of a midwestern woman who moves with her new husband, an astronomer, to California at the start of the 20th century. Reviewer Maureen Corrigan says the story, which spans a half-century, is beautifully observed.
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May 26, 2010 Jessa Crispin reviews Hilary Thayer Hamann's debut novel, Anthropology of an American Girl, which Hamann self-published in 2003. Now out in a new edition from a major publisher, the novel retains much of its unedited bloat, but also an amateurish charm.
May 24, 2010 In The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest, the final book in Stieg Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, the mysteries of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomkvist come to a thrilling conclusion. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the book reveals the soaring architectural ambition of Larsson's unforgettable series.
May 21, 2010 Heller McAlpin reviews Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House, Meghan Daum's new book. Following her memoir My Misspent Youth and the novel Quality of Life Report, Daum returns with a new book about all the houses she's lived in or coveted.
May 20, 2010 In The Pregnant Widow by Martin Amis, a man in his 50s looks back on the sexual high point of his life, a summer in Italy when he was 20 and torn between three women. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says The Pregnant Widow is both a romp and an exercise in extended nostalgia.
May 19, 2010 Dominique Browning ran the magazine House & Garden until it folded in 2007. Her new memoir, Slow Love, reveals how Browning refocused her life by baking, playing the piano and wearing pajamas all day.
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May 19, 2010 Private Life, the new novel by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley, centers around the marriage between a small-town girl and an eccentric astronomer in the first years of the 20th century.
May 18, 2010 Island Beneath the Sea, Isabel Allende's newest novel, is about the complicated relationship between a slave and her master, who owns a sugar plantation in Haiti during the slave revolts that preceded the Haitian Revolution.
May 14, 2010 Andrea Levy's The Long Song revisits slavery in Jamaica. Born to a slave mother and a white father, Levy's main character July serves and eventually befriends her mistress Caroline — a bond that is repeatedly threatened by a divided, slave-driven society.
May 13, 2010 Kolbeinn Karlsson's graphic novel is a profoundly surreal, at times grotesque, fever dream filled with bold colors and strange characters that blur the line between men and beasts.
May 11, 2010 Peter Carey's new novel Parrot and Olivier in America is a retelling of the life of historian Alexis de Tocqueville in which a French aristocrat and his reluctant working-class companion travel to a young United States to research American penitentiaries and escape political upheaval in France.
A faded GM sign at a dealership in Chicago. General Motors filed for bankruptcy protection last June.
Scott Olson/Getty Images
May 9, 2010 In Sixty To Zero, Alex Taylor III examines the collapse of General Motors and the Detroit auto industry in interviews with the men who ran the company.
May 7, 2010 In his poetic noir novel, Martin Solares uses the sinister connection between the murder of a journalist and the serial slayings of young girls to explore the grim side of Mexican politics, history and human nature.
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