September 8, 2013 Sheri Fink's Five Days At Memorial, describes the horrific conditions at a New Orleans hospital shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Facing floodwaters and corporate mismanagement, some staffers euthanized sick patients. Fink's judgment of those actions is admirably — and frustratingly — nuanced.
September 9, 2013 Daniel Woodrell's new novel explores the lingering consequences of an explosion in an Ozarks dance hall that kills 42 people. It wasn't an accident, but the book isn't about a hunt for the murderer. Instead, reviewer Ellah Allfrey says, it's a remarkable study of a surviving sister's life and grief.
September 11, 2013 Tom Perrotta has been called "the Steinbeck of suburbia" for his depictions of self-sabotaging adolescents and foolish middle-class adults. His new book — his first short-story collection in 19 years — is full of strong but repetitive stories, sad tales of failures earnestly yearning to do better.
September 12, 2013 Cambridge classics professor Mary Beard's latest book, Confronting the Classics, takes a gleefully contrarian approach to marble-bust greats like Homer and Thucydides. Reviewer Annalisa Quinn says the work "expertly straddles the line between scholarly and accessible."
September 12, 2013 Filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan puts forth his prescription for America's educational system in I Got Schooled. Reviewer John Wilwol says it's a "breezily written, research driven" book that debunks common myths about education in Shyamalan's distinctive — if flawed — voice.
September 12, 2013 Jonathan Lethem's Dissident Gardens sketches a history of the American left that is at once intimate and expansive. Out of the lives of a few conflicted characters, reviewer Mohsin Hamid explains, the book lends depth and emotion to events that affected millions.
September 13, 2013 Norman Rush's newest novel takes a geographic hiatus from Botswana, his usual literary location. Instead, reviewer Drew Toal says the book is instead full of irritating intellectuals, postmortem scandal, and a group of collegiate clowns who come together after the death of an old friend.
September 13, 2013 Margaret Atwood's new MaddAddam completes the post-apocalyptic science fiction trilogy she began with 2003's Oryx and Crake. Reviewer Annalee Newitz says MaddAddam is a "snarky but soulful peek at what happens to the world after a mad scientist decimates humanity with a designer disease."
September 13, 2013 Reviewer Susan Jane Gilman wasn't impressed by the title of Someone, but she says Alice McDermott's novel is nowhere near as generic as its name. Nothing extraordinary happens to the Irish-American protagonist, but with spare poetry and deep compassion, McDermott makes familiar territory seem new.
September 16, 2013 That's the collective nickname Harlem-ites used for them: white women who risked family exile and social ostracism to be part of the movement. They were philanthropists and thrill seekers,educators and artists, hostesses and lovers. Carla Kaplan tells their stories in Miss Anne in Harlem.