August 9, 2012 Vaddey Ratner's In the Shadow of the Banyan draws on her childhood experiences under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. It follows Raami, a young polio survivor, from her idyllic home to the depths of totalitarian exploitation.
August 8, 2012 In Saturday Night Live writer Simon Rich's latest novel, What in God's Name, God plans to do away with people so he can focus on opening a restaurant in heaven. An angel makes him a bet that if he can bring two shy, lovelorn humans together, God must spare humanity.
August 7, 2012 Peter Heller's novel follows protagonist Hig and his dog in a world ravaged by an epidemic and overrun with barbaric thugs. But its fragmented, poetic narrative — complete with a somewhat unconvincing love story — goes a long way toward dealing with the devastation.
August 3, 2012 Most people's after-midnight mishaps are nothing compared with what David K. Randall describes in his new book. From people committing murder while supposedly sleepwalking, to what sleep was like in medieval times, Dreamland provides a lively overview of the world's most popular nocturnal pastime.
August 2, 2012 God and Science: Return of the Ti-Girls collects and expands the adventures of a supporting character from the Hernandez brothers' long-running comic book series Love and Rockets. NPR's Glen Weldon says it will confound superhero haters with its marriage of depth and goofy hero tropes.
August 1, 2012 In his latest novel, You & Me, Padgett Powell continues the experimentation of his previous work The Interrogative Mood. Here, two Southern men sit on a porch, discussing everything from R. Crumb to human failure. No action, no attribution — just dialogue.
July 31, 2012 An American candy heiress butts heads with a snooty French chocolatier in Laura Florand's romantic new novel The Chocolate Thief. They fight, he throws her out of his candy store — of course they're going to fall in love. Read on for a sweet treat to while away a summer afternoon.
July 26, 2012 In Tana French's fourth novel of the Dublin murder squad, Broken Harbor, she revisits the character Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, an intensely dedicated detective who must return to the town of the title. Fending off memories he'd rather forget, he investigates a triple murder.
July 25, 2012 Iain Sinclair, the foremost modern practitioner of "psychogeographic" nonfiction, explores the modifications to the London landscape in preparation for the 2012 Summer Olympics. This "scam of scams," as he calls it, is an expression of British state egotism.
August 2, 2012 Tana French's latest novel follows Mick "Scorcher" Kennedy, a police detective with a rage for order, as he investigates a young family's murder in a suburban Dublin development gone bust. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Broken Harbor is as much social criticism as it is whodunit.