New in Paperback: ‘The Female Persuasion,’ ‘The Soul of America’
CENSUS, by Jesse Ball. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $16.99.) A fatally ill father travels across the country with his adult son, who has Down syndrome. There are flashes of surrealism and melancholy — the man works for a shadowy census bureau, and brands the people he meets on their ribs after their encounters — but “there is rapture, too, and compassion and the consolations of storytelling,” our critic Parul Sehgal wrote.
THE FIGHTERS: Americans in Combat in Afghanistan and Iraq, by C.J. Chivers. (Simon & Schuster, $18.) Chivers, a writer for The Times and a Marine veteran, dives into the on-the-ground experiences of the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our reviewer, Robert D. Kaplan, called it “a classic of war reporting,” writing that it “could be the most powerful indictment yet of America’s recent Middle East wars.”
SNAP, by Belinda Bauer. (Grove, $16.) The hero of this taut thriller is Jack, who as a teenager had to step up and raise his sisters after their mother’s disappearance. When he discovers a talent for burglary, he begins breaking into homes, leaving his community rattled by the “Goldilocks” thief. Separately, a pregnant woman is taunted by her stalker, and a detective involved in both cases neatly ties up the stories.
THERE ARE NO GROWN-UPS: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story, by Pamela Druckerman. (Penguin, $17.) The author, an American writer based in France known for her book “Bringing Up Bébé,” details her long-dreaded shift from “mademoiselle” to “madame.” She’s candid about her expectations (“I’ve entered the stage of life where you don’t need to be beautiful; simply by being well-preserved and not obese, I would now pass for pretty”); where they fell short; and what she learned, about life and herself, along the way.
THE FEMALE PERSUASION, by Meg Wolitzer. (Riverhead, $17.) Wolitzer’s 12th novel takes up the subject of intergenerational feminism, told through the story of a young woman and her entry into the women’s movement. As a college student, Greer encounters Faith Frank, a charismatic celebrity-activist loosely modeled on Gloria Steinem. When Faith invites Greer into her inner orbit, everything Greer thought she’d ever wanted is called into question.
THE SOUL OF AMERICA: The Battle for Our Better Angels, by Jon Meacham. (Random House, $20.) Unnerved by the Trump presidency, white nationalist rallies and other developments, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian revisits moments when liberal values ultimately triumphed over fear and division — among them Reconstruction, the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan and the era of McCarthyism.
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