Yeah I was a bit alarmed at first. But I saw that he tagged me in a New York Times post about their weekly 10 New Books We Suggest This Week:
Not going to lie, I had no idea that the New York Times even does a weekly list like this. Since everyone that knows me, knows that I love to read, I thought it was sweet my former boss tagged me in something that he thought I enjoy. Of course he then pestered me about what books have I been reading (um a lot of romance and crime novels, plus some comic and graphic novels) and then asked me what has been my favorite book this year (I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it much, also it is only March, why would I already know what my favorite book of the year is?)
Here is the list of books for those that are interested:
EXIT WEST, by Mohsin Hamid. (Riverhead, $26.) The new novel by the author of “The Reluctant Fundamentalist” and “How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” mixes global unrest with a bit of the fantastic. Saeed and Nadia leave an unnamed country in the midst of a civil war and journey — through magical doorways — to Greece, England and eventually the United States. Our critic Michiko Kakutani said that Hamid “does a harrowing job of conveying what it is like to leave behind family members, and what it means to leave home, which, however dangerous or oppressive it’s become, still represents everything that is familiar and known.”
A HORSE WALKS INTO A BAR, by David Grossman. Translated by Jessica Cohen. (Knopf, $29.95.) Grossman’s magnificently funny, sucker-punch-tragic novel about a tormented stand-up comedian combines comic dexterity with a Portnoyish level of detail. It offers a rich and complete portrayal of Israeli society through an exploration of humor from the edge of the grave.
ELIZABETH BISHOP: A Miracle for Breakfast, by Megan Marshall. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, $30.) This smooth and brisk presentation by a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of one of America’s most accomplished poets is enriched by recently discovered documents. Interweaving her own experience as a student of Bishop’s in the 1970s, Marshall skillfully discerns echoes between Bishop’s public and private writing.
ROBERT LOWELL, SETTING THE RIVER ON FIRE: A Study of Genius, Mania, and Character,by Kay Redfield Jamison. (Knopf, $29.95.) For decades, on and off, the poet Robert Lowell suffered from extreme bipolar disorder; he composed many of his best verses while stark raving mad. This “psychological account,” as Jamison calls it, of the life and mind of a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner is also a narrative of his illness, drawing on fascinating research collected by an authority on mood disorders.
HIGH NOON: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of an American Classic,by Glenn Frankel. (Bloomsbury, $28.) With a sure ear for anecdote and a good eye for detail, Frankel presents the background and historical context of the timeless 1952 western, whose making was shaped and given meaning by HUAC’s attack on the film community. The conservative Gary Cooper emerges as a hero in life as well as onscreen.
WE’LL ALWAYS HAVE CASABLANCA: The Life, Legend, and Afterlife of Hollywood’s Most Beloved Movie,by Noah Isenberg. (Norton, $27.95.) Nobody involved with “Casablanca” had high expectations for the picture. In this treasure trove of facts and figures, Isenberg tells the story of its script, casting, production and the inevitable squabbling over credit, all by way of accounting for the film’s surprising and enduring popularity.
THINGS WE LOST IN THE FIRE: Stories,by Mariana Enriquez. Translated by Megan McDowell. (Hogarth, $24.) The girls and women in this collection worry about the usual stuff — their friendships, their figures, their waning attraction to boyfriends and husbands — only to confront the horror that courses underneath it all. This Argentine writer’s stories are propulsive and mesmerizing, laced with vivid descriptions of the grotesque and the darkest humor.
THE WORLD TO COME: Stories,by Jim Shepard. (Knopf, $25.95.) Shepard’s deeply researched tales pack weight and validity, and the collection displays a dizzying range of time and place, from the tale of an auxiliary Roman legionnaire to one set in a British submarine. Whatever the era, his basic point is this: before you ship out (or under), cherish every bit of warmth and respite, every gesture of love.
FLÂNEUSE: Women Walk the City in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London,by Lauren Elkin. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $27.) Strolling the city isn’t just for men. Elkin, who learned the pleasures of aimless urban wandering in Paris, combines memoir and travel writing with capsule biographies of walking women like Virginia Woolf, Jean Rhys and George Sand.
THE NATURE FIX: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier,and More Creative,by Florence Williams. (Norton, $26.95.) The Romantics were right: the virtues of nature provide a strong antidote to the viciousness of industrialization. Williams, a contributing editor at Outside magazine, presents the benefits of spending time outdoors — “the more nature, the better you feel” — entertainingly but with enough scientific detail to satisfy the expert.
Just in case you haven’t get a New York Times subscription! This weekly list is a good way to keep an eye out for new book releases.