To Rise Again At A Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris. (Back Bay/Little, Brown) Ferris’ debut novel, the first-person-plural satire “Then We Came to the End” (2007), traced the decline of an ad agency. His second, “The Unnamed” (2010), concerned a man’s debilitating compulsion to walk. “To Rise Again” follows the undoing of Paul O'Rourke, a misanthropic, Red Sox-loving dentist in midlife crisis, who watches in horror as an online impersonator promotes an obscure religion in his name.
Congo: The Epic History Of A People by David Van Reybrouck. Translated by Sam Garrett. (Ecco/HarperCollins) Balancing research with personal testimonies, Van Reybrouck, a Belgian historian, presents a panoramic account of Congo’s turbulent past: from the beginnings of the slave trade through colonization, the struggle for independence, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu’s decades of brutal rule and the civil wars that have raged since 1996.
The Book Of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henríquez. (Vintage Contemporaries) A story of star-crossed love and an insightful look at the struggles and fears of Latin American immigrants, Henríquez’s novel centers on two Delaware teenagers: Maribel, whose parents brought her from Mexico in hopes of helping her recover from a traumatic head injury; and her Panamanian neighbor, Mayor, who recognizes a kindred spirit in this beautiful, damaged outsider.
Mad As Hell: The Making Of “Network” And The Fateful Vision Of The Angriest Man In Movies by Dave Itzkoff. (Picador) Itzkoff, a culture reporter for The New York Times, recounts how “Network” – Paddy Chayefsky and Sidney Lumet’s 1976 satire of television news – made it to the screen and came to shape how we think about corporate and media power. Our reviewer, Rob Lowe, said “Mad as Hell” “contains the perfect amount of inside-baseball moviemaking stories.”
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The Frangipani Hotel: Stories by Violet Kupersmith. (Spiegel & Grau) The supernatural coexists with the mundane in Kupersmith’s subversively clever first collection, set in Vietnamese émigré communities in the United States and in modern-day Vietnam. In the title story, a vengeful phantom haunts a shabby hotel in Hanoi, bewitching a carpetbagging American and luring him to his doom.
Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt by Michael Lewis. (Norton) Today’s stock market is rigged in favor of a group of secretive traders, argues Lewis, the author of “Liar’s Poker” and “The Big Short.” His latest Wall Street excursion examines high-speed computerized stock trading, and a small cadre of iconoclasts determined to expose and reform what they consider an insidious system.
The Painter by Peter Heller. (Vintage Contemporaries) After shooting a man in a New Mexico bar, Jim Stegner, a famous artist and the narrator of Heller’s moving second novel, served his time and is trying to lead a quiet life of painting and fishing in Colorado. But a new act of brutal violence rips his life open again.
New York Times