Noteworthy paperbacks

February 2, 2013 

The Last Holiday: A Memoir by Gil Scott-Heron. (Grove) Scott-Heron, the uncompromising poet, novelist and spoken-word recording artist (“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”), died in May 2011, at 62. His posthumously published memoir, which ends before drug use and a prison sentence sent his life off the rails, is an elegiac culmination to his career and offers deeply personal insights into the civil rights movement.

Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd. (Harper Perennial, $15.99.) Boyd’s cunning World War I spy novel moves from a psychoanalyst’s office in Vienna to London’s West End to the battlefields of France as it follows Lysander Rief, a diffident English actor plunged into the murky world of wartime intelligence.

Anatomy of Injustice: A Murder Case Gone Wrong by Raymond Bonner. (Vintage, $16.) Bonner, an investigative reporter and onetime prosecutor, unravels the race- and class-ridden case of a South Carolina man sentenced to die in 1982 – despite his probable innocence.

From the Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant by Alex Gilvarry. (Penguin) Gilvarry’s hilarious yet serious first novel tells the story of Boyet Hernandez, a Filipino-born fashion designer. Wending his way through the flamboyantly fatuous world of Brooklyn couture, Boyet innocently lands in Guantanamo as the first detainee captured on U.S. soil.

A Universe from Nothing: Why There Is Something Rather Than Nothing by Lawrence M. Krauss. (Atria) Where did the universe come from? What was there before it? What will the future bring? Krauss, a theoretical physicist and prolific popular-science writer, argues that the laws of quantum mechanics can answer our most profound questions.

Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James. (Vintage.) Two hundred years after Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” – in which the clever Elizabeth Bennet tamed the arrogant Fitzwilliam Darcy – James delightfully transplants the dramatis personae from that novel into her own suspenseful universe. It’s 1803, and in their six years of marriage, Elizabeth and Darcy have forged a happy life, but can their union withstand the stress of a murder on the grounds of Darcy’s impressive estate?

The Science of Yoga: The Risks and the Rewards by William J. Broad. Illustrated by Bobby Clennell. (Simon & Schuster) Yoga, it is said, can prevent heart disease, reverse aging, eliminate pain, and bestow serenity. Broad, a science reporter for The New York Times, has practiced yoga since 1970, and he brings an open mind to his careful evaluation of these claims.

The Lion Is In by Delia Ephron. (Plume) Three women are on a journey of self-discovery in Ephron’s whimsical, touching novel: Tracee, a kleptomaniac in a wedding dress; Lana, a recovering alcoholic; and Rita, a minister’s wife desperate to escape her marriage. Stranded in rural North Carolina, they take shelter in a roadhouse, where they find a strangely alluring lion named Marcel.

New York Times

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service