The Patient Will See You Now: The Future Of Medicine Is In Your Hands by Eric Topol. (Basic Books) Smartphones have created the potential to shift the power dynamic between people and their doctors, allowing patients to assert more control over their health care. Soon, Topol predicts, phones could routinely aid in diagnoses; grant patients greater access to their medical records; and even perform some tests – ushering in a revolution in the field.
Submission by Michel Houellebecq. Translated by Lorin Stein. (Picador) It’s 2022 in France, and an Islamic party has risen to power. François, a bored literature professor, is offered an irresistible deal: a position at a prestigious university and the chance to partake of the joys of polygamy. Houellebecq’s morally complex novel follows an ambivalent society losing sight of its values.
Mary McGrory: The Trailblazing Columnist Who Stood Washington On Its Head by John Norris. (Penguin) McGrory, a longtime Nixon foe, was the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for commentary, for her work on the Watergate scandal; in addition, her columns eulogizing John F. Kennedy and excoriating the Vietnam War are enduring monuments. As McGrory herself put it: “I have always felt a little sorry for people who didn’t work for newspapers.”
The Vegetarian by Han Kang. Translated by Deborah Smith. (Hogarth) Grisly nightmares drive Yeong-hye, an unhappy housewife in Seoul, to give up eating meat, inadvertently bringing yet more violence into her life. The ramifications of her decision, including violations of her body and mind, are explored in this novel from the perspectives of her husband, her older sister and her brother-in-law.
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Beyond Measure: Rescuing An Overscheduled, Overtested, Underestimated Generation by Vicki Abeles with Grace Rubenstein. (Simon & Schuster) Abeles takes aim at the standard of success in schools across the country, which too often results in students who are “enslaved to achievement.” She outlines suggestions to improve educational culture and create conditions where children can thrive.
Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson. (Random House) A cast of trapped narrators are the antiheroes of this collection; a man with pedophilic predilections and a former Stasi prison warden are among the characters of the book, which won the National Book Award for fiction in 2015. Johnson “is always perceptive and brave; his lines always sing and strut and sizzle and hush and wash and blaze over the reader,” Lauren Groff wrote in The Times.
The Washingtons. George And Martha: Partners In Friendship And Love by Flora Fraser. (Anchor) Fraser’s biography of the couple – Martha, a wealthy widow, and George, a promising young soldier – shows how each helped to shape the roles of presidential families to come.
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