The Nazis Next Door: How America Became A Safe Haven For Hitler’s Men by Eric Lichtblau. (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) Drawing on interviews and a trove of released documents, Lichtblau, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The New York Times, recounts how America accepted approximately 10,000 Nazis in the wake of World War II. Many of these were recruited to work as scientists or as spies for the United States government, while others immigrated as “refugees.”
The Witch: And Other Tales Re-Told by Jean Thompson. (Plume) Inspired by classic fairy tales – including “Hansel and Gretel,” “Cinderella” and “Red Riding Hood” – Thompson adapts their story lines to contemporary times. “At their best, Thompson’s stories invoke the dark homeliness of Shirley Jackson’s short fiction,” reviewer Laura Miller wrote.
How To Speak Money: What The Money People Say – And What It Really Means by John Lanchester. (Norton) In a series of pointed and witty essays, the author translates a bevy of examples of the common, though often misunderstood, jargon favored by financial institutions. Arguing that financial fluency is necessary to overcome economic inequality, he provides a glossary of many of the industry’s most maddening and opaque terms.
Goodhouse by Peyton Marshall. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux) In Marshall’s dystopia, sons of felons are taken to state-run “Goodhouses,” juvenile boardinghouses-cum-prisons tasked with their rehabilitation. James, the novel’s teenage protagonist, has transferred to a new campus after a radical church set fire to his last house as part of a widespread effort to purify society.
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The Lost Book Of Mormon: A Quest For The Book That Just Might Be The Great American Novel by Avi Steinberg. (Anchor) Steinberg’s playful narrative, both a memoir and a travelogue, charts his journey through places that figure in the Book of Mormon, including Jerusalem, the Mayan ruins of Mexico and upstate New York. Fascinated by Joseph Smith, the Mormon church’s founder, whom he calls an “underdog, an underground American writer,” Steinberg suggests that this distinctly American holy text belongs in the canon.
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm. (Penguin) Scherm’s debut novel follows Grace as she dons and sheds a series of identities: a young bride in her small Tennessee hometown; an NYU art student; a scholar in the Czech Republic; and, finally, a thief in Paris. Meanwhile, her husband, on parole after serving jail time for a crime she planned, is on the trail to find her.
LIMONOV: The Outrageous Adventures of the Radical Soviet Poet Who Became a Bum in New York, a Sensation in France, and a Political Antihero in Russia by Emmanuel Carrère. Translated by John Lambert. (Picador/Farrar, Straus & Giroux) Carrère’s book is billed as a “pseudobiography” of Eduard Limonov, a dynamic Russian who defies categorization.
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