New & Noteworthy – The New York Times


New this week:

TRUTH By Hector Macdonald. (Little, Brown, $28.) Macdonald zeros in on the slipperiness of factuality, offering an array of case studies from the worlds of history, commerce and — of course — politics to make her case about how “truth” is used and misused. SEPARATE AND UNEQUAL By Steven M. Gillon. (Basic, $32.) The riots of the late 1960s, in cities like Detroit and Newark, left America reeling. In response, Lyndon B. Johnson put together the Kerner Commission, which concluded that “our nation is moving toward two societies.” Gillon tells the story of this commission and the debates it sparked. THE LITTLE BOOK OF FEMINIST SAINTS By Julia Pierpont. Illustrated by Manjit Thapp. (Random House, $18.) These page-long tributes, alongside paintings that look as if they belong on the side of votive candles, offer a new set of role models and heroes — “matron saints” — for the feminist future. IBN KHALDUN By Robert Irwin. (Princeton, $29.95.) The 14th-century Islamic legal scholar and theologian Ibn Khaldun is not as well remembered as some of his medieval European contemporaries, but Irwin’s biography makes the case for his presence in a range of fields, from literature to history. THE KREMLIN’S CANDIDATE By Jason Matthews. (Scribner, $26.99.) This is the third installment in the “Red Sparrow” trilogy — the first of which is now a film starring Jennifer Lawrence. He continues the story here with the tale of a Manchurian candidate, activated by none other than Vladimir Putin. This is, to be clear, a work of fiction.

& Noteworthy

In which we ask colleagues at The Times what they’re reading now.

“I am always looking to go places I have never traveled. And when I opened Eowyn Ivey’s first novel, THE SNOW CHILD, I was completely transported, both narratively and geographically. Set in Alaska in the 1920s amid the homesteaders who eked out a hard living in the short summers to survive the long winters, the story flickers between realism and the possibility of the supernatural. Mabel and Jack have arrived in Alaska on the run from their past and the loss of a stillborn child. The novel revolves around the appearance of a girl who seems to survive on her own in the woods, withstanding the winters, wild animals and loneliness. Their relationship with her, with each other and with the unbelieving neighbors pulls you into a world that for all its strangeness is rendered so realistically — the washing of dishes, the stacking of firewood, the difficulty of plowing during mud season — that you trust Ivey’s voice. Much like Halldor Laxness’s ‘Independent People’ the book conjures a mountainous, wintry place where geography exerts a powerful pull on anyone who dares to try to call it home.”

— Alissa J. Rubin, Paris bureau chief

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