Lake Success, by Gary Shteyngart. (Random House, $18.) Overwhelmed by his young son’s autism diagnosis and dodging a subpoena from the S.E.C., this book’s antihero leaves behind a job at a Manhattan hedge fund and hops on a Greyhound bus, hoping to reconnect with an ex-girlfriend teaching Holocaust studies in El Paso. Shteyngart’s frantic humor keeps the story afloat and gleefully satirizes the upper class.
Something Wonderful: Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Broadway Revolution, by Todd S. Purdum. (Picador, $20.) This book is an authoritative portrait of the duo behind some of our best-loved musicals: “Oklahoma!,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and more. For all their masterpieces, the pair was often seen as stodgy and middlebrow. Purdum, a writer for Vanity Fair, shows how that wasn’t at all the case.
Early Work, by Andrew Martin. (Picador, $17.) An aimless, struggling young writer is undone by a love affair, but this intelligent debut novel is about more than the calamity of romance: Martin stuffs his narrative with a cast of compelling characters, many of them authors, as they negotiate their desires. Our reviewer, Molly Young, praised the book, calling it “a tidy and perfectly ornamented novel with no unsanded corners or unglossed surfaces.”
Bring the War Home: The White Power Movement and Paramilitary America, by Kathleen Belew. (Harvard University, $16.95.) Belew, a historian at the University of Chicago, traces the beginning of the radical right in America to the Vietnam War. The book makes the argument that the white power movement led to the deadly Oklahoma City bombing in 1995, which Belew sees as a reaction to the war. While much of the book draws on events from the 1970s and 1980s, it has particular resonance today.
All the Names They Used for God: Stories, by Anjali Sachdeva. (Spiegel & Grau, $17.) In tales that leap across the globe, characters struggle to reconcile their hopes and dreams with their fates. Our reviewer, Julie Orringer, praised the collection, writing, “The brilliance of these stories — beyond the cool, precise artistry of their prose — is their embrace of both the known and the unknown, in a combination that feels truly original.”
No One Tells You This: A Memoir, by Glynnis MacNicol. (Simon & Schuster, $17.) Childless, single and in her 40s, MacNicol had a grim thought — that she had officially become “the wrong answer to the question of what made a woman’s life worth living.” Her smart memoir celebrates women who forge their own paths, ignoring the cultural scripts they’ve been handed.
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