Geography & Travel
Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a
New Northwest Passage. By Kathleen Winter. Counterpoint, $27 (9781619025677).
As Winter perceptively recounts her journey
through the Northwest Passage, which is opening up due to climate change, she ruminates
on Arctic life and how its clashes with modern
civilization will grow ever more consequential.
Health & Medicine
Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine.By Damon
Tweedy. Picador, $26 (9781250044631);
African American psychiatrist Tweedy incisively illuminates the intersection of race and
medicine in a compelling blend of statistics,
personal anecdotes, and patient histories.
Concussion. By Jeanne Marie Laskas. Random, $16 (9780812987577).
In this gripping account, now a Hollywood
movie starring Will Smith, Laskas explains
why repeated blows to the head can leave
football players with life- and personality-changing brain damage via the dramatic story
of Dr. Bennett Omalu’s dogged pursuit of this
Do No Harm: Stories of Life, Death, and
Brain Surgery. By Henry Marsh. St. Martin’s/
Thomas Dunne, $25.99 (9781250065810);
e-book, $12.99 (9781466872806).
English neurosurgeon Marsh looks back
on his three-decade career with bracing candor, dramatically and informatively detailing
brain surgery’s high risks and difficult emotional terrain.
The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and
Death of American Resistance to Organized
Wealth and Power. By Steve Fraser. Little,
Brown, $28 (9780316185431).
This is a sharp-edged, completely fascinating
look at American history and the contemporary politics of the haves and have-nots.
Avenue of Spies: A True Story of Terror, Espionage, and One American Family’s Heroic
Resistance in Nazi-Occupied Paris. By Alex
Kershaw. Crown, $28 (9780804140034).
In this intense, moving account that also
serves to vividly describe the life of ordinary
Parisians under the occupation, Kershaw tells
the story of Dr. Sumner Jackson and his wife,
Toquette, unlikely heroes of the French Resistance during the Nazi occupation.
The Witches: Salem, 1692. By Stacy Schiff.
Little, Brown, $32 (9780316200608)
Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Schiff
chronicles the events that led to the mass ex-
ecution of 14 women, 5 men, and 2 dogs for
witchcraft in 1692, painting a vivid portrait of
a homogeneous, close-knit network of commu-
nities rapidly devolving into irrational paranoia.
The Wright Brothers. By David McCullough.
Simon & Schuster, $30 (9781476728742).
McCullough’s knowledge of and personal enthusiasm for the accomplishments
of Wilbur and Orville Wright—whose first
powered, controlled flight in December 1903
introduced a new era in travel and transportation—shines clear here, as he ably projects the
personalities of the Wrights in the face of both
failures and successes.
The Beauty. By Jane Hirshfield. Knopf, $26
Hirshfield is archly witty in her beautifully
agile and sage eighth collection, offering an
imaginative look at our relationship with our
bodies and the many wonders of our everyday lives.
Bluestone: New and Selected Poems. By James Lasdun. Farrar, $26
Lasdun is a poet of great technical excellence,
who writes compellingly about marriage, parenthood, fandom, man and dog, and person
and place with reflection and rumination, venturing, too, into memoir and stories.
It Seems like a Mighty Long Time. By
Angela Jackson. TriQuarterly, $18.95
(9780810130517); e-book (9780810168176).
Songwriter and singer Barbara Lewis’
haunting 1963 hit, “Hello Stranger,” inspired
the title of Jackson’s reflective and involving
collection of poems flowing from the mighty
river of African American history and culture.
Encyclopedia of Christian Education.
Ed. by George Thomas Kurian and Mark
A. Lamport. Rowman & Littlefield, $340
This unique encyclopedia effectively covers
all types of Christian education by casting a
wide net, both globally and thematically.
Uncovered: How I Left Hasidic Life and Finally Came Home. By Leah Lax. She Writes,
In this insightful, honest memoir, Lax details how she became a Hasidic Jew in large
part to escape her dysfunctional family; then,
after years in a marriage and seven children,
she realizes she is gay, forcing her to make
some heartbreaking decisions.
Beyond Words: What Animals Think and Feel.
By Carl Safina. Holt, $32 (9780805098884).
Safina vividly illuminates the complex inner
lives of highly intelligent, socially advanced
animals by portraying individual elephants,
wolves, and whales in mesmerizing and
moving tales from the wild and the realm of
Evolution: The Whole Story. Ed. by Steve
Parker. Firefly, $39.95 (9781770854819).
This accessible volume takes a pictorial look
at all aspects of evolution. The coverage here
is exhaustive, but the writing is easy to follow,
and the short-entry format makes for a very
H Is for Hawk. By Helen Macdonald.
Grove, $26 (9780802123411).
In this profoundly inquiring, wholly enrapturing memoir, historian and falconer Macdonald
TOP OF THE LIST WINNER
Iclosed my notebook and sat in the café thinking about real time. Is it time uninterrupted? Only the present comprehended? Are
our thoughts nothing but passing trains, no
stops, devoid of dimension, whizzing by massive posters with repeating images? Catching
a fragment from a window seat, yet another
fragment from the next identical frame?
From M Train, by Patti Smith