Oct 13, 2014

    Other titles to consider


    LOOKING for a good book to dig into? Here is a selection of summaries from The New York Times Book Review:

    This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage

    By Ann Patchett (Harper Perennial, US$15.99)

    These sparkling personal essays, by the author of Bel Canto and State Of Wonder, cover the quotidian and the profound: from Patchett's passion for opera and her stabilising second marriage to her beloved dog and her resolve to open an independent bookstore in Nashville, Tennessee.

    Brown Dog: Novellas

    By Jim Harrison (Grove, US$18)

    This omnibus edition brings together the six novellas, one of them previously unpublished, featuring Harrison's anti-hero Brown Dog - the endearing Native American scoundrel from Michigan's Upper Peninsula, whose exploits include hauling a frozen corpse out of Lake Superior and foiling anthropologists' plans to survey a Chippewa burial site.

    To The End Of June: The Intimate Life Of American Foster Care

    By Cris Beam (Mariner/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, US$15.95)

    Beam, who spent five years tracking dozens of foster children and their families, captures the intricacies of growing up in the system: the agency bureaucracies, the emotionally charged tug between foster and birth parents, and the terrifying push out of foster care and into adulthood.

    Andrew's Brain

    By E. L. Doctorow (Random House, US$15)

    Constructed as a dialogue between Andrew, a "freakishly depressive cognitive scientist" peeling back the layers of his strange story, and an interlocutor he calls Doc, this slyly suspenseful novel grapples with issues of consciousness and perception. In City Of God (Random House, US$16) Doctorow turns a collage of memories, events and visions into a thought-provoking detective story about a cross that vanishes from a rundown church in Lower Manhattan and reappears on the roof of an Upper West Side synagogue.

    The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind - And Changed The History Of Free Speech In America

    By Thomas Healy (Picador, US$20)

    In 1919, Justice Holmes wrote a dissenting opinion, in Abrams v United States, that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in America. Healy adeptly reconstructs Holmes' journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero, and the behind-the-scenes campaign by a group of progressives to bring him round to their way of thinking.