It’s Thanksgiving, so to let you uncork the wine and wrap up the table setting, I’ll be brief: Here are nine new books that cover everything from microchips to ballet to the coronavirus, classical music to Irish immigration to true crime ; and, in fiction, a thriller, horror novel, and novella by Booker finalist Claire Keegan. Have fun reading and eating.
— Gregory Cowles
This sensitive, stately biography shows how George Balanchine reinvented ballet for the 20th century. Homans surveys the choreographer’s private life, including his marriages and affairs with his dancers, but also the beauty and pain of his profession.
The author, a Juilliard graduate and professional violinist, offers a refreshingly fun guide to the intimidating world of sonatas, symphonies and Schumann that lends itself particularly well to audiobook format, narrated in a recording by Warsaw-Faun Rauch herself.
Corcoran investigates the unsolved murder of Mexican reporter Regina Martínez and offers a chilling look at press freedom in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. The author’s search for answers leads her to a hall of mirrors.
Written by a scholar of international affairs, this timely book is a history of technological ingenuity that reads like a thriller. The silicon chip, Miller suggests, may be to the 21st century what the atomic bomb was to the 20th: the device that determines world order.
Writer | $30
In this riveting account of researchers’ attempts to outrun Covid-19, the author, a seasoned science journalist, explains not only how inevitable one such pandemic was, but how inevitable others are as well. As one scientist told Quammen, “A disease everywhere is a disease everywhere.”
Simon & Schuster | $28.99
This terrifying horror novel is also a powerful exploration of trauma and healing. The book follows a native woman who receives an ancient bracelet that used to belong to her missing mother, a relic that releases literal and metaphorical spirits.
Iron | $27.99
The author of ‘Small Things Like These’ returns with a beautiful novella, told by a young girl in rural Ireland, who was sent to live with another family during her mother’s pregnancy. The narrator’s voice strikes a perfect balance between naivete and acute emotional intelligence.
Grove | $20
This captivating and erudite history charts the alarming outflow of Irish-born people to the United States, Canada and elsewhere in the 19th century, and the fate of this diaspora – mostly Catholic and poor – from there.
Basic Books | $35
This gripping debut thriller follows the parallel tracks of two women who both arrived in New York City on the same day. One dies – and she is the narrator. Nevertheless, Bublitz’ tour de force brims with life, energy and imagination.
Emily Bestler Books/Atria | Paperback, $17.99