UNTIL JUSTICE SHALL BE DONE: America’s First Civil Rights Movement, From Revolution to Reconstruction† by Kate Masur. (Norton, 496 pp., $20.) In this “bright” and “revealing” book, as Times critic Jennifer Szalai called it, Masur traces a struggle for racial equality dating back to the early days of the republic and talks about the victories that led to achievements such as the Civil Rights Act of 1866 and the 14th Amendment.
DIRTY ANIMALS† by Brandon Taylor. (Riverhead, 288 pp., $16.) In this short story collection, a young graduate student navigates a turbulent love triangle with two dancers, a babysitter is pushed to the limit and two childhood friends come to terms with their mutual desires. As our reviewer, John Paul Brammer, noted, Taylor presents “luxurious, melancholic portraits of overwhelmed characters.”
AWAKE: The Secret History of Female-Led Slave Rebellions† by Rebecca Hall. Illustrated by Hugo Martínez. (Simon & Schuster, 224 pp., $19.99.) In this memoir-meets-graphic novel, Hall sifts through centuries of archival records for evidence of slave slave revolts and envisions their stories, depicted in Hugo Martínez’s “evocative and poetic” black-and-white drawings, as our reviewer, Hillary Chute, that’s noted.
TO BREATHE† by Joyce Carol Oates. (Ecco, 384 pp., $19.99.) According to our reviewer, Joshua Henkin, Oates’ “fever dream” is “a moving meditation on mourning, where there is no beginning and no end.” In this novel, a 37-year-old writer is confronted with the harrowing prospect of widowhood when her 12-year-old husband, an esteemed academic, is struck by a mysterious and life-threatening illness.
US REPUBLIC: A Continental History of the United States, 1783-1850† by Alan Taylor. (Norton, 544 pp., $20.) This stimulating history challenges the story of early America as a nation marching confidently toward its clear destiny. “Many histories of this important interregnum period have been written,” noted our reviewer, David S. Reynolds, “but none emphasize the fragility of the American experiment as strongly as Taylor’s book.”
ON ANIMALS† by Susan Orléans. (Avid Reader Press, 256 pp., $17.99.) The topics of Orleans essays, written over 25 years, range from pets and racing pigeons to Moroccan donkeys and endangered whales. The collection received full approval from our reviewer, Margaret Renkl, who stated, “Every essay in the book is beautiful.”