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Sunday, November 27, 2022

9 New Books We Recommend This Week

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It’s Thanksgiving, so in the interests of letting you uncork the wine and finalize the seating arrangements I’ll keep this short: Here are nine new books covering everything from microchips to ballet to the coronavirus, classical music to Irish immigration to true crime; and, in fiction, a thriller, a horror novel and a novella by the Booker finalist Claire Keegan. Happy reading, and happy 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, as well as the beauty and agony of his craft.

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 especially well to the audiobook format, in a recording narrated by Warsaw-Faun Rauch herself.

Penguin Audio

Corcoran investigates the unsolved killing of the Mexican reporter Regina Martínez, offering 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 into a hall of mirrors.

This timely book, by a scholar of international affairs, is a history of technological ingenuity that reads like a thriller. The silicon chip, Miller suggests, may be to the 21st century what the atom bomb was to the 20th — the device that determines the world order.

Scribner | $30

In this riveting account of researchers’ attempts to outrun Covid-19, the author, a veteran science journalist, explains not just how inevitable such a pandemic was, but how inevitable are others. As one scientist tells Quammen, “A disease anywhere is a disease everywhere.”

Simon & Schuster | $28.99

This terrifying horror novel is also a powerful exploration of trauma and healing. The book follows an Indigenous woman who receives an ancient bracelet that used to belong to her vanished mother, a relic that unleashes literal and metaphorical ghosts

Flatiron | $27.99

The author of “Small Things Like These” returns with a beautiful novella narrated by a young girl in rural Ireland, sent to live with another family during her mother’s pregnancy. The narrator’s voice walks a perfect balance between naïveté and acute emotional intelligence.

Grove | $20

This engaging and erudite history charts the alarming outflow of Irish-born people into 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’s the narrator. Nevertheless, Bublitz’s tour de force crackles with life, energy and imagination.

Emily Bestler Books/Atria | Paperback, $17.99

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