Magazine article The New Yorker

A Year's Reading

Magazine article The New Yorker

A Year's Reading

Article excerpt

by Ann M. Blair (Yale; $25). Information overload in Renaissance Europe.

The Anatomy of a Moment, by Javier Cercas, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean (Bloomsbury; $18). An account of the failed right-wing coup in post-Franco Spain.

The Most Human Human, by Brian Christian (Doubleday; $27.95). What we can learn from computers about being human.

A World on Fire, by Amanda Foreman (Random House; $35). Britain's role in the American Civil War.

George F. Kennan, by John Lewis Gaddis (Penguin Press; $39.95). An authoritative biography of the Cold Warrior and father of containment.

The Chairs Are Where the People Go, by Misha Glouberman, with Sheila Heti (Faber & Faber; $13). Philosophical squibs on the vagaries of contemporary life.

The Fear, by Peter Godwin (Back Bay; $15.99). A memoir of Mugabe's Zimbabwe.

Pauline Kael, by Brian Kellow (Viking; $27.95). A life of the critic.

Great Soul, by Joseph Lelyveld (Knopf; $28.95). The successes and failures of Mahatma Gandhi.

The Joy of Secularism, edited by George Levine (Princeton; $35). Life after God.

Malcolm X, by Manning Marable (Viking; $30). A monumental biography of the black activist.

What It Is Like to Go to War, by Karl Marlantes (Atlantic Monthly; $25). A Vietnam veteran on the experience of combat.

Molotov's Magic Lantern, by Rachel Polonsky (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $17). A roving evocation of Russia's past.

Leningrad, by Anna Reid (Walker; $30). A history of the Second World War siege.

Mightier Than the Sword, by David S. Reynolds (Norton; $27.95). "Uncle Tom's Cabin" and the Civil War.

The Inner Life of Empires, by Emma Rothschild (Princeton; $35). Private life and public power in eighteenth-century Scotland.

Modigliani, by Meryle Secrest (Knopf; $35). A new life of the Italian artist.

Stolen World, by Jennie Erin Smith (Crown; $25). Inside the international reptile trade.

Adventures in the Orgasmatron, by Christopher Turner (Farrar, Straus & Giroux; $35). Wilhelm Reich and the psychology of the sexual revolution.

Pox, by Michael Willrich (Penguin; $27.95). The battle to end smallpox in Progressive-era America and the epochal civil-liberties struggle that ensued.

The Idea of America, by Gordon S. Wood (Penguin Press; $29.95). Reflections on the birth of a nation.

Until the Dawn's Light, by Aharon Appelfeld, translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green (Schocken; $26). In turn-of-the-century Austria, a young Jewish woman converts to Christianity.

The Good Muslim, by Tahmima Anam (Harper; $25.99). Secularism and fundamentalism collide in Bangladesh. …

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