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12 New Books We Recommend This Week


THE ZEN OF THERAPY: Uncovering a Hidden Kindness in Life, by Mark Epstein. (Penguin Press, $27.) A warm, profound memoir of a year in the consulting room of Epstein, a psychiatrist and practicing Buddhist. He probes the fundamental wisdom that psychotherapy and Buddhism share, to show how it might help us on the road to fulfillment. “The unifying stance Epstein identifies in Buddhism and in therapy at its best,” Oliver Burkeman writes in his review, “is the willingness to pay attention, while letting people and feelings be as they are.”

SMALL WORLD, by Jonathan Evison. (Dutton, $28.) Evison’s expansive new novel explores the lives of several passengers on a fateful train bound for Seattle, as well as the lives of their 19th-century ancestors. He weaves together a tale of the West, examining injustices and inequities across generations and cultures while maintaining a steady belief in humanity’s capacity for benevolence. “The novel is easy to love in part because it deals in generosity and hope,” TaraShea Nesbit writes in her review. “‘Small World’ is ambitious, showing our interconnectedness across time, place and cultures. … The final pages, earnest and direct, chance the sentimental, which might be the riskiest move of all.”

THE FINAL CASE, by David Guterson. (Knopf, $27.) Guterson, perhaps best known for “Snow Falling on Cedars,” returns with a tender, closely observed and often surprising father-son novel centered on a criminal trial. The verdict in this case is not just about the people in the courtroom, but about family love and its silent, complicated passions. “Guterson is the kind of writer about whom people used to say, when there were such things, ‘I’d read him, even if he wrote the phone book,’” Scott Turow writes, reviewing the novel. “Every sentence has a graceful weight and meter and is illumined by a subtle intelligence that makes his descriptions arresting but never showy.”

MANIFESTO: On Never Giving Up, by Bernardine Evaristo. (Grove, $27.) The debut memoir by the Booker Prize-winning author of “Girl, Woman, Other” recalls her upbringing in an interracial, Catholic household in London, and her long, hard path to literary stardom — and the romantic trials and youthful abandon along the way. “A lighter work than her novels, and more straightforwardly told, ‘Manifesto’ is a behind-the-scenes companion text that goes down smoothly,” our reviewer, Quiara Alegría Hudes, writes. The book “offers an irresistibly paradoxical invitation to writers: Create a literature of those left behind, by letting your heart run free.”

THE STEAL: The Attempt to Overturn the 2020 Election and the People Who Stopped It, by Mark Bowden and Matthew Teague. (Atlantic Monthly, $28.) The authors commemorate mostly unknown Republican officials in local politics who resisted their party’s pressures to overturn the 2020 election — and played a key role in preserving American democracy. In his review, Luke Broadwater calls it a “lean, fast-paced and important account of the chaotic final weeks of the Trump administration” that offers “a view of the election through the eyes of state- and county-level officials.”


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