New this week:
THE ART OF BIBLE TRANSLATION By Robert Alter. (Princeton, $24.95.) Alter, who just completed the monumental task of translating the entire Hebrew Bible, presents his thoughts on what he learned. In a series of short essays, he delves into the minutiae of word choice, syntax and rhythm that make up the substance of a translator’s work. EDDIE SPAGHETTI By Rutu Modan. (Fantagraphics, $12.99.) Israel’s most classic children’s book, written by the renowned poet Lea Goldberg and illustrated by Aryeh Navon, tells the tale of a mischievous boy and the trouble he gets into with his dog. Modan, an illustrator and comic book artist, offers a loving interpretation rendered in her whimsical, retro style. A DESERT HARVEST By Bruce Berger. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) Berger is a chronicler of desert life in all its forms, from the cactuses to life in the small towns of the Southwest. This collection of his work spans a career of over 30 years, leaving readers with an impressionistic picture of a distinctly American ecology. WHO KILLED MY FATHER By Édouard Louis. (New Directions, $18.95.) The author of “The End of Eddy” returns with a nonfiction take on France’s neglect of its working class, revisiting his hometown and his father, barely 50 and dying: “You belong to the category of humans whom politics has doomed to an early death.” MAX HAVELAAR OR, THE COFFEE AUCTIONS OF THE DUTCH TRADING COMPANY By Multatuli. (New York Review Books, paper, $17.95.) An anti-colonialist novel that caused a stir when it was first published in 1860, this pseudonymously written work tells the story of a Dutch colonial administrator who struggles against the exploitation of the Indonesian peasantry.
In which we ask colleagues at The Times what they’re reading now.
“Amazon offers almost every book ever published, but when I scroll through the site I find myself traveling in the same old ruts. Browsing at Books Kinokuniya, a chain with headquarters in Tokyo and stores all over the world, is an altogether different experience. There’s a location a few blocks from The New York Times Building, and I would be lying if I said I haven’t spent some time in its shelves on slow news days. One enjoyable discovery was the addictive mystery writer Keigo Higashino. Another was Sayaka Murata, the author of a spellbinding short novel, CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN. My most recent trip led me to two books by the great Japanese short story writer Ryunosuke Akutagawa. I have just devoured KAPPA, his satirical novella about a land populated with mythical creatures, and am now in the thrall of RASHOMON AND OTHER STORIES. Akutagawa’s work is polished in style and gritty in subject
— Jim Windolf, media editor
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