New in Paperback: ‘The Devil You Know’ and ‘The Lying Life of Adults’

By Jennifer Krauss

MAGIC LESSONS, by Alice Hoffman. (Simon & Schuster, 416 pp., $17.) “Hoffman’s book swept me away during a time I most needed it,” our reviewer, Edan Lepucki, wrote of the third installment (and second prequel) in the Practical Magic fantasy series. While the plot here is darker than in the other novels, the storytelling, Lepucki enthused, is “(forgive me) bewitching.”

BARRY SONNENFELD, CALL YOUR MOTHER: Memoirs of a Neurotic Filmmaker, by Barry Sonnenfeld. (Hachette, 368 pp., $18.99.) A director known for “making likable and highly commercial movies about weirdos, eccentrics and outsiders,” in our reviewer Dave Itzkoff’s words, explores why he “gravitates to these kinds of characters.” Along the way, he serves as “an ideal tour guide through the vagaries and hypocrisies of the entertainment industry.”

THE DEVIL YOU KNOW: A Black Power Manifesto, by Charles M. Blow. (Harper Perennial, 256 pp., $17.99.) While questioning the historical underpinnings of Blow’s argument that African Americans’ best bet for dismantling white supremacy is to reverse-migrate south, our reviewer, Tanisha C. Ford, called his book a “helpful introduction” to the fractious debates about voting rights.

THE LYING LIFE OF ADULTS, by Elena Ferrante. Translated by Ann Goldstein. (Europa Editions, 324 pp., $18.) “What a relief it is when an author who has written a masterpiece returns to prove the gift intact,” Dayna Tortorici began her review of the pseudonymous Italian writer’s first novel since her Neapolitan quartet. By placing her latest young heroine in the 1990s, Ferrante “slyly asks how decades of feminism have changed the world.”

WAGNERISM: Art and Politics in the Shadow of Music, by Alex Ross. (Picador, 784 pp., $23.) Rather than focus on Wagner’s music itself, our reviewer, John Adams, noted, Ross sees the composer as an “ur-source out of which spring a multitude of artistic, social and political movements.” Exhibiting “its own ‘Wagnerian’ heft,” this work of “enormous intellectual range” is “nothing less than a history of ideas.”

IF THEN: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future, by Jill Lepore. (Liveright, 432 pp., $17.95.) This “fascinating but flawed” book by the Harvard history professor and New Yorker staff writer, about a “robot campaign strategist” (a.k.a. the “People Machine”) that came to light after John F. Kennedy’s narrow 1960 presidential victory, has an important story to tell, according to our reviewer, Seth Mnookin.

Site Index

Site Information Navigation

Source: Read Full Article