10 New Books We Recommend This Week


OUTLIER: The Unfinished Presidency of Jimmy Carter, by Kai Bird. (Crown, $38.) Bird argues that the Carter presidency deserves another perspective because, along with numerous forward-thinking achievements, it is now far more important than most Americans believe. Timothy Naftali, in his review, called Bird’s biography an important book that “explains why American presidents continue to learn so much from President Carter’s mistakes,” that “Bird blames Carter’s essential honesty for the fact that most Americans overlooked this about his presidency.” he writes. of his many achievements.”

SUPER FLY: The Unexpected Lives of the World’s Most Successful Insects, By Jonathan Balcombe. (Penguin, paper, $18.) Naturalists have detailed the life cycle of the fly (egg, maggot, pupa, midge), but the idea that flies are tiny automatons persists. Balcombe undermines this idea with fascinating details about the flies’ diversity and abilities, including the way they distinguish social lives. “Balcombe’s book does more than reveal surprising facts about flies,” writes Rebecca Giggs in her review. “The effect of being locked into this miniature world is an uncomfortable feeling of double vision. Where flies once represented boredom or torment, the ‘Super Fly’ reveals an existence that is not necessarily simpler simply because it is smaller.”

DIRTY ANIMALS: Stories, by Brandon Taylor. (Riverhead, $26). Taylor’s first collection of stories (after her first novel, “Real Life”) is a study of voracious appetites and presents splendid, melancholy portraits of overwhelmed characters. In his review, John Paul Brammer writes: “Taylor has a talent for taking the dull hum of everyday life and turning it into lyrics. “These often candid intimacies combine magnificently with the uglier, more brutal elements to form the focus of the book: lurking beneath the veneer. savage, unspoken impulses that can twist people into terrifying shapes.”

BARCELONA DREAM, by Rupert Thomson. (Other Edition, paper, $15.99.) Three loosely connected narratives in this exciting novel depict Barcelona in the early 2000s. An English woman begins an affair with a Moroccan immigrant, a musician falls into alcoholism, and a translator meets an obscure British businessman. Characters reappear in each of the stories, illustrating the smallness of the world and the place of chance in defining the shape of a life. “The stories are also linked to their airy thought-provoking style,” writes our critic, Alex Preston. “’Barcelona Dreaming’ is a wonderful book, a fanciful hymn to a city and a lost way of life.”

IMPORTANT JUNE JORDAN, Edited by Jan Heller Levi and Christoph Keller. (Copper Canyon, paper, $18.) This posthumous volume, a selection of poems published between 1971 and 2001, reflects Jordan’s view of poetry as a “political act” that could “make a revolution.” Elisa Gabbert writes in her final poetry column that her own poems “can feel like a rallying cry for solidarity.” “Jordan puts not only revenge and justice in his poems, but also love and pleasure. There’s a lot of heady humor in their exclamations: ‘Blues, blues!’”


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