New Book Recommendations from The New York Times

Notes From A Black Woman’s Diary: Selected Works of Kathleen Collins edited by Nina Lorez Collins

Notes From A Black Woman's Diary

“The writer and filmmaker Kathleen Collins died in 1988, at the age of 46 — young, brilliant and, for the most part, unknown. Her work — including Whatever Happened to Interracial Love?, a collection of short stories published for the first time in 2016 — has been rediscovered and embraced in recent years. Now a new book has arrived, Notes From a Black Woman’s Diary, a grab bag of letters, diary entries, short stories, plays and screenplays. ‘Her voice and vision are idiosyncratic and pitiless, combining mischief and crisp authority, formal experimentation and deep feeling,’ our critic Parul Sehgal writes.”

Go Ahead In The Rain: Notes to a Tribe Called Quest by Hanif Abdurraqib

Go Ahead In The Rain

“In his latest work, the poet and cultural critic Hanif Abdurraqib traces the story of the pioneering hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest over the past three decades. The book pays attention to the larger changes in the culture, but its overall tenor is warm, immediate and intensely personal. ‘Readers looking for a biography of the group will find some of the basics here, but it’s how Abdurraqib filters the information — absorbing it, refracting it through his own distinctive lens — that gives this compact book its power,’ our critic Jennifer Szalai writes. ‘This lush and generous book is a call to pay proper respects — not just to a sound but to a feeling.'”

As Long As We Both Shall Live by JoAnn Chaney

As Long As We Both Shall Live

“In this thriller with echoes of Gone Girl, a hiker whose first wife died in a mysterious fire rushes down from a mountainside claiming that his second wife has fallen from a precipice into the river below. ‘It seems clear that in fact he pushed’ her, Charles Finch writes in a roundup of winter thrillers, but Chaney (a ‘nuanced and thoughtful writer,’ Finch says) ‘does just enough to raise the possibility that something else is going on.'”

The Plotters by Un-Su Ki

The Plotters

“In a slightly akilter version of Seoul, a handsome young assassin named Reseng is in danger. Reviewing the novel for his thrillers roundup, Charles Finch calls it ‘a raucous extravaganza of assassins and lunatics’ that belongs to an emerging subgenre of ‘works that are not dystopian, but instead set in worlds identical to ours except for minor, unsettling differences: two or three millimeters over in the multiverse, say.’ The book is ‘mostly a medium for satire and repulsion,’ with a somewhat convoluted plot, but ‘intelligence and humor keep Reseng’s tale afloat.'”

Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe by Roger McNamee


“The story of Facebook has been told many times before, but McNamee — an early investor in the company — does a superb job of contextualizing its rise within the proper technological history. And this book is not merely the cri de coeur of a forsworn tech optimist zinged by moral conscience. It’s also a robust and helpful itemization of the ways Facebook could be brought to heel. ‘Here’s the bizarre quirk of the Facebook dystopia, whose sheer perversity would have likely pleased Orwell,’ Tom Bissell writes in his review: ‘It’s all Big and no Brother. Our time and lives are the company’s only currency. Without our continued attention, Facebook quite literally has nothing, and its empire could be brought down with a feather. Now, blow.'”

Antisemitism: Here and Now by Deborah E. Lipstadt


“Lipstadt seeks to awaken her audience to the nature, persistence and scale of an age-old prejudice that never seems to die, along with the insidious new ways in which it seeks to disguise itself. ‘But Lipstadt isn’t just interested in compiling a list of insults, outrages and assaults,’ Bret Stephens writes, reviewing the book. ‘Anti-Semitism, to adapt a phrase, is the hate that dare not speak its name, and Lipstadt is at her best when she removes the guises under which it travels. … She has written a book that combines erudition, clarity, accessibility and passion at a moment when they could not be needed more.’”

Breaking News: The Remaking of Journalism and Why It Matters Now by Alan Rusbridger

Breaking News

“The former editor of the British daily The Guardian recalls coping with the dramatic transformation of the newspaper business and his concerns about the present assault on truth and fact. ‘Rusbridger wants us to know what it felt like to work inside a news organization during this era, and his painstaking account is fascinating, even for those of us who lived both the peril and the promise,’ our reviewer, Ann Marie Lipinski, writes. ‘The rapid technology changes, collapsing business model, 9/11, media convergence, paywall wars, dawn of social media, rise of the “citizen journalist” and more are here valuably detailed by a gifted reporter focused on the story of his own profession.’”

Merchants of Truth: The Business of News and the Fight for Facts by Jill Abramson

Merchants of Truth

“Abramson examines four news organizations, including The New York Times, which she led at one time as executive editor, and combines analysis with gossip to underline her commitment to journalism at a moment when its future has never looked more uncertain. The book, which has already been the focus of much discussion and controversy, is ‘partly a memoir and partly a work of investigative reporting,’ Nicholas Thompson writes in his review. ‘But it’s mostly an audit of an industry that has spent much of the past decade wetting its pants in fear of digital technology and then worrying about whether to go to the dry cleaners. And it’s a damn good read.'”

The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash

The Dakota Winters

“This novel is set at the famous Dakota building in 1979 and 1980, as the young narrator tries to define himself in the shadow of a charismatic father. He has help from one of the building’s most famous residents, John Lennon. ‘Barbash has vividly captured the end times feeling of this period in America and has populated his sad and funny tale with a highly engaging mix of real people and fictional characters who take us to its ordained and dreaded finale, Lennon’s death,’ Susan Rieger writes, reviewing it. ‘The book’s engine is conversation, used to great effect.’”

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