Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
I’m riveted by this novel’s fractured and deceptively simple structure. It’s both sensational---there’s a severed hand lying in ice within the first five pages—and totally earthy and quotidian.
The Master by Colm Toibin
Can you imagine Henry James sharing a bed with Oliver Wendell Holmes? (Toibin has.) This book is an amazing entry into the mind and life of Henry James and his process as a writer. I loved its unexpected familiarity and its historical accuracy. It’s so different in scope from books like Blackwater Lightship or Brooklyn.
The Philosophical Baby by Alison Gopnik
Alison Gopnik, a developmental psychologist, happens to be Adam Gopnik’s sister and she writes breezily too with a personal lens on the subject of infant consciousness. Babies know more than we think they do. This book shows us how, in some ways, they’re smarter than we are.