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“Harlots, Whores & Hackabouts: A History of Sex for Sale” by Kate Lister; Thames & Hudson (256 pages, $35) ——— Vice has its price. As long as humans have been having sex, they’ve been selling it. Usually, it only fetched a few dollars. But very rarely, it brought the kind of rich man’s favor that created courtesans. Whatever the final cost, humans have a way of turning carnal attraction into ...

"LaserWriter II" by Tamara Shopsin; MCD (224 pages, $26) ——— "LaserWriter II," Tamara Shopsin's first novel, is essentially a nonfiction love letter to an old Macintosh tech repair shop in New York City, layered over with a fictitious (I assume) main character. The tech shop, Tekserve on 23rd Street in Greenwich Village, was a real place, opening in 1987, and the founders, David and Dick, are ...

Jessica Nordell's "The End of Bias" dives deep to help us transform ourselves and our world. MINNEAPOLIS — Jessica Nordell earned degrees in physics and poetry and has worked as a journalist for more than 15 years. But in her soul, Nordell is an archaeologist, digging deep into the human psyche on a quest to understand why we move through the world with realities "tinted and tinged and tweaked ...

NONFICTION: A Norwegian writer, out of touch with the out-of-doors, spends one night a month camping in the forest. "A Year in the Woods" by Torbjørn Ekelund, translated from the Norwegian by Becky L. Crook; Greystone (264 pages, $24.95) ——— We believe that expeditions should be grand, Torbjørn Ekelund notes in his memoir, "A Year in the Woods." But sometimes life doesn't allow for long ...

A new paperback, crisp as a fall apple — what could be nicer? Here are six fresh ones, ranging from suspense fiction to sweeping biography. Happy reading! "Find You First" by Linwood Barclay (HarperCollins, $9.99). Barclay, a bestselling author of well-crafted novels of suspense ("Elevator Pitch"), kept me up late reading this one not long ago. In it, the heirs of a dying tech multimillionaire ...

"Unprotected" by Billy Porter; Abrams Press (288 pages, $28) ——— The Billy Porter you see today on big and small screens exemplifies the power of what can be accomplished by being unabashedly yourself. That wasn't always easy for him, though. Before he became a Tony, Grammy and Emmy-winning actor — not to mention a movie star and fledgling director — he was just a kid from Pittsburgh coming to ...

"Renegades: Born in the USA" by Barack Obama, Bruce Springsteen; Crown (320 pages, $50) ——— In 2008, an unlikely friendship began to flourish between a rock 'n' roll legend and an American politician. Barack Obama was campaigning to become the first Black president of the United States, and he invited Bruce Springsteen to perform a concert at a rally in Ohio. "I had wonderful experiences ...

"Going There" by Katie Couric; Little, Brown (528 pages, $30) ——— In Katie Couric's new memoir "Going There," the TV news star recalls a question asked by her therapist. "Have you ever considered that maybe not everyone is going to like you?" Couric admits that she hadn't. She was a "pleaser" since childhood, "a master of recruiting people to team Katie." The breakthrough moment clearly stuck ...

A lauded poet traverses a path into the past in search of who she is and who she was. "Dear Memory: Letters on Writing, Silence and Grief" by Victoria Chang; Milkweed Editions (168 pages, $25) ——— Many immigrant stories begin with trauma. The decision to leave behind one's country of birth is rarely a whim and more often a decision reached in the face of repression, imminent threat, or — in ...

DETROIT — Bethany Ball was a child on the playground of Royal Oak Township's now-gone Grant Elementary School when she got an early sense of her family's tradition of writing. "Somebody picked up a newspaper that was flying around ... and said, 'Your dad is in here,'" she recalls. "It was the first time I saw my dad's name in print and really sort of understood how cool that was." Her father, ...

NONFICTION: A lively popular history of the 1960s. "The Shattering: America in the 1960s" by Kevin Boyle; W.W. Norton & Co. (464 pages, $30) ——— On Aug. 23, 1963, South Vietnamese generals asked President John F. Kennedy whether the United States would approve a coup. The White House replied that if President Diem was removed, the U.S. would support an interim government. On Aug. 26, Kennedy ...

I’ve been reading the Best American series. To be exact, I’ve been reading it for 35 years, since high school, when I found a copy of the “Best American Short Stories” 1986 (edited by Raymond Carver) for a quarter at a yard sale. I don’t know why I bought it; that copy was years old, and even in 1988, who needed the best writing from two years earlier? Still, it was cheap and full of the kinds ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, Oct. 15, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. State of Terror. Clinton/Penny. S&S and St. Martin’s 2. The Wish. ...

Here are the bestsellers for the week that ended Saturday, Oct. 15, compiled from data from independent and chain bookstores, book wholesalers and independent distributors nationwide, powered by NPD BookScan © 2021 NPD Group. (Reprinted from Publishers Weekly, published by PWxyz LLC. © 2021, PWxyz LLC.) HARDCOVER FICTION 1. "State of Terror" by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny (S&S and ...

FICTION: A shocking and hilarious novel about a mother who embarks on a bizarre trip. "I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness" by Claire Vaye Watkins; Riverhead (290 pages, $27) ——— Motherhood, we're told, is a miracle, a blessing, a gift. That's the unmistakable message that the mass media have hammered home for decades — women who give birth are expected to be grateful, uncomplaining, never ...

FICTION: In Elizabeth Strout's latest novel, the character of Lucy Barton returns and tries to understand her attachment to her troubled ex-husband. "Oh William!" by Elizabeth Strout; Random House (256 pages, $27) ——— The latest novel from Elizabeth Strout may be named for a man, but at its heart is a woman trying to tell us something about herself. In "Oh William!," Lucy Barton, the narrator ...

This new book by Jonathan Franzen, sigh, is terrific. In fact, “Crossroads” is one of his best, overflowing with family crisis, morality, mundanity — a nearly 19th century potboiler of ordinariness, across 600 pages, set in suburban Chicago. It is the first of a trilogy saddled with a weighty title: “The Key to All Mythologies,” itself a nod to “Middlemarch.” It is, in other words, that most ...

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