12 New Books We Recommend This Week

12 New Books We Suggest This Week

LOST IN THE VALLEY OF DEATH: A Story of Obsession and Danger in the Himalayas, by Harley Rustad. (Harper/HarperCollins, $29.99.) In August 2016, an skilled American trekker named Justin Alexander Shetler launched into an expedition within the Parvati Valley of northern India, by no means to be heard from once more. Rustad’s tense, fascinating e-book about his life asks what attracts individuals to hazard. “By affected person accumulation of anecdote and element, Rustad evolves Shetler’s story into one thing far more human, and humanly tragic, right into a layered inquisition and a reportorial power,” Michael Paterniti writes in his evaluate. “Suffice it to say Rustad has finished what the perfect storytellers do: tried to trace the story to its final twig after which stepped apart.”

OTHER PEOPLE’S CLOTHES, by Calla Henkel. (Doubleday, $28.) In Henkel’s thrilling and visceral debut novel, two New York artwork college students spend a 12 months in Berlin, the place they get caught up in a swirl of seedy nightclubs and cut-rate booze. Their poisonous entanglement is the true star right here, however there are many wild revelations to maintain a reader turning the pages. “Henkel deploys a spectacular vary of senses from the gaudy sight of costumes at a theater sale to the sweaty, orgiastic tangle on the dance ground of a intercourse membership, the damp chill of every thing to the grinding headache within the aftermath of an excessive amount of cut-rate booze,” Ivy Pochoda writes in her evaluate. “The grungy pupil life feels all too actual: the dinner events that fall flat, the makes an attempt at profound dialog that don’t carry off, the scramble to turn into somebody and one thing.”

PHENOTYPES, by Paulo Scott. Translated by Daniel Hahn. (And Different Tales, paper, $16.95.) The narrator of this propulsive novel is a light-skinned Black researcher of race and colorism in Brazil. However his personal id involves the fore when his niece is arrested, additional complicating questions he has spent his profession making an attempt to resolve. The novel “underscores how troublesome antiracist tasks may be at any scale,” Omari Weekes writes in his evaluate. “Standardizing race by way of laptop packages and blood quantum solely opens up new questions, whereas particular person negotiations of race seethe and fester unresolved. As these issues mesh with socioeconomic inequality, police brutality, interpersonal violence and state surveillance, Scott’s characters rapidly abandon the opportunity of a complete resolution in favor of stopgap measures which will or might not work.”

THE SWIMMERS, by Julie Otsuka. (Knopf, $23.) Narrated partly from the first-person-plural perspective of the avid swimmers who frequent an underground group pool, Otsuka’s third novel strikes onto dry land to discover the world of an ageing lady named Alice, who suffers from dementia, and her daughter. “Otsuka’s prose is powerfully subdued,” Rachel Khong writes in her evaluate: “She builds lists and litanies that seem unassuming, even quotidian, till the paragraph involves an finish, and you end up surprised by what she has managed, your throat tight with the gorgeous element that Alice, amongst all of the issues she forgets, nonetheless ‘remembers to show her marriage ceremony ring round at any time when she pulls on her silk stockings.’”

THE MATCHMAKER: A Spy in Berlin, by Paul Vidich. (Pegasus Crime, $25.95.) On this clever spy novel, an American translator dwelling and dealing in West Berlin shortly earlier than the wall comes down finds the C.I.A. and West German intelligence on her doorstep at some point. Her East German husband, it appears, has been maintaining secrets and techniques — numerous them. “There’s a informal class to Vidich’s spy fiction,” Sarah Weinman writes in her newest crime column, “a seeming effortlessness that belies his superior craftsmanship. Each plot level, character motivation and switch of phrase veers towards the understated, however they’re by no means underwritten. ‘The Matchmaker’ is a perfect entrance into Vidich’s work.”

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