Tree of Smoke: A Novel Farrar Straus and Giroux First Edition edition Denis Johnson

Once upon a time there was a war . . . and a young American who thought of himself as the Quiet American and the Ugly American, and who wished to be neither, who wanted instead to be the Wise American, or the Good American, but who eventually came to witness himself as the Real […]

A Stranger to Myself: The Inhumanity of War: Russia 1941-1944 Willy Peter Reese Farrar Straus and Giroux

Sometimes lyrical, this memoir by a German youth who miraculously survived four tours of duty on the Russian front during WWII—he died on his fifth deployment—is a significant historical document. It is also a laborious and overwrought cacophony of Wagnerian proportions. Reese, who was a 20-year-old bank clerk in 1939 when he was first drafted, […]

The Terror: The Merciless War for Freedom in Revolutionary France David Andress Farrar Straus and Giroux

Andress offers a visceral account of the guillotining of King Louis XVI in 1793: “he was strapped to a tilting plank, which dropped his head into a brace, and the blade… plunged from above.” While the British historian’s graphic depiction of numerous executions is a high point of his account of the Terror, he explicitly […]

Ordinary Heroes: A Novel Scott Turow Farrar Straus and Giroux First Edition edition

Starred Review. When retired newspaperman Stewart Dubinsky (last seen in 1987’s Presumed Innocent) discovers letters his deceased father wrote during his tour of duty in WWII, a host of family secrets come to light. In Turow’s ambitious, fascinating page-turner, a “ferocious curiosity” compels the divorced Dubinsky to study his “remote, circumspect” father’s papers, which include […]

Killing the Black Dog: A Memoir of Depression Farrar Straus and Giroux Reprint edition Les Murray

In 1988, shortly after moving from Sydney back to his birthplace in the rural New South Wales hamlet of Bunyah, Les Murray was struck with depression. In the months that followed, the Black Dog (as he calls it) ruled his life. He raged at his wife and children. He ducked a parking ticket on grounds […]

Old City Hall: A Novel Farrar Straus and Giroux First Edition edition Robert Rotenberg

Breathtaking . . . A tightly woven spiderweb of plot and a rich cast of characters make this a truly gripping read. Jeffery Deaver, author of The Bodies Left Behind What appears to be an open-and-shut murder case turns out to be anything but in Rotenberg’s overstuffed debut, a legal thriller. After celebrated radio host […]

The Village of Waiting Africa Coastal West Africa George Packer Farrar Straus and Giroux 1 edition

In 1982-83, Packer worked for the Peace Corps as an English teacher in the village of Lavie in Togo, West Africa, and here recounts his occasionally comic, more often poignant, and frequently tragic experiences in sharp, descriptive prose. He does not romanticize Africa or Africans, but writes with an honest sense of realism and the […]

Train Dreams: A Novella Farrar Straus and Giroux First Edition edition Denis Johnson

A New York Times Notable Book for 2011 Praise for Tree of Smoke:Good morning and please listen to me: Denis Johnson is a true American artist, and Tree of Smoke is a tremendous book . . . It ought to secure Johnson’s status as a revelator for this still new century. Jim Lewis, The New […]

The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy Nicholas Lemann Farrar Straus and Giroux 1st edition

Nicholas Lemann’s The Big Test starts off as a look at how the SAT became an integral part of the college application process by telling the stories of men like Henry Chauncey and James Bryant Conant of Harvard University, who sought in the 1930s and ’40s to expand their student base beyond the offspring of […]

Table of Contents John McPhee Farrar Straus and Giroux 1st edition

Eight essays of varying length, all reprinted from the New Yorker , make up this collection of vintage McPhee. Most of the pieces deal with people who have taken the less traveled path, such as Pat McConnell, who is in charge of all New Jersey’s fur-bearing mammals, including bears (yes, there are bears in New […]