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10 New Books to Watch for in April

Category: Art & Culture,Books

From historical novels to a new poetry collection to a book about a quantum physicist in mourning, there’s something for every taste coming out this month. Here are some books to look for.

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Ahead of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, this book delves into the history of the space race, exploring its political, scientific and cultural components. Brinkley draws on primary source materials and interviews with the major figures, and focuses on the men and women who helped fuel the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo projects.

Bazelon, a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, argues that prosecutors have far too much power over the outcomes of criminal cases. To explore their outsize influence, Bazelon follows the cases of two defendants, and interweaves their stories with academic research. The book lays out a path for urgent and necessary changes to the current system, and features a group of young, reform-minded district attorneys who give Bazelon hope.

McKibben sounded an early alarm about climate change, and his new book’s subtitle summarizes what is perhaps his worst fear. He outlines the many dangers that climate change poses to civilization — rising sea levels, threats to food production — and the obstacles to halting the onset of global warming. While fear outweighs hope in the book, he does offer some reasons to be optimistic.

As a cub reporter in Baltimore, Bowden was swept up in a 1975 case of two missing sisters, which went unsolved for decades. In 2013, the police trained their eyes on a new suspect, and Bowden, also the author of “Black Hawk Down,” followed along as they investigated. His book revisits the case and offers insight into the interrogation practices and the high stakes that accompany them.

This eloquent new novel borrows from science fiction and ghost stories to tell the story of a quantum physicist in mourning. Helen Clapp is an acclaimed scientist, far more inclined to choose rationality over the supernatural, but a phone call from her dead friend forces her to reconsider. [Read our review.]

Rooney’s first novel, “Conversations With Friends,” became a sensation, praised for its portrayal of a complex, intellectually driven friendship between two young women. With her trademark nuance and insight, her new book follows the on-again, off-again romance and friendship between Connell and Marianne. The pair first meet as high schoolers, striking up an unlikely relationship — he’s popular and well-liked; she’s a loner — and later attend Trinity College in Dublin together.

This elegant debut novel explores the period of Palestinian history between the end of the Ottoman Empire and World War II through the life and travels of a man from Nablus. When the man, Midhat Kamal, leaves to study in France in 1914 he discovers an affinity for life there, but he finds he has a complicated relationship with his homeland upon his return.

A controversial TV host, Matthew Miller, comes under scrutiny after a school shooting is linked to his show, and the secrets from his past, in 1970s New York and beyond, start to emerge. The novel is told from the perspectives of Miller’s former lover, Semi, and his publicist, Cel.

The poems in Brown’s third collection touch on everything from fatherhood to trauma, but above all they meditate on the various meanings of blackness. The director of the creative writing program at Emory University, Brown also showcases a new form he invented: the “duplex,” which borrows from the ghazal, the sonnet and the blues.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, best known for his biographies of Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert Moses, reflects on his writing process in a new collection. In these pieces, both previously published and new, he remembers significant interviews, shares how he drafts his books and gives insight into how he approaches his work.

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