Recent titles of interest:
Basics of human community, Carlo M. By Cipolla. (Doubleday, $ 15.) Originally published in 1976, this short comic essay by an Italian economist divides humans into four fundamental categories, concluding that stupid people are the most dangerous to society.
Search Freedom: The Story of a Cook; Living a life from scratch, By Erin French. (Caledon, $ 28.) A master chef and owner of destination restaurant The Lost Kitchen, drug addicts in Independence, Maine, French, and gruesome suffering on his way to success. His memoir tells all.
Golden Age of the Golden Age: 1945–1970, Edited by Philip Llopet. (Anchor, paper, $ 17.95.) Lopate, himself an outstanding essayist, is also a prominent curator of the form; Here, he collects examples from an extraordinary era including Susan Sontague, Norman Mailer, Joan Didion, James Agee and more.
You Love Me: Selected Stories, 1981–2018, By John Edgar Wiedman. (Scribner, $ 30.) This selection of 35 stories sheds light on Widman’s formal range and experimentation as he explores Black culture in Pittsburgh and beyond.
ROSE Napoleon’s Nine Lives, By Donna Freitas. (Pamela Dorman, $ 26.) Freitas’s novel is structured like a prism, depicting the heroine’s life in different directions to raise questions about motherhood and female identity.
What we are reading:
I grew up a million miles from north Omaha, in a small, largely white Nebraska town, a large black neighborhood in the state’s largest city. I wrote a good part of last year about the isolation that still plagues Omaha. So i was ready for it You will never, until LACEY is ready, Amber Ruffin and her sister, Lacey Lamar, by two black women from North Omaha. (Lamar still lives in the city, while Ruffin, host of “Late Night with Seth Meyers” and “The Amber Ruffin Show”, lives in New York.) They related the Lama’s encounters to several races with white Nebraskans. Huh. Human resource workers among them. The book is hilarious, “I can’t believe it happened”. Ruffin is a comedy writer, after all. Also, I grew up in white Nebraska. I can believe it! The book provides a little reflection and some treatment. Yet every citizen must study to get a better sense of what they like to be Black in America.
-Doyne Suresi, Climate Correspondent