The Week in Books

We take the weekend to highlight some of the recent books coverage in The Times:

A tour of the Book Review:

Our cover review this week is of Nell Freudenberger’s novel “Lost and Wanted,” about a quantum physicist in mourning. Our reviewer, Louisa Hall, sung its praises: “Freudenberger navigates complicated concepts from physics with admirable clarity, and those concepts — entanglement, uncertainty, gravitational waves — help us feel in new ways the ongoing influence of dormant friendships, the difficulties involved with believing in attachments that can’t be observed, the enduring pull of discarded hopes.”

It’s hard to narrow down the list of worthy books this week, but a few nonfiction titles stand out: Leo Damrosch’s “The Club: Johnson, Boswell, and the Friends Who Shaped an Age”; “Midnight in Chernobyl: The Untold Story of the World’s Greatest Nuclear Disaster,” by Adam Higginbotham; “Solitary,” by Albert Woodfox; and “Horizon,” by Barry Lopez.

Higginbotham joins us on the podcast this week to talk about his sweeping new history of the nuclear accident and its aftermath, and later, Nellie Bowles discusses Clive Thompson’s new book, “Coders,” a study of Silicon Valley’s “brogrammer” culture.

Reviews from the staff critics

Susan Choi’s fifth novel, “Trust Exercise,” is about theater students at a performing arts high school. It’s about misplaced trust in adults, and about female friendships gone dangerously awry. Dwight Garner says that the novel “burns more brightly than anything she’s yet written.”

Miriam Toews’s new novel, “Women Talking,” was inspired by a real-life series of attacks in a Mennonite community. The ethical questions grappled with in the book “feel strikingly contemporary,” Parul Sehgal writes. “What are the differences between punishment and justice? How do we define rehabilitation; how do we enforce accountability?”

“Memoirs about motherhood are exceedingly common, but ‘Women’s Work’ dares to explore the labor arrangements that often make such books possible.” Jennifer Szalai reviews Megan Stack’s new book about the women she hired to help raise her family while living in China and India.

Exploring her family’s history, and Palestine’s

When the British-Palestinian writer Isabella Hammad first visited Palestine six years ago, it was, in some ways, the culmination of a childhood in which memories and family stories about the region were always present. Joumana Khatib spoke with Hammad about that trip, and about her sweeping debut novel, “The Parisian.”

Making the most of therapy

“Insight is the booby prize of therapy. It’s great if you have it, but if you don’t take that insight and produce change, it’s worthless.” Lori Gottlieb talks about her new book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed.”

Digital catnip, for book lovers

The Seven Day Book Cover Challenge asks users to post a photo of a book cover on a social media platform every day for a week. The results are delightful.

Erin Lee Carr on father-daughter joys and struggles

In her new memoir, “All That You Leave Behind,” Carr documents her relationship with her father, the former Times reporter and columnist David Carr, and her own troubles, including with alcoholism.

Looking for your next read?

Here are nine books our editors recommend this week, and a list of our most anticipated titles of the month.

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