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SOLAR. By Ian McEwan. (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, $26.95.) In McEwan’s funniest novel yet, a self-deluding physicist cheats on his wives, sends an innocent man to jail and tries to cash in on another scientist’s plans against global warming.
SOMETHING RED. By Jennifer Gilmore. (Scribner, $25.) Gilmore’s contemplative second novel explores the lost ideals and lingering illusions of a family once politically committed to bettering the world.
SOURLAND: Stories. By Joyce Carol Oates. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $25.99.) Oates explores the idea that the bereaved wife is a kind of guilty party who deserves everything — most of it violent — that comes her way.
THE SPOT: Stories. By David Means. (Faber & Faber, $23.) Like Beckett, Means reveals a God-like inclination to see his characters as forsaken case studies.
SUPER SAD TRUE LOVE STORY. By Gary Shteyngart. (Random House, $26.) Exhilarating prose illuminates the horrors of a future America in this satire.
THE SURRENDERED. By Chang-rae Lee. (Riverhead, $26.95.) As death draws near, Lee’s heroine, a Korean War orphan now living in New York, sets off for Europe to look for her estranged son.
THE THOUSAND AUTUMNS OF JACOB DE ZOET.By David Mitchell. (Random House, $26.) Mitchell’s historical novel about a young Dutchman in Edo-era Japan is an achingly romantic story of forbidden love and something of an adventurous rescue tale.
THE THREE WEISSMANNS OF WESTPORT. By Cathleen Schine. (Sarah Crichton/Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25.) Two Manhattan sisters, one wildly emotional, one smartly sensible, come to the aid of their beloved aging mother.
TO THE END OF THE LAND. By David Grossman. Translated by Jessica Cohen. (Knopf, $26.95.) Two friends are deeply involved with the same woman in this somber, haunting novel of love and loyalty in time of conflict, set in Israel between 1967 and 2000.
VIDA. By Patricia Engel. (Black Cat/Grove/Atlantic, paper, $14.) Engel’s understated stories are told from the perspective of a daughter of Colombian immigrants.
A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD. By Jennifer Egan. (Knopf, $25.95.) In her centrifugal, unclassifiably elaborate narrative, Egan creates a set of characters with assorted links to the music business and lets time have its way with them.
WHAT BECOMES: Stories. By A. L. Kennedy. (Knopf, $24.95.) Though the characters in her harrowing fourth collection buckle under the weight of misfortune, Kennedy can go from darkness to humor in a heartbeat.
WHITE EGRETS: Poems. By Derek Walcott. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $24.) The Nobel Prize winner’s latest collection is intensely personal, an old man’s book, craving one more day of light and warmth.
WILD CHILD: Stories. By T. Coraghessan Boyle. (Viking, $25.95.) In these tales, Boyle continues his career-long interest in man’s vexed tussles with nature.
ALL THE DEVILS ARE HERE: The Hidden History of the Financial Crisis. By Bethany McLean and Joe Nocera. (Portfolio/Penguin, $32.95.) More than offering a backward look, this account of the disaster of 2008 helps explain today’s troubling headlines and might help predict tomorrow’s.
APOLLO’S ANGELS: A History of Ballet. By Jennifer Homans. (Random House, $35.) The question of classical ballet’s very survival lies at the heart of this eloquent, truly definitive history, which traces dance across four centuries of wars and revolutions, both artistic and political.
BIG GIRLS DON’T CRY: The Election That Changed Everything for American Women. By Rebecca Traister. (Free Press, $26.) A colorful, emotional argument that 2008 gave feminism a thrilling “new life.”
THE BOOK IN THE RENAISSANCE. By Andrew Pettegree. (Yale University, $40.) A thought-provoking revisionist history of the early years of printing.
THE BRIDGE: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama. By David Remnick. (Knopf, $29.95.) This study of Obama before he became president, by the editor of The New Yorker, has many important additions and corrections to make to our reading of “Dreams From My Father.”
CHANGING MY MIND: Occasional Essays. By Zadie Smith. (Penguin Press, $26.95.) The quirky pleasures here are due in part to Smith’s inspired cultural references, from Simone Weil to “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.”
CHARLIE CHAN: The Untold Story of the Honorable Detective and His Rendezvous With American History. By Yunte Huang. (Norton, $26.95.) The urbane presentation of Earl Derr Biggers’s fictional Chinese sleuth, in print and in film, ran counter to the racism of his era.
CHRISTIANITY: The First Three Thousand Years. By Diarmaid MacCulloch. (Viking, $45.) MacCulloch traces the faith’s history through classical philosophy and Jewish tradition, fantastical visions and cold calculations, loving sacrifices and imperial ambitions.
CLEOPATRA: A Life. By Stacy Schiff. (Little, Brown, $29.99.) It’s dizzying to contemplate the ancient thicket of personalities and propaganda Schiff penetrates to show the Macedonian-Egyptian queen in all her ambition, audacity and formidable intelligence.
COLONEL ROOSEVELT. By Edmund Morris. (Random House, $35.) The final volume of Morris’s monumental life of Theodore Roosevelt vividly covers the eventful nine years after he left office.
COMMON AS AIR: Revolution, Art, and Ownership. By Lewis Hyde. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $26.) Hyde draws on the American founders for arguments against the privatization of knowledge.
CONTESTED WILL: Who Wrote Shakespeare? By James Shapiro. (Simon & Schuster, $26.) Shapiro is particularly interested in what “the authorship question” says about successive generations of readers.
COUNTRY DRIVING: A Journey Through China From Farm to Factory. By Peter Hessler. (Harper/HarperCollins, $27.99.) Hessler chronicles the effects of an expanding road network on the rapidly changing lives of individual Chinese.
THE EMPEROR OF ALL MALADIES: A Biography of Cancer. By Siddhartha Mukherjee. (Scribner, $30.) Mukherjee’s powerful and ambitious history of cancer and its treatment is an epic story he seems compelled to tell, like a young priest writing a biography of Satan.
EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History. By S. C. Gwynne. (Scribner, $27.50.) The story of the last and greatest chief of the tribe that once ruled the Great Plains.
ENCOUNTER. By Milan Kundera. Translated by Linda Asher. (Harper/HarperCollins, $23.99.) Illuminating essays on the arts in the context of a “post art” era.
THE FIERY TRIAL: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. By Eric Foner. (Norton, $29.95.) Foner tackles what would seem an obvious topic, Lincoln and slavery, and sheds new light on it.
FINISHING THE HAT: Collected Lyrics (1954-1981) With Attendant Comments, Principles, Heresies, Grudges, Whines and Anecdotes. By Stephen Sondheim. (Knopf, $39.95.) Sondheim’s analysis of his songs and those of others is both stinging and insightful.
FOUR FISH: The Future of the Last Wild Food. By Paul Greenberg. (Penguin Press, $25.95.) Even as Greenberg lays out the grim and complicated facts about the ravaging of our seas, he manages to sound some hopeful notes about the ultimate fate of fish.