9 New Books We Recommend This Week

9 New Books We Recommend This Week

WOW, NO THANK YOU: Essays, by Samantha Irby. (Vintage, paper, $15.95.) Irby suffers from Crohn’s disease, degenerative arthritis and depression — this collection, her third, is dedicated to Wellbutrin. She is also a riot. “Read Irby because she understands the mutinies of the body. She understands suffering and uncertainty, and is wildly, seditiously funny on both,” our critic Parul Sehgal writes. “Read Irby because she knows what it means to live with a fair amount of panic and largely indoors. … She might be our great bard of quarantine.”

THE CITY WE BECAME, by N. K. Jemisin. (Orbit, $28.) New York City is a living, sentient organism in Jemisin’s latest novel. An Enemy lurks, and the five boroughs — represented by diverse human characters — must learn to trust one another before they can go to battle. A joyous love letter to the five boroughs, the novel explicitly welcomes foreignness and plurality. “The book is rich and generous in a way that belies the easy analogues of the plot,” Amal El-Mohtar writes in her review. “My experience of this book was of a white-knuckled grip, as people I loved and cheered for fought hard on one another’s behalf.”

IN OUR PRIME: How Older Women Are Reinventing the Road Ahead, by Susan J. Douglas. (Norton, $25.95.) In this galvanizing manifesto, a communications professor and author of books about sexism and motherhood issues a clarion call for older women to “rip off the invisibility cloak” and reinvent the world they live in so it stops cheating them. “It’s hard to find anything here that a fair-minded reader could dispute,” Leslie Bennetts writes in her review, “and also impossible to deny the political, economic and cultural potential of what Douglas describes as an incipient demographic revolution.”

FOR THE RIDE, by Alice Notley. (Penguin Poets, 144 pp., paper, $20.) Notley, a second-generation New York School poet who has written over 40 collections since 1971, is known for conceptual and hybrid projects. Her latest — a kind of text-based adventure — is a book-length epic about a character who has to figure out the terms of a strange new world. “There is joy throughout the book, in Notleyish lines like ‘Stars look like the word stars,’” Elisa Gabbert writes in her poetry column. “‘For the Ride’ is not exactly an optimistic book, since life as we know it in this futurescape is toast. But there is a strain of wishful thinking in the idea that neologisms, revamped grammars, could effect better living.”

IN PURSUIT OF DISOBEDIENT WOMEN: A Memoir of Love, Rebellion, and Family, Far Away, by Dionne Searcey. (Ballantine, $27.) As The Times’s West Africa bureau chief, Searcey relocated her family from Brooklyn to Dakar, Senegal. This lively chronicle recounts her adventures abroad, including her work covering Boko Haram, the militant Islamist group notorious for kidnapping young women. “Some reporters view the world from the top down,” Fiammetta Rocco writes in her review. “Others, among them some of the very best, prefer to see it from the bottom up. Searcey is one of the latter.”


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