A WORLD ON A WING: The Global Odyssey of Migratory Birds, by Scott Weidensaul. (Norton, $ 32.) Weidensaul takes readers on a captivating journey alongside the world’s feathered wanderers and the people who study them. He also participates in a kind of crusade, drawing attention to the large number of birds that have disappeared from the sky. “Weidensaul is responsible for communicating to both the discerning observer and the layman the epic scale of what happens in our skies each year, the whys and hows, while offering rays of hope through the dark ones. storm clouds, ”writes Christian Cooper in his review. “A World on the Wing’s success in navigating this challenge rivals the astonishing feats of the birds it chronicles.”
WHAT COMES AFTER, by JoAnne Tompkins. (Riverhead, $ 28.) In this first novel, a pregnant teenager appears in a small town in the grip of tragedy. The way the locals open their doors to a stranger, and how two neighbors find their way after the death of their sons, is the backbone of this difficult yet elegant story. “It’s an uplifting tale, which prompted me to ask a series of difficult and intrusive questions at the table,” writes Elisabeth Egan in her latest group text column. “But it’s also a powerful and inspiring reminder of how a tight-knit community will rally around people in difficulty, regardless of their age.”
GOLDEN DIGGERS, by Sanjena Sathian. (Penguin Press, $ 27.) The teens at the center of Sathian’s debut novel drink literal gold in a desperate attempt to fit in as children of immigrants. The book is filled with painfully real reminders of what it was like to be a teenager in America after 9/11, feeling the weight of your parents’ dreams on your shoulders, but most of all just wanting to drink and hang out. “The tension that Sathian creates is that of teenage insecurity as they reach adulthood,” writes Lauren Christensen in her article. “This intimate glimpse of millennials who are second-generation Americans… shows how history repeats itself. It’s a story of immigrants drawing their futures from the property they found, which isn’t theirs – or is it?
FIRST SINGULAR PERSON: Stories, by Haruki Murakami. Translated by Philip Gabriel. (Knopf, $ 28.) Murakami’s new stories explain the power of memory to shape us, incorporating confessional reflections and touches of his characteristic supernaturalism: Charlie Parker speaks to us in a dream, a monkey with a strange compulsion becomes clear. Our reviewer, David Means, admires the collection: “No matter what you want to call Murakami’s work – magical realism, supernatural realism – he writes like a mysterious wanderer, exposing his global readership to essential and cosmic (yes, cosmic) questions. !) art can provoke.
THE RECENT EAST, by Thomas Grattan. (MCD / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $ 27.) The rare novel to make a good life interesting, “The Recent East” follows three generations of a family, each uprooted and relocated across the world at a pivotal time in their childhood. “More extraordinarily, Grattan gives us not only life, but a good life, the scarcity of which in fiction (and increasingly in reality) is a shame,” writes our critic, Patrick Nathan. “Is happiness really that uninteresting?” Does contentment? The two seem to have developed this reputation, but in Grattan’s hands the joys of life are magnetic.