9 new books we recommend this week

It’s Thanksgiving, so I’ll keep it short so you can uncork the wine and set your seating plan: here are nine new books, covering everything from microchipping to ballet to the coronavirus, from classical music to Irish immigration to true crime ; and in fiction, a thriller, horror novel, and novella by Booker finalist Claire Keegan. Happy reading and happy eating.

– Gregory Cowles

This sensitive, stately biography shows how George Balanchine reinvented ballet for the 20th century. Homans examines the choreographer’s personal life, including his marriages and affairs with his dancers, as well as the beauty and torment of his craft.

The author, Juilliard graduate and professional violinist, offers a refreshingly entertaining guide to the intimidating world of sonatas, symphonies and Schumann in a recording narrated by Warsaw Faun Rauch himself, particularly well-suited to audiobook format.

penguin audio

Corcoran investigates the unsolved murder of Mexican reporter Regina Martínez and offers a chilling look at press freedom in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. The author’s search for answers leads her into a hall of mirrors.

This timely book by an international affairs scholar is a tale of technological ingenuity that reads like a thriller. The silicon chip, Miller argues, could be to the 21st century what the atomic bomb was to the 20th – the device that determines world order.

scribe | $30

In this compelling account of researchers’ attempts to escape Covid-19, the author, a veteran science writer, explains not only how inevitable one such pandemic was, but how inevitable others are. As one scientist put it to Quammen, “An illness is everywhere, an illness is everywhere.”

Simon & Schuster | $28.99

This chilling horror novel is also a powerful exploration of trauma and healing. The book follows an Indigenous woman who receives an ancient bracelet that used to belong to her missing mother, a relic that unleashes literal and metaphorical spirits

Iron | $27.99

The author of Small Things Like These returns with a beautiful novella, told about a young girl in rural Ireland who was sent away to live with another family while her mother was pregnant. The narrator’s voice strikes a perfect balance between naivety and keen emotional intelligence.

grove | $20

This compelling and learned story charts the alarming nineteenth-century migration of Irish people to the United States, Canada and elsewhere, and the fortunes of that diaspora—mostly Catholic and poor—from there.

Essential Books | $35

This riveting debut thriller follows the parallel footsteps of two women who both arrived in New York City on the same day. One dies – and she is the narrator. Nevertheless, Bublitz’s tour de force crackles with life, energy and imagination.

Emily Bestler Books/Atriums | Paperback, $17.99