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This Week in Books

Reprinted from the New York Times:

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

A tour of the Book Review

The Book Review’s annual Halloween issue features horror books, of course, but also thrillers, fantasy and science fiction, and our crime columnist Marilyn Stasio’s biannual foray into the terrors of true crime.

Plus, reviews of new fiction by Jeanette Winterson, Joe Hill, Stephen Chbosky and Joseph Kanon.

The actor John Lithgow answers our By the Book questions, and also joins us on the podcast.

Peak Witch

This fall, at least a dozen new witch books have or will hit the market: everything from personal narrative (“Initiated: Memoir of a Witch,” by the first-time author and practicing witch Amanda Yates Garcia) to politics (“Revolutionary Witchcraft,” by Sarah Lyons, a guide to the history and practice of politically motivated magic).

Patricia Highsmith’s Diaries

Patricia Highsmith’s sharply observed psychological thrillers included “Strangers on a Train” and “The Talented Mr. Ripley.” In 2021, readers will get more insight into her own psychology, when Liveright Publishing releases hundreds of pages from the author’s personal diaries as a book.


Jack Reacher’s Creator Has Settled Down

Janet Maslin went to Wyoming to visit Lee Child ahead of the publication of his 24th Jack Reacher novel, “Blue Moon.”

Jenny Slate Talks About ‘Little Weirds’

Jenny Slate’s new book might not be what you were expecting from the comedian, who is known for voicing animated characters in television shows like “Big Mouth” and “Bob’s Burgers,” as well as the internet’s favorite anthropomorphic shell, Marcel.

The Critics

Dwight Garner reviews a new biography of Janis Joplin, by the music writer Holly George-Warren, which “performs a service by stripping away a lot of the noise around Joplin” and “telling her story simply and well, with some of the tone and flavor of a good novel.”

Parul Sehgal says that Pekka Hamalainen’s “Lakota America,” an impressive new history of the tribe of Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, is “also a quarrel with the field, with how history — especially the history of indigenous Americans — has been told and sold.”

Jennifer Szalai writes about Nancy Princenthal’s new book, “Unspeakable Acts,” which looks back to a moment in the 1970s when women artists began to more directly address the subject of sexual violence in their work. Szalai says that Princenthal “takes a tangled history and weaves it into an elegant account.”

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