A spring bouquet of 6 brand-new paperbacks

Need to get lost in a book these days? Here’s the best kind of spring bouquet: an assortment of fresh paperbacks, all recommended.

“Homo Irrealis: The Would-Be Man Who Might Have Been: Essays”

by André Aciman (Picador, $18).

The author of “Call Me By Your Name” here offers “elegant meditations on time and memory, longing and desire, being and becoming,” according to a starred Kirkus Review. “Reminiscent of the writings of WG Sebald and Fernando Pessoa (both subjects of his essays by him), Aciman’s latest by him conveys with grace and insight his longing by him to apprehend ‘myself looking out to the self I am today.’ A resplendent collection from a writer who never disappoints.”

“Foregone: A Novel”

by Russell Banks (Ecco, $17.99).

The first novel in a decade from Banks (author of “The Sweet Hereafter” and “Affliction,” among many others) has at its center a documentary filmmaker named Leo, living in Canada after evading the draft long ago. Ill with cancer, he looks back at his life in a final filmed interview. “In this complex and powerful novel, we come face to face with the excruciating allure of redemption,” wrote Washington Post reviewer Ron Charles. “Even as Leo’s memories fade, his hunger for forgiveness comes into radiant focus.”

“Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball”

by Luke Epplin (Flatiron Books, $18.99).

As baseball fans wait — maybe longer than usual — for the season to start, how about a good baseball book? This one profiles the 1948 Cleveland Indians, focusing on pitcher Bob Feller; Negro leagues star Satchel Paige; Larry Doby, a Black player who signed with Cleveland just weeks after Jackie Robinson made history by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers; and the Indians’ entrepreneurial owner, Bill Veeck. “Epplin’s epic saga is simultaneously a riveting drama and a searing portrait of the racism that plagued baseball for decades,” wrote Publishers Weekly in a starred review. “This sharp and well-documented history will be a hit with baseball lovers and general interest readers alike.”

“Liberty: A Novel”

by Kaitlyn Greenidge (Algonquin, $16.95).

Named a Best Book of 2021 by multiple outlets including The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times, Greenidge’s second novel is inspired by the life of one of the America’s first Black female doctors. The book, set in 19th-century Brooklyn, is “a feat of monumental thematic imagination,” wrote New York Times reviewer Margaret Wilkerson Sexton. “Greenidge both mines history and transcends time, centering her post-Civil-War New York story around an enduring quest for freedom.”

“The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020”

by Rachel Kushner (Scribner, $17.99).

The author of “The Flamethrowers” ​​and “The Mars Room” here collects her nonfiction on a variety of topics: growing up with beatnik parents, loving motorcycles, examining the work of writers like Marguerite Duras, Clarice Lispector and Denis Johnson. The book is “testimony to the breadth both of Kushner’s experience and of her intellectual convictions,” wrote Fernanda Eberstadt in The New York Times, noting that “Kushner believes we need to change the world, and … she doesn’t see why she can ‘t get a good story out of it, too.”

“The Verifiers”

by Jane Peck (Vintage, $17).

Want to get in on the ground floor of a new mystery series? This one sounds quite promising: Claudia Lin is an amateur sleuth who verifies people’s online lives for a dating detective agency in New York; she loves Jane Austen and mysteries, quickly getting caught up in one of her own. “A cool, cerebral and very funny novel,” wrote Kirkus Reviews in a starred review, noting that Claudia “is the seductive protagonist in a tale that delves into the dark heart of contemporary technology, not to mention the foibles of the human heart. ”

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