Tomorrow in the Battle Think on Me by Javier Marías (Vintage, $15). In the opening pages, a woman dies a sudden and mysterious death in the arms of her lover. He in turn is forced to confront the dark and inscrutable corners of his soul.
The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (Vintage, $17). The mundane (a missing cat; spaghetti), the menacing (a missing wife), the bizarre (psychic sisters; a most unusual well), and the ghosts of Japan's military history all come together to form a sprawling, esoteric missing-person mystery and a singular meditation on identity and the tenuous nature of reality.
The Secret History by Donna Tartt (Vintage, $16). Tartt's beloved debut is part page-turner and part haunting exploration of what lurks just beneath the sleek landscape of civility and privilege — and of the moral costs of doing whatever it takes to save yourself.
Running Away by Jean-Philippe Toussaint (Dalkey Archive, $13). "Would it ever end with Marie?" the opening line reads. And so begins an exhilarating journey that starts in China, ends in Italy, and keeps our narrator occupied as he attempts to navigate a frenetic, confounding world that includes a mysterious man, the enigmatic Marie, and a cash-stuffed envelope.
The Naked Eye by Yoko Tawada (New Directions, $14). A young woman is abducted in Berlin. She is held hostage and escapes; time pushes on. From this premise, Tawada spins a strange and arresting tale of a woman adopting new identities as a means of escape while also trying to recover the self that was stolen from her all those years ago.
Big Machine by Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau, $15). Ricky Rice, the hero of this wild and wonderful novel, has one of the most intoxicating voices I've encountered. As we follow Ricky through California sewers, a mysterious Vermont compound, a supernatural impregnation, and his tormented memories of a youth spent in a religious cult, a twisty mystery — and a meditation on what it means to believe — take hold of the reader and won't let go.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How one woman is standing up for India's abused husbands
- New York City's police unions need to get a grip
- The dangerous message of The Hunger Games
- Why we can't educate racism away
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The 5 most important developments in climate change in 2014
- How Sonia Sotomayor became the Supreme Court's preeminent defender of civil liberties
- The secret histories of 6 ubiquitous American foods
- How I lost all my money
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