edited by Diana Secker Tesdell (Everyman’s Library, $15)
Love is not always a cause for celebration in this impressive new short-story anthology, said Chauncey Mabe in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. F. Scott Fitzgerald, Vladimir Nabokov, Dorothy Parker, and numerous other masters instead use fiction to illuminate love’s “awful power and beauty.” If the sentimentalism of Valentine’s Day aggravates you, give this collection a chance. Great writing can “renew the weariest heart.”
The Other Side of Desire
by Daniel Bergner (Ecco, $25)
Because science can’t yet explain peculiar sexual longings, said
Peter D. Kramer in Slate.com, “resonant journalism” may be the best path to understanding. Daniel Bergner’s careful profiles of a foot fetishist, an amputee fetishist, a pedophile, and a truly sadistic dominatrix “give rise to a host of paradoxes and conundrums.” These stories remind us how difficult it is to say where free will is trumped by desire, both among “the perverse” and those who consider themselves normal.
by Martha A. Sandweiss (Penguin Press, $28)
The “bizarre” double life of 19th-century explorer and scientist Clarence King “would beggar most novelists’ imaginations,” said Janet Maslin in The New York Times. King, a well-known sage, spent half his days charming fellow American blue bloods and the other half “passing” as a black man in order to remain with the black woman who eventually bore him five children. Historian Martha Sandweiss’ biography puts flesh on an “astounding” story that previously was known only in outline.
by Adriana Trigiani (Harper, $26)
The title of this “delightful, energetic” new novel is slightly misleading, said Diane White in The Boston Globe. The romantic life of 33-year-old Valentine Roncalli “takes a back seat” to the passion she pours into creating a high-end shoe brand. But Adriana Trigiani is a “seemingly effortless storyteller,” and her latest is enlivened by “wonderfully human characters” and seductive descriptions of food, fashion, New York, and Italy. It “may be her best work to date.”
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 5 legitimate scientific controversies
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 10 things you need to know today: October 2, 2014
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Stop your unpatriotic fearmongering over ISIS
- How to improve your workplace culture
Subscribe to the Week