Feature

Also of interest ... in seers and prophets

The Overton Window by Glenn Beck; The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender; More Money Than God by Sebastian Mallaby; Bob Marley by Chris Salewicz

The Overton Window
by Glenn Beck
(Threshold, $26)
Glenn Beck apparently wanted his first novel to be the kind of book that’s “tucked into the ammo boxes” of anti-government extremists everywhere, said Steven Levingston in The Washington Post. The plot of this so-called thriller fictionalizes the popular TV host’s “well-known paranoia about a secret Big Government plan” to crush individual liberty. “In place of thrills,” we get doomsday lectures. Any suspense comes “from wondering when the thrills will begin.”

The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
by Aimee Bender
(Doubleday, $26)
The girl at the heart of Aimee Bender’s second novel has a special gift, said Susan Salter Reynolds in the Los Angeles Times. She can taste in the food she eats the hidden emotions of whoever cooked it—including those of her lonely mother. Bender is a “master of quiet hysteria.” Here she has created a discomforting portrait of a family in which no one will acknowledge the pain they feel. They act happy but endure lives marked by “a terrifying lack of drama.”

More Money Than God
by Sebastian Mallaby
(Penguin, $30)
Other than George Soros, few of the trailblazers that turned hedge funds into a powerful force in finance have let their stories become widely known, said Scott Patterson in The Wall Street Journal. Journalist Sebastian Mallaby fills in the gaps with this compelling history, beginning with a “captivating” sketch of Alfred Winslow Jones and his pioneering 1950s fund. Mallaby avoids the industry’s darker corners, but he’s written “the fullest account we have so far of a too-little-understood business.”

Bob Marley
by Chris Salewicz
(Faber & Faber, $27.50)
There are easily 15 other Bob Marley bios available, but this one is “faster, fuller, and fairer” than the rest of them, said Robert Christgau in Salon.com. The late reggae star is still a Christ figure to many, but author Chris Salewicz admires him “without deifying him.” He deals honestly with Marley’s womanizing, and even with the beat-downs that the “One Love” crooner inflicted on some rivals. Best of all, he remembers to focus on the music that has made the legend last.

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