leisure 06.5.17

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On August 21, 2017, the country will experience an eclipse that will cross the continental U.S., in a band from Oregon to South Carolina. The last total solar eclipse was in the summer of 1878 and it's the subject of David Baron's enjoyably rootin' tootin' American Eclipse, out tomorrow.

It can't have been 20 years since Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things and yet somehow it has. The good news is that tomorrow her second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, will be published.

Swords in the Hands of Children: Reflections of an American Revolutionary is a fascinating memoir by Jonathan Lerner on his willing seduction—as a Jewish, gay (though closeted) young man from a good family—into the Weather Underground.

The beach read with the perfectly-scanning title The People We Hate at the Wedding, by Grant Ginder, gives family dysfunction the funniest possible spin.

The Mighty Franks, by Michael Frank, tells the story of his family—connected to Hollywood and even more interconnected among themselves. The key relationship is between the author and his aunt, who was no Auntie Mame.

The Close Encounters Man is a biography by Mark O'Connell of astronomer J. Allen Hynek, who inspired Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and who, in the course of his career, went from UFO skeptic to a scientist who became convinced of their possibility.

Roxane Gay's insightful memoir, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, anatomizes her relationship with food.

Himself, the debut of Irish writer Jess Kidd, is about a man who returns to his childhood village to unearth the past and gets more than he bargained for. It may be Kidd's debut but her keen gift for storytelling is already obvious.

Conrad's Montoursville PA

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