arts 03.19.12

Spring Books
Flickr Pool Picks

As of this morning, you donated $3,796 to Friday's Donors Choose challenge, which gets doubled to $7,592. That means 883 NYC students will have new books in their hands. A word about the matching grant: Donors Choose gave MUG the credit for the donation-doubling. That was very gracious but the fact is that the funds come from the Board of Donors Choose. Thank you to them, and thank you to MUG's ever-generous readers.

Now, some upcoming fiction for your hands. (Tomorrow, non-fiction).

What: The Beginner's Goodbye
Who: Anne Tyler
When: April 3
Why: Any year with a new Anne Tyler can't be all bad. If you've never read one of her tender human comedies, there are 18 great reads waiting for you, even before The Beginner's Goodbye is out. Try Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, Searching for Caleb, or Saint Maybe.

What: HHhH
Who: Laurent Binet
When: April 24
Why: The first novel from this French writer is an historical thriller about the 1942 assassination of Heydrich and a post-modern meditation on the genre. The title is a jeer about Himmler and the heartlessness of Heydrich—Himmlers Hirn heisst Heydrich (Himmler's brain is called Heydrich).

What: The Sugar Frosted Nutsack
Who: Mark Leyner
When: March 26
Why: Not for everyone—really not. But Leyner (My Cousin, My Gastroenterologist) fans will find the funny, insane, profane, repetitive catechism of gods living in a Dubai skyscraper a hold-on-for-dear-life ride.

What: Capital
Who: John Lanchester
When: June 11
Why: The author of The Debt to Pleasure (a darker, funnier foodie book can't be found), turns his attention to the intersecting dramas of one residential London street in 2008, on which the financial collapse and terrorism cast long shadows.

What: The New Republic
Who: Lionel Shriver
When: March 27
Why: Shriver's bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin no doubt spurred the publication of this earlier work—one she wrote before 9/11. Within, a satire about terrorists and the journalists who cover them. File under: tough sell.

What: The Last Storyteller
Who: Frank Delaney
When: Now
Why: Ireland in the 1950s by an incomparable storyteller. This is the third in the Ben McCarthy trilogy—following Venetia Kelly's Traveling Show and The Matchmaker of Kenmare—but you can read it as a standalone. Better yet, start at the beginning.

What: No Time Like the Present
Who: Nadine Gordimer
When: March 27
Why: Even at age 88, Gordimer continues to write with brains and brawn about South Africa, focusing on a family in a Johannesburg suburb after apartheid.

Mulberry Street

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