THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW – JUNE 4, 2023: The summer reading issue lands this weekend, 56 pages filled with suggestions of books to keep you company at the beach or in that shady mothballed nook you discovered in your rental share. The issue closes with a beautiful photo essay of swimmers pictured underwater, from an art book that evokes summer as vividly as fried clam strips and soft-serve ice cream: “Swimmers,” by Larry Sultan.
In “The Bathysphere Book,” Brad Fox chronicles the fascinating Depression-era ocean explorations of William Beebe.
Consider the siphonophore. An inhabitant of the lightless ocean, it looks like a single organism, but is actually a collection of minute creatures, each with its own purpose, working in harmony to move, to eat, to stay alive. They seem impossible but they are real. In 1930 William Beebe was 3,000 feet underwater in a bathysphere, an early deep-sea submersible, when he spotted a huge one: a writhing 20-yard mass whose pale magenta shone impossibly against the absolute blackness of the water. As you can imagine, it made an impression.
Henry Hoke’s latest novel, “Open Throat,” follows an observant — and starving — cougar living in the Los Angeles hills surrounding the Hollywood sign.
There is a moment toward the end of “Open Throat,” Henry Hoke’s slim jewel of a novel, where the narrator, a mountain lion living in the desert hills surrounding Los Angeles’s Hollywood sign, falls asleep and dreams of Disneyland. It will be hard for those who haven’t yet read this propulsive novel to understand, but the lion’s waking life at this moment is so precarious that this slippage into pleasant dream left me scared to turn the page.
As candidates like Tim Scott and Nikki Haley bolster their biographies with stories of discrimination, they have often denied the existence of systemic racism in America while describing situations that sound just like it.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vilified gay people during his re-election campaign, calling them a threat to society and rallying conservatives against them. It has left people feeling threatened, and alone.
“King: A Life,” by Jonathan Eig, is the first comprehensive account of the civil rights icon in decades.
Growing up, he was called Little Mike, after his father, the Baptist minister Michael King. Later he sometimes went by M.L. Only in college did he drop his first name and began to introduce himself as Martin Luther King Jr. This was after his father visited Germany and, inspired by accounts of the reform-minded 16th-century friar Martin Luther, adopted his name.
His novel “Lone Women” follows a Black homesteader in Montana who is haunted by secrets and a dark past.
Victor LaValle’s enthralling fifth novel, “Lone Women,” opens like a true western, with a scene of dark, bloody upheaval and a hint of vengeance. But nothing in this genre-melding book is as it seems. When we meet Adelaide Henry, the grown daughter of Black farmers, she is in a daze, dumping gasoline all over her family’s farmhouse. We don’t know why she’s doing what she’s doing, what happened to her family or, most important, what else she has or hasn’t done.
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