New in Paperback: ‘Summer’ and ‘The Dragons, the Giant, the Women’

By Lauren Christensen

SUMMER, by Ali Smith. (Anchor, 400 pp., $17.) Dwight Garner called the finale of Smith’s seasonal quartet “a prose poem in praise of memory, forgiveness, getting the joke and seizing the moment.” Featuring teenage siblings “OK boomer”-ing their parents as well as some characters from the previous novels in the series, the plot is hard to pin down. “To properly enter this novel,” Garner wrote, “you’ve got to be willing to get a bit lost.”

REVOLVER: Sam Colt and the Six-Shooter That Changed America, by Jim Rasenberger. (Scribner, 448 pp., $18.) In this “cleareyed and honest” biography set around America’s descent into the Civil War, Rasenberger explains how the inventor of the revolver “helped to create an industrial, technological future by multiplying the productivity of personal violence,” our reviewer, T. J. Stiles, wrote.

THIS IS ALL I GOT: A New Mother’s Search for Home, by Lauren Sandler. (Random House, 352 pp., $18.) Following the maddening encounters of a “wildly impulsive, profoundly smart, deeply savvy" 22-year-old Dominican mother in a Brooklyn homeless shelter in 2015, Alex Kotlowitz wrote in his review, this story “feels like a warning: If in prosperous times this is the best our government can do to assist those struggling to get by, then in these coming difficult times we will be able to do very little.”

SURVIVING AUTOCRACY, by Masha Gessen. (Riverhead, 304 pp., $17.) Gessen’s latest “rightly indicts Trump as an aspiring autocrat who has deeply weakened the institutions of the Republic,” our reviewer, Yasha Mounk, wrote. “But the most valuable parts of the book consist of the crisp observations Gessen offers along the way.”

TURBULENCE, by David Szalay. (Scribner, 160 pp., $15.) Told in a series of stories that involve takeoffs in one airport and landings in another, this slim novel is “a sleek machine with a cool tone,” Dwight Garner wrote in his review. “Each chapter picks up from the last, but presents a new protagonist, as if a moral baton were being passed.”

THE DRAGONS, THE GIANT, THE WOMEN: A Memoir, by Wayétu Moore. (Graywolf, 272 pp., $16.) The novelist’s account of her family’s escape from the first Liberian civil war in the 1990s, and of the Texas coming-of-age Moore calls “more traumatic than the war,” was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. “This memoir adds an essential voice to the genre of migrant literature,” our reviewer, Grace Talusan, wrote, upending the false narrative that migration “always results in a better life.”

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