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The Books Briefing: Your Socially Distanced Summer-Reading List

? Tarka the Otter, by Henry Williamson: “Williamson’s animals are not people, they are not symbols, and they do not speak. They are life itself.”

? Read more about these books here.

If you’re looking for a page-turner:

? Riddley Walker, by Russell Hoban: “It’s a work of complete fiction—an entirely made-up world with its own gravitational integrity, its own language, its own codes, its own myths, its own poetry, almost its own sense of humor—that breaks upon our world like the truth.”

? The Memory Police, by Yoko Ogawa: “Ogawa has written an astonishing novel about an island on which objects—perfume, harmonicas, boats—disappear.”

? Catherine House, by Elisabeth Thomas: “Thomas’s debut novel weaves a thrilling, compact story that builds dread slowly … as she begins to reveal the darkness at work on campus.”

? The End of October, by Lawrence Wright: “I can already tell that … it will offer a kind of relief I yearn for these days: It’s crammed with expertise, thoroughly absorbed and deployed in a timely way.”

? Read more about these book here.

If you need smart observations about life:

? Too Much and Not the Mood, by Durga Chew-Bose: “The stillness of isolation allows [Chew-Bose]—and, perhaps, her quarantined readers—to notice the small marvels that surround humans every day, even in a lonely apartment.”

? Broadsword Calling Danny Boy, by Geoff Dyer: “Dyer turns his attention—all of it, zooming madly in—to the clunky ’60s war thriller Where Eagles Dare, dilating and inflating and comedically depressurizing the movie in a sequence of scene-by-scene riffs.”

? The Folded Clock, by Heidi Julavits: “Julavits is not recording events so much as the strange, maddening, wonderful sensations of being alive.”

? Here for It, by R. Eric Thomas: “This

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