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The Early Word: New Books for the Week of January 15, 2007

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Here's a smattering of books that matter in book stores this week:

FICTION:

House of Meetings by Martin Amis
Amis's previous novel, 2005's discombobulated and disjointed Yellow Dog, was one of the worst books I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading and reviewing, pervasively caustic and affected, pointed but pointless. Will House Of Meetings see a return of compelling, realized themes, Nabokovian love of language and pretty poison prose to his trademark tales of misery and imagination? This one sounds like a combination gothic love story and classic Russian novel, as it follows the fate of two brothers and a Jewish girl in 1946 Moscow, comprising a love triangle that has further, and more harrowing, consequences in Norlag, a slave-labor camp in the Arctic Circle.

Dust: A Richard Jury Mystery by Martha Grimes
In the 21st entry to Grimes' Richard Jury series, the latest case for the suave Scotland Yard superintendent has him trying to solve the murder of a wealthy man whose past connects him to secrets from the World War II code breakers and — adding a bookish bent to the bump-off — to the novelist Henry James. It also has him pursuing romance in addition to the killer, as an entanglement with a sexy new detective comes into play.

The Suspect by John Lescroart
In an intriguing story of secrets, love, and lies, Lescroart builds upon his success with 2005’s The Hunt Club with legal thriller centered on attorney Gina Roake as she defends a man accused of murdering his wife. With an apparent air-tight alibi, he looks to be innocent, but he also has a dark past and there are some troubling implications – including Roake’s growing attraction to her client, definitely not the usual suspect.

Also new in Fiction:

Breakpoint by Richard A. Clarke

Bad Blood: A Novel (Alexandra Cooper Mysteries) by Linda Fairstein

Trouble by Jesse Kellerman

You Suck: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

The Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak

NON-FICTION:

Enemy at Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11 by Dinesh D’Souza
The best-selling author of Letters To A Young Conservative dismisses the notion that the cultural wars at home and the global war on terror are separate problems, and contends that the 9/11 attacks and other terrorist acts around the world can be directly traced to the ideas and attitudes perpetrated by America's cultural left. Their outspoken opposition to American foreign policy contributes to growing resentment, in his view, encouraging people both at home and abroad to blame America for the problems of the world.

Boeing Versus Airbus: The Inside Story of the Greatest International Competition in Business by John Newhouse
Incorporating interviews he conducted throughout the industry — with company leaders, Wall Street analysts, design engineers and factory workers — the author of the classic study of the aviation industry, The Sporty Game, chronicles the problem-plagued rivalry between the world’s two largest aircraft manufacturers.

Power, Faith, and Fantasy: America in the Middle East: 1776 to the Present by Michael B. Oren 
Oren, a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and New Republic, and author of the acclaimed Six Days of War presents an informative and timely survey of U.S. involvement in the Middle East over the past 230 years – from the early 19th-century war against the Barbary pirates to today's Iraq war. Illustrating how American interests have frequently combined elements of romanticism, religious zeal, and power politics, Oren maintains that strategic considerations became complicated by the region's religious significance. This was especially the case for the Protestant missionaries whose interests drove U.S. policy in the 19th century and who advocated a Jewish state in Palestine long before the Zionist movement took up that cause.

Also new in Non-Fiction:

From Midnight to Dawn: The Last Tracks of the Underground Railroad by Jacqueline Tobin, Hettie Jones

How to Improve Your Marriage Without Talking About It: Finding Love Beyond Words by Patricia Love, Steven Stosny

In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India by Edward Luce

Utility of Force: The Art of War in the Modern World by Rupert Smith

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