Our recommended books this week take you from the depths of the ocean to the heights of the sky: Brad Fox's “The Bathysphere Book” recounts a fascinating episode of deep-sea exploration in the 1930s (with gorgeous illustrations), and S.C. Gwynne's “His Majesty's Airship” revisits a British dirigible disaster from 1930 that was even deadlier than the notorious crash of the Hindenburg seven years later. We also recommend a true-crime narrative, a book arguing that math and literature have more in common than you might think and, in fiction, new novels by Mary Beth Keane, John Banville, Dolki Min and more. Happy reading. —Gregory Cowles This absorbing novel by the author of “Ask Again, Yes” is about a faltering marriage and a failing bar in a small, not-necessarily-thriving town. The triumph comes in the small, unexpected moments that have a way of standing in for something full of meaning. “It's such a pleasure to sink into Keane's quietly luminous prose. … She manages to find the extraordinary grace in our achingly ordinary world.” From Janice Y.K. Lee's review On the surface, this smart debut novel (translated from the Korean by Victoria Caudle) is a fun story about an alien who finds men on dating apps and eats them to stay alive. But underneath lies a potent critique of gender norms and an exploration of what it feels like to not fit in your body or your surroundings. “The evident pleasure with which Min has drawn this character makes for a vibrant and memorable fictional encounter with an otherness that's not, in the end, so different.” HarperVia | $26.99 In this time-collapsing and generation-spanning examination of a crime, Belkin turns the stories of three men — a doctor, a police officer and a murder victim — into an intimate study of fate, chance and the meaningful intersections of disparate lives. “Belkin approaches this murder as the culmination of many inflection points — smaller ones that happened long ago. … She's a connoisseur of chance, a dogged observer of the so-called butterfly effect, one random event leading to another.” This hypnotic account […]
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