The Book Review’s Crime columnist chooses her favorite books from the past year.
Two space colonies fall into confrontation amid a refugee crisis; in an alternate steampunk history, King Leopold’s minions are driven from the Congo; and a vampire gang war rages in Mexico City.
Seven new paperbacks to check out this week.
“Jerusalem, 1000-1400,” edited by Barbara Drake Boehm and Melanie Holcomb, accompanies a new exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
“Francis Picabia” attempts to chart a zigzag career that made up in energy what it lacked in depth of exploration.
“Testimony,” a memoir by Robbie Robertson, ends where “The Last Waltz” ends, with the Band disbanding.
This anthology, edited by Graydon Carter, collects some of the magazine’s best writing about notable authors.
In “How to See,” David Salle aims to help the reader make sense of the sometimes perplexing world of contemporary art.
A catalog of Hockney’s work and “A History of Pictures,” a lavishly illustrated dialogue between the artist and the art critic Martin Gayford.
David Welky’s “A Wretched and Precarious Situation” tells the rather less epic story of the Crocker Land expedition.
Marina Abramovic’s engrossing “Walk Through Walls” makes us realize how partial our knowledge about the artist and her work was.
Franny Moyle’s “Turner” provides a clear picture of the very unclear life of this inventive artist.
In “Love for Sale,” David Hajdu traces the history of pop music with the friendly authority of a favorite teacher.
“Literary Wonderlands,” edited by Laura Miller, is a compendium of fantastic worlds that exist only in the imagination.
Ross King’s “Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies” is an engaging and authoritative portrait of the aged artist and his travails.
New books about the art of storytelling, the writing life, reading and the literary origins of the financial crisis.
Paulo Coelho’s “The Spy,” a fictional retelling of the life of Mata Hari, is No.18 on the extended hardcover fiction list.
“The Menorah: From the Bible to Modern Israel,” Steven Fine’s richly illustrated academic study.
Jerry Brotton’s “The Sultan and the Queen” is about England’s first sustained interaction with the Muslim world.
In “Al Capone,” Deirdre Bair investigates Public Enemy No. 1 through the unexpected lens of home and family.