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10 Books to Watch For in February 2010
Wench by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
Wench
By Dolen Perkins-Valdez
304 pages; Amistad


A righteous historical novel about female slaves on, yes, summer vacation with their masters in free-state Ohio.

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The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Postmistress
By Sarah Blake
336 pages; Amy Einhorn


Three women connected by World War II. Think The Help meets The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society .

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Just Kids by Patti Smith
Just Kids
By Patti Smith
304 pages; Ecco


The singer-icon's memoir about coming of age with soul mate Robert Mapplethorpe. Funny, fascinating, oddly tender.

The Lost Books of the Odyssey by Zachary Mason
The Lost Books of the Odyssey
By Zachary Mason
240 pages; FSG


Homer's classic revisited, expanded upon, played with. A brainiac's take that's not just for scholars.

Jealousy by Catherine Millet
Jealousy: The Other Life of Catherine M.
By Catherine Millet
192 pages; Grove


The French free spirit (whose last book was a memoir of her promiscuity) experiences betrayal and discovers—surprise!—that it hurts.

Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani
Brava, Valentine
By Adriana Trigiani
352 pages; Harper


The second book in the crowd-pleasing author's trilogy that started with Very Valentine. Here, our heroine looks for herself in Buenos Aires.

Devotion by Dani Shapiro
Devotion
By Dani Shapiro
256 pages; Harper


A novelist finds redemption—and yoga—in Connecticut.

Three Days Before the Shooting by Ralph Ellison
Three Days Before the Shooting…The Unfinished Second Novel
By Ralph Ellison
1,136 pages; Random House


Compiled from 3,000 manuscript pages and other notes left by the late author of Invisible Man.

A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova
A Mountain of Crumbs: A Memoir
By Elena Gorokhova
320 pages; Simon & Schuster


A onetime student of the late, great Frank McCourt tells her own story about coming to America (in her case, from Russia).

Erotic Poems by e.e. cummings
Erotic Poems
By e.e. cummings
80 pages; W.W. Norton


The poet could be passionate and playful. Who knew?

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