18 of the Best Books for National Reading Month
Frisky fish, pensive poets, illicit lovers...and more
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Children of Paradise
Laura Secor's Children of Paradise (Riverhead) takes a historian's view of Iran, a nation that has long perplexed—even scared—Americans. But Secor is also an entrancing storyteller. In her hands, clerics, scholars, and others who helped Iran morph into a republic where mosque and state are inseparable are like larger-than-life characters from an epic novel, with thinkers such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Karl Marx playing supporting roles.
— Leigh Haber