Solar by Ian McEwan Solar
By Ian McEwan
304 pages; Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

The master of Atonement is back with a story about a womanizing scientist who tries to mend his life by fixing the world.

Imperfect Birds by Anne Lamott Imperfect Birds
By Anne Lamott
288 pages; Riverhead

In her fictional mode, the spiritual bard of Marin County, California, explores what happens to the girl she introduced in Rosie (1983).
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Further Adventures in the Restless Universe by Dawn Raffel Further Adventures in the Restless Universe
By Dawn Raffel
120 pages; Dzanc

Sharp, spare stories about women at, or approaching, the ends of their ropes.
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American Taliban by Pearl Abraham American Taliban
By Pearl Abraham
272 pages; Random House

Ripped from the headlines: a novel about an American surfer dude who enters a chat room and emerges an Islamic zealot.

Burned by Louise Nayer Burned
By Louise Nayer
270 pages; Atlas

Nayer looks back at the fire that didn't quite kill her parents but did destroy their lives.
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5 more at-a-glance reviews

The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli The Lotus Eaters
By Tatjana Soli
400 pages; St. Martin's

In this novel of war, an American photographer and her Vietnamese friend come to terms with their romantic past as Saigon falls.
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The First Thing and the Last by Allan G. Johnson The First Thing and the Last
By Allan G. Johnson
408 pages; Plain View

A fictional tale of a wife who finally kills the man who abused her, and of the woman who helps her deal.

The House of Tomorrow by Peter Bognanni The House of Tomorrow
By Peter Bognanni
354 pages; Amy Einhorn

A young man lives with his grandmother in a geodesic dome in Iowa. No surprise: He's a total oddball. Yes, surprise: His life makes for a sweet novel.

Backing into Forward by Jules Feiffer Backing into Forward
By Jules Feiffer
464 pages; Nan A. Talese/Doubleday

The loopy, octogenarian cartoonist tells his own story, this time in words. Well, mostly.

The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano The Solitude of Prime Numbers
By Paolo Giordano
288 pages; Pamela Dorman/Viking

Two misfits meet and miraculously connect in this debut novel, a prizewinning best-seller in the author's native Italy.
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Photos: Ben Goldstein/Studio D


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