LEFT ON TENTH: A Second Chance at Life, by Delia Ephron. (Little, Brown, $ 29.) When her husband of 33 years died, Ephron – a writer of screenplays, essays and novels – had a new subject to write about: loss. Her breadth of subject matter expanded when she was diagnosed with cancer and found love again. This is a memoir of those extraordinary events, stitched together with quotidian moments that offer their own heft. The book “is less the story of a woman losing her husband than it is that of a woman falling in love again at age 72,” Joyce Maynard writes in her review. “Ephron presents a moving and heartfelt portrait of romance – also of passion. … If there’s such a feel-good memoir, this is it. ”
HIGH MINDS: The Victorians and the Birth of Modern Britain, by Simon Heffer. (Pegasus, $ 39.95.) Heffer’s history of Britain in the middle decades of the 19th century is a story of a society transformed as the nation moved ever closer to a humane and civilized social order. Heffer “identifies ideas and sentiment as the driving force of this transformation,” Benjamin Schwarz writes in his review. “Intellectuals, politicians and largely upper-middle-class activists, he argues, moved by ‘a sense of earnest, disinterested moral purpose,’ sought to improve the condition of the whole of society. ‘ Heffer scrutinizes. ”Heffer scrutinizes.
TELL ME EVERYTHING: The Story of a Private Investigation, by Erika Krouse. (Flatiron, $ 28.99.) This lyrical, jarring, propulsive memoir of Krouse’s time as a private investigator is literary nonfiction at a high level – the author manages the tricky high-wire act of balancing the story of a case with a more personal dive into her past. In addition, according to our reviewer Patrick Hoffman (a PI himself), “she certainly conveys the emotional realities of the job: the exhilaration manipulator, a liar. ”
LETTERS TO GWEN JOHN, by Celia Paul. (New York Review Books, $ 29.95.) Paul’s haunting memoir Gwen John, who died in 1939. Drawn to the parallels in their lives, Paul meditates on aging, personhood, loneliness, art. “The clarity on the grammars of gender is compelling, and utterly contemporary,” Drusilla Modjeska writes in her review. “Truthfulness doesn’t run one way, any more than power and vulnerability do.”
CHEVY IN THE HOLE, by Kelsey Ronan. (Holt, $ 26.99.) This moving new novel set in Flint, Mich., Asks one central question, how does a budding romance from a young cook recover from an opioid addiction and an activist trying to save a city in crisis: “They form a relationship based on something subtly beautiful, the unspoken but profound understanding of a certain kind of loneliness they both share,” Dean Bakopoulos writes in his review. “The main propulsive engine of the novel becomes a question that relates to the stories of America’s forgotten and marginalized landscapes: