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Books Update

On the Cover of Sunday’s Book Review

Christopher Plummer, it turns out, can write almost as well as he acts, and his finely observed memoir is a dishy treat for anyone who loves the theater — or the vanished New York of the 1950s and ’60s.

Book News & More Reviews »

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Also in This Week’s Book Review

This novel, about an Ohio girl’s disappearance and its effect on her community, acknowledges the depth of loss and the limits of healing.
In Forrest Gander’s first novel, passion and betrayal lead to a poet’s untimely end.

Learned, playful poems that glory in the sound of the language.

A novel about love — parental, romantic and sexual.

Two novels, newly translated, provide glimpses into the state of the German psyche in times of change.

Kathleen Norris describes a soul-weariness that is similar to but distinct from depression.

Laura Miller examines how “The Chronicles of Narnia” shaped her imagination.
A history — and analysis — of psychotherapy from Freud’s couch to the present.

The life and ideas of Giordano Bruno, a futuristic thinker burned at the stake for heresy in 1600.

Gustav Niebuhr reports on the state of interreligious efforts in America.
In Bruce Jay Friedman’s stories, aging characters shrug off the tragedy — mostly.

Children’s Books

In the first of 20 of Tomi Ungerer’s dark, absurd picture books to be reissued by Phaidon Press, three robbers liberate a little girl from her evil aunt.

Old Bear goes into hibernation, dreams of the seasons of his youth and emerges in spring.
A memoir about growing up with five brothers — and getting into trouble — in the Flint, Mich., of the 1950s.

More children’s books reviewed.

Books Features

Essay

Books can be handy places to stow cash, swizzle sticks, rejection letters, even leftover breakfast meats.

In the News

Mr. O’Brien was an Irish diplomat, politician, man of letters and public intellectual who staked out an independent position for Ireland in the United Nations.
“Greetings, Friends!,” an annual poem in The New Yorker, vanished after its 1998 iteration and has not been seen again until now.

New in Stores

Books of The Times

“Panic” carries the cautionary message that the wisdom brought by a financial collapse is wisdom that rarely sticks.

Best Sellers

Web Features

Recently in the Book Review’s blog: questions for Alex Beam; the return of John Kenneth Galbraith; Roger Bennett and Josh Kun’s Chanukah playlist.
This week: Alex Witchel on Christopher Plummer’s memoir; Motoko Rich with Notes From the Field; Bruce Jay Friedman, the author of “Three Balconies”; and Jennifer Schuessler with best-seller news. Sam Tanenhaus is the host.

Editor’s Note

Thanks for taking the time to read this e-mail. Feel free to send feedback; I enjoy hearing your opinions and will do my best to respond.
Blake Wilson
Books Producer
The New York Times on the Web