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Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
A good—no, great—old-fashioned novel with a modern sensibility. Italy and Richard Burton share star-billing in a story dissecting the lives they fracture. Walter's elliptical prose is as polished as the plot.
The Forgiven by Lawrence Osborne
A fitting heir to The Sheltering Sky. Osborne applies a detached clinical gaze to the debauched party crowd and the end of a stale marriage. The creeping fatalism wafts through Morocco like a flash sandstorm.
The Passage of Power by Robert Caro
No one writes biographies better than Robert Caro; he's the gold standard. This fourth installment of his Lyndon Johnson saga is a nail-biter, even though we know the outcome from page one. November 22, 1963, is shockingly new and horrifying for all its pointellistic detail.