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A deeply moving cri de coeur about the power of love to fight despair. "To Paradise" by Hanya Yanagihara; Doubleday (720 pages, $32.50) ——— "To Paradise," Hanya Yanagihara's ambitious follow-up to "A Little Life," a National Book Award finalist, is an epic in size and scope. The novel is divided into three books, each featuring characters with the same names living in the same house in New ...

Set in England and China, a smart, expansive novel considers the toll of extremist beliefs. "The Sisters Mao" by Gavin McCrea; Scribe (560 pages, $28) ——— "The Sisters Mao," Gavin McCrea's second novel, is a stirring, perceptive exploration of radical politics. Two of the Irish writer's protagonists, sisters Iris and Eva Thurlow, are among a small number of disaffected Londoners who live ...

Five lush books on nature, animals and "Little Women." Sometimes you just want to give someone a big, lavish, glorious book. Here are five recommendations: "Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright!" selected by Fiona Waters, illustrated by Britta Teckentrup. (Nosy Crow, $40.) Reading a short passage every morning is an excellent way to start the day. Some people read from religious texts; I've been ...

"Our Country Friends" by Gary Shteyngart; Random House (336 pages, $28) ——— In the earliest, disorienting days of the coronavirus pandemic, as New York City became the site of its first American conflagration, many people who could fled the city. Gary Shteyngart’s engaging new novel, "Our Country Friends," is a sometimes comic, sometimes poignant story of one such group. He borrows a bit from ...

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China and Russia, two important Iranian outlets for trade and parties to the deal, could grow impatient with Tehran, especially if a now-shaky system of international nuclear inspections falls apart. Economic pressure continues to squeeze Iranians, who have seen their savings evaporate with the free-fall of the country’s currency.

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Branstad, the former Iowa governor who held the post longer than any state chief executive in the nation’s history and more recently was the former U.S. ambassador to China, will serve as an ambassador in residence at Drake University.

"Viral: The Search for the Origin of Covid-19" by Alina Chan and Matt Ridley; Harper (416 pages, $30) ——— Alina Chan, a molecular biologist at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, has become one of the leading exponents of the hypothesis that the virus causing the COVID-19 pandemic leaked from a Chinese laboratory. Matt Ridley, a much-published science writer and member of the British House ...

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