Fragmented, discontinuous, yet all of a piece, this "personal history" traces a Christian journey in a broken world. Diane Glancy is known as a Native American writer, and she is unapologetically that. But the particularities of her story are not posted like "No Trespassing" signs. "Lord, when I pass from the earth," Glancy writes, "may I be in a car on a road such as this," driving between "the harvested fields of Iowa" as if in "suspension above time."

Nothing more happens in the 20th century: Haiku Dangers
Gary Hotham (Pecan Grove Press)

You can read this book by opening to any page. You can also read it as a sequence of glimpses, perceptions, episodes of awareness, asking implicitly for you to make connections between them, from the first haiku all the way to the last, from "Dew hanging on the fence—/ paint chips off / the danger sign" to "sitting out / the night air cooler—/ nothing more happens in the 20th century." In between, after painful illness, a mother's funeral: "we slide her casket out—/ the small loose stones / under our feet." And "the rattle / of leftover pills—/ we empty her room." Gary Hotham pays attention, and we're the richer for it.

The Fear Index
Robert Harris (Knopf)

From the author of The Ghost (filmed as The Ghost Writer), this superb thriller gets you in its grip on the first page and doesn't let go. Robert Harris keeps you thinking—about financial markets and artificial intelligence and the changing nature of work, about evolution and the intricate interconnectedness of 21st-century life—long after you've closed the book. An admonitory tale that manages to be blackly funny as well, The Fear Index is also eminently filmable. Here's guessing we won't have to wait ...

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March 2012

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