Angelology

by Danielle Trussoni |

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REVIEWED BY VICK BOUGHTON

People PICK

NOVEL

Actually, most of the creatures who give this breathtakingly imaginative first novel its title-briefly, angelology is the study of angels based on their mentions in the Bible and other ancient texts-aren't even the real thing. They're the Nephilim, partly human descendants of angels. And in amassing wealth and status, they've been party to every evil visited on the planet. Now, though, they're in a mysterious decline-even their once glorious wings are shriveling! The Society of Angelologists, a group of activist theologians, may be able to hasten that decline if they can discover the whereabouts of an ancient lyre with magical powers. Leading the quest is Sister Evangeline, a plucky young nun who senses that the keys to the angelologists' search may lie in her own convent in New York. Helping her is a (but of course) dashing art historian.

Yes, this story by Trussoni (who has reviewed books for PEOPLE) is over the top. But aren't all sweeping, thoroughly entertaining tales of the supernatural? In fact, once you've entered Angelology's enthralling world, which includes World War II Paris, a desolate Bulgarian mountain range, a sumptuous Manhattan penthouse and the aforementioned convent, you'll be thinking, "Vampires? Who cares about vampires?"

The Ask

by Sam Lipsyte |

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REVIEWED BY ANDREW ABRAHAMS

FICTION

In Lipsyte's sardonic, brilliant third novel, Milo Burke is a struggling husband, parent and recently sacked fund-raiser for "Mediocre University" brought back to land a wealthy donor-Burke's old college friend, the slick Purdy Stuart. Reeling in Stuart results in tangled strings, among them keeping the identity of his buddy's unhinged illegitimate son Don hidden from Stuart's wife. Lipsyte skewers everything from precious preschools (Burke's son Bernie gets picked up for childcare in a van playing a DVD of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ in the backseat) to academia, displaying an effortless grace and style all his own.

The Man from Saigon

by Marti Leimbach |

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REVIEWED BY SUE CORBETT

NOVEL

Sent by a women's magazine to find human-interest stories in 1967 Saigon, journalist Susan Gifford forms a fateful alliance with Son, a Vietnamese photographer. Traveling with U.S. troops, Gifford and Son survive an ambush only to be captured by the Vietcong. What follows is harrowing, as Leimbach vividly recreates the chemical strafing of the countryside, the misery of the refugee camps and the suffocating humidity of the jungle. This impressive novel finds a new way of illuminating the horrors of an old war.

I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced

by Nujood Ali and Delphine Minoui |

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MEMOIR

One of 16 children living in squalor in Yemen, Nujood was married off at about age 10. Though her husband vowed he'd wait for sex until she reached puberty, he rapes her on their first night together. After months of abuse, Nujood goes to the courthouse, where with heartbreaking naivete she tells a judge she wants a divorce. Supported by the legal system, Nujood gets her wish. A dividend: Her case has brought international exposure to the archaic practice of robbing girls of their youth-half the girls in Yemen are married before age 18. Nujood's story ends with her back in school, given a rare second chance to start her childhood over.

The Wild Zone

by Joy Fielding |

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REVIEWED BY JOANNA POWELL

THRILLER

In sultry South Beach, three would-be lotharios make a bet on who will be the first to seduce a pretty stranger. Faster than you can say "suckers," the trio is pitted against each other by the woman, who's secretly trolling for a man to kill her abusive husband. Sex, suspense and heart-pounding plot twists follow as the reckless gun-toting dudes prove just how stupid their egos can make them. Fielding (Still Life) has a knack for tense, turbocharged thrillers, and this one delivers.

So Much for That

by Lionel Shriver |

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REVIEWED BY MICHELLE GREEN

NOVEL

After packing for the island where he'll spend "The Afterlife," as he calls retirement, good guy Shep Knacker is stopped cold when wife Glynis is diagnosed with cancer. His friend Jackson, a blowhard whose daughter was born with a devastating illness, thinks, "Now do you understand what it's been like for me?" This story about two families in the country of illness is often caustic. But readers will be charmed by the ending-a scenario that suggests that there's an afterlife after all.

>AUDIOBOOKS FOR EVERY TASTE

SPLIT IMAGE

by Robert B. Parker

Actor James Naughton gives voice to the late Parker's final Jesse Stone novel, a satisfying blend of crime and interpersonal drama.

LIVE FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE

by David Sedaris

He's mined his life for every last shard of humor, and it hasn't grown tiresome (yet). Delivered in Sedaris's signature nasal monotone, this latest offering's a delight.

LIFT

by Kelly Corrigan

Hearing the author read this short memoir, addressed to her two young children, is like having a heart-to-heart with your most perceptive friend.

>• In an irreverent new memoir, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Jeff Garlin, 47, who's been as heavy as 320 lbs., writes about taking baby steps toward weight loss.

WHAT INSPIRED THE BOOK?

I voiced the captain in Wall-E. He has to lose weight and help the planet become green again, and that's what I'm going to do-lower my personal and carbon footprint.

ARE YOU DIETING?

I've tried everything, but it's so foolish to diet. It's a Band-Aid.

WHAT'S YOUR METHOD?

I cut out sugar. I haven't had sugar in over a year. If I have one little taste, I'd be right back down there.

YOU SAY YOU'RE A FOOD ADDICT?

Totally. I eat to shove down feelings.

WHAT HAS LARRY'S REACTION BEEN?

He told me, "You don't need to be fat to be funny." He says I look good. Larry's always eating well, always.

WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT WEIGHT?

I don't weigh myself anymore. [His estimate: around 260 lbs.] My goal is to be really fit. I feel fantastic. I feel so good I actually think I feel thinner than I am.

>• Self editor Lucy Danziger and psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf offer advice on finding joy.

WHY IS EVERYDAY HAPPINESS SO TRICKY FOR MANY WOMEN?

Lucy: Women are heroic in the face of calamity, but the little things bring us down.

EXPLAIN THE "NINE ROOMS."

Lucy: The goal is to use the rooms to figure out a pattern. The bedroom is for romance, sex, intimacy, search for a mate. The bathroom, body issues.

Catherine: I love the basement. It underlies the entire house.

WHAT'S THE "TENTH ROOM?"

Lucy: It's a place where you can have personal thinking time, 20 minutes a day. You think about what makes you happy. Women don't give themselves that time.

>AUDIOBOOKS FOR EVERY TASTE

SPLIT IMAGE

by Robert B. Parker

Actor James Naughton gives voice to the late Parker's final Jesse Stone novel, a satisfying blend of crime and interpersonal drama.

LIVE FOR YOUR LISTENING PLEASURE

by David Sedaris

He's mined his life for every last shard of humor, and it hasn't grown tiresome (yet). Delivered in Sedaris's signature nasal monotone, this latest offering's a delight.

LIFT

by Kelly Corrigan

Hearing the author read this short memoir, addressed to her two young children, is like having a heart-to-heart with your most perceptive friend.

>• In an irreverent new memoir, Curb Your Enthusiasm's Jeff Garlin, 47, who's been as heavy as 320 lbs., writes about taking baby steps toward weight loss.

WHAT INSPIRED THE BOOK?

I voiced the captain in Wall-E. He has to lose weight and help the planet become green again, and that's what I'm going to do—lower my personal and carbon footprint.

ARE YOU DIETING?

I've tried everything, but it's so foolish to diet. It's a Band-Aid.

WHAT'S YOUR METHOD?

I cut out sugar. I haven't had sugar in over a year. If I have one little taste, I'd be right back down there.

YOU SAY YOU'RE A FOOD ADDICT?

Totally. I eat to shove down feelings.

WHAT HAS LARRY'S REACTION BEEN?

He told me, "You don't need to be fat to be funny." He says I look good. Larry's always eating well, always.

WHAT'S YOUR CURRENT WEIGHT?

I don't weigh myself anymore. [His estimate: around 260 lbs.] My goal is to be really fit. I feel fantastic. I feel so good I actually think I feel thinner than I am.

>• Self editor Lucy Danziger and psychiatrist Catherine Birndorf offer advice on finding joy.

WHY IS EVERYDAY HAPPINESS SO TRICKY FOR MANY WOMEN?

Lucy: Women are heroic in the face of calamity, but the little things bring us down.

EXPLAIN THE "NINE ROOMS."

Lucy: The goal is to use the rooms to figure out a pattern. The bedroom is for romance, sex, intimacy, search for a mate. The bathroom, body issues.

Catherine: I love the basement. It underlies the entire house.

WHAT'S THE "TENTH ROOM?"

Lucy: It's a place where you can have personal thinking time, 20 minutes a day. You think about what makes you happy. Women don't give themselves that time.