"I was a small part of something larger than myself. Yes, human life. Human! Life!" That habit of writing about the largest possible subjects in the cutest possible way captivated fans of Dave Eggers (A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) and Jonathan Safran Foer (Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close). Now this sticky baton passes to Foer's wife, Nicole Krauss, who revisits many of his ideas, such as authors who "write" blank pages and immigrants offering malapropisms. Krauss's Alma is a New Yorker tracing her namesake in a book called The History of Love—a volume given to her mother by her father, now dead. Along the way, her path converges with those of a crotchety Eastern European immigrant as Krauss riffs about a blind photographer, people who fear they're made of glass and others who have adorable quirks or say whimsically profound things about how unbearably beautiful life is. The Eggers and Foer fans will mm probably stain this one with their tears, but others will find that despite her fine writing, Krauss, 30, is too often on the wrong side of the line between precocious and precious. "There are two types of people in the world," writes Krauss, "those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone." And there are two types of readers in the world: those who find this kind of writing lovable and those who find it cloying.