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MINNEAPOLIS — Part biography, part memoir, "Not the Camilla We Knew" explores the life of a woman who joined Symbionese Liberation Army. Rachael Hanel was just a baby when the Symbionese Liberation Army was first in the news. The tiny group of California rebels kidnapped heiress Patricia Hearst, murdered school superintendent Marcus Foster, robbed a bank and then, in 1974, most of them died in ...

NONFICTION: An ode to friendship between an NPR correspondent and a Supreme Court justice. "Dinners With Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships" by Nina Totenberg; Simon & Schuster (304 pages, $27.99) ——— "Dinners With Ruth" is really three excellent books: a memoir of Nina Totenberg's relatively blessed life; an anecdotal account of Ruth Bader Ginsburg's; and, finally, a paean to the bond ...

FICTION: A biochemist returns to his Wisconsin hometown in this book set in the near future. "Painting Beyond Walls" by David Rhodes; Milkweed Editions (432 pages, $28) ——— "Painting Beyond Walls" marks David Rhodes' sixth novel in a career that can be divided into two parts. After graduating from the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop in 1971, he published three novels in quick succession ...

The Booker Prize-winning novelist is an explorer at heart. September has seen the publication of "Lessons" by the Booker Prize-winning writer Ian McEwan. In an interview with the New Yorker, McEwan explained that he wrote "Lessons," with its narrative sweep across the decades since World War II, in the retrospective mood that took hold of so many of us during the pandemic. His remarks prompted ...

FICTION: In the third novel narrated by Lucy Barton, COVID hits and Lucy heads for Maine with her ex-husband, William. "Lucy by the Sea" by Elizabeth Strout; Random House (285 pages, $28) ——— Lucy Barton doesn't quite grasp what is going on when her ex-husband, William, calls her early in 2020 and tells her to pack a bag, they are fleeing New York. "Let me get you out of this city," he says. ...

FICTION: Andrew Sean Greer's accomplished sequel to "Less" maps a cross-country odyssey filled with hijinks. "Less Is Lost" by Andrew Sean Greer; Little, Brown (272 pages, $29) ——— While scarcely an original observation, actor Sir Michael Caine still nailed it in 2017 when he said, "Comedy is harder to do than drama. You can make anyone burst into tears, but trying to get a laugh is murder." I ...

Don't miss "The Bullet That Missed" by Richard Osman; Pamela Dorman Books (356 pages, $27) ——— The Thursday Murder Club is back, and that should make everyone happy — except, of course, murderers. Richard Osman's engaging series about a group of crime-solving retirees has delighted readers since the first book. "The Thursday Murder Club," an international bestseller, was funny, original, ...

FICTION: From the author of prizewinning novels and nonfiction, an unsettling portrait of a noxious friendship in postwar France. "The Book of Goose" by Yiyun Li; Farrar, Straus and Giroux (348 pages; $28) ——— Growing up in provincial France in the 1950s, the main character of Yiyun Li's new novel is expected to marry young and have enough children to run the family farm. Agnès Moreau hates ...

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I should not worry so much, because reading slumps come and go. But every time one comes, I worry that it won't ever go. What if I've permanently lost my ability to concentrate? This is certainly possible, in this age of ever-distracting social media. When I wrote about falling into a reading slump a few weeks ago, I included 10 tips on how to haul yourself out of that hole. But readers, as ...

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FICTION: A beloved bookstore in Minneapolis' Lyn-Lake neighborhood is threatened for redevelopment. Chaos, hijinks and resistance ensue. "The Book Haters' Book Club" by Gretchen Anthony; Park Row (336 pages, $28.99) ——— To start: No one hates books in "The Book Haters' Book Club," Gretchen Anthony's lively, Minneapolis-based paean to small independent bookstores and the people who keep them ...

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FICTION: Stories of loss and grief from a writer unafraid to challenge himself. "Two Nurses, Smoking: Stories" by David Means; Farrar, Straus and Giroux (224 pages, $26) ——— "Grief takes as long as it wants, in various formations, and doesn't follow rules the way we'd like to think it does," says a character in David Means' new short story collection. That's why grief is so hard to live with, ...

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FICTION: An ambitious novel charts the relationship between an ordinary man's travails and decades of geopolitical upheaval. "Lessons" by Ian McEwan; Alfred A. Knopf (448 pages, $30) ——— It's the 1970s and Roland Baines, still wounded by an illicit relationship that triggered a lasting identity crisis, approaches the Berlin Wall. Carrying contraband, he'll soon pass through a militarized ...

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NONFICTION: Cranky and wise, Minnesota essayist salutes the things that matter most. "Essentially: Essays" by Richard Terrill; Holy Cow Press of Duluth (200 pages, $19.95) ——— If you're lucky, you have an old uncle (or aunt) who is gruff and sweet, plain-spoken and wise, weathered and treasured. Richard Terrill comes across like one of those priceless people in his new book of essays, ...

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FICTION: Reeling from a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer's, a writer and former ski jumper strives to dissect his family mythology. "The Ski Jumpers" by Peter Geye; University of Minnesota Press (408 pages, $25.95) ——— "The Ski Jumpers" is Minnesota novelist Peter Geye's novel about a novelist writing a novel. That might sound meta, but it works. After receiving a diagnosis of early onset ...

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FICTION: A young duchess fears her husband plans to murder her in this gorgeous novel set during the Italian Renaissance. "The Marriage Portrait" by Maggie O'Farrell; Alfred A. Knopf (448 pages, $28) ——— By all accounts, the short, sheltered life of Lucrezia di Cosimo de'Medici was not one you would have wanted to live. Born into wealth and power, she had neither. Married off at 13 to the ...

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FICTION: War and peace surge through the pages of a Nobel laureate's captivating, brilliant new novel. "Afterlives" by Abdulrazak Gurnah; Riverhead (320 pages, $28) ——— One of the most awe-inspiring developments in our contemporary literature is the surpassing brilliance of Anglophone African novelists, from Nigeria's Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Zambia's Namwali Serpell to Zimbabwe's Petina ...

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FICTION: A remarkable debut collection of interconnected stories centered on a family of Jamaican immigrants, whose American-born son struggles to establish his place and his identity. "If I Survive You" by Jonathan Escoffery; Macmillan (272 pages, $27) ——— "If I Survive You," the open-ended title of Jonathan Escoffery's remarkable debut collection, could be prelude to a threat, a vow, a plea ...

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"Fairy Tale" by Stephen King; Scribner (598 pages, $32.50) ——— Early in "Fairy Tale," Stephen King points out that the original "Jack and the Beanstalk" was much darker and more violent than the version that's popular these days. Far from just briefing us on literary history, King is foreshadowing what lies ahead. Teenage Charlie is hired by an elderly neighbor, Mr. Bowditch, who has suffered ...

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NONFICTION: A St. Paul memoirist struggles to understand suicide and its generational effect. "Sinkhole: A Legacy of Suicide" by Juliet Patterson; Milkweed (288 pages, $25) ——— Three days after Juliet Patterson's memoir of three familial suicides arrived on my doorstep, my close friend killed himself. I took the book with me to his funeral, hunkered over the tray table for the four-hour ...

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At one time, Labor Day weekend marked the end of cabin season, but that was back when cabins had to be closed up for winter. Now we go to the lakes all year round. Cabin reading can take place on a sunny dock in July, or in front of a roaring fire in January. A few weeks ago, I wrote about going Up North and finding a treasure trove of old, interesting books in the cabin we rented. I wondered ...

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