New in Paperback: ‘The Disordered Mind’ and ‘In the Garden of the Fugitives’

THE DISORDERED MIND: What Unusual Brains Tell Us About Ourselves, by Eric R. Kandel. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $17.) Bridging science and the humanities, Kandel, a Nobel laureate in medicine, offers a refreshingly holistic look at mental illness. Our reviewer, Alan Jasanoff , praised its blend of historical context, first-person accounts and descriptions of important experiments.

IN THE GARDEN OF THE FUGITIVES, by Ceridwen Dovey. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $18.) In Dovey’s third novel, a middle-aged South African-born white woman begins an email relationship with the wealthy, now elderly Boston man who once awarded her a generous fellowship. Our reviewer, S. Kirk Walsh, called it “an impressive, thought-provoking novel that examines the complexities of racism and guilt.”

OLD IN ART SCHOOL: A Memoir of Starting Over, by Nell Painter. (Counterpoint, $17.95.) At age 64, Painter, a history professor at Princeton, decided to leave her academic post and formally study painting. The Times’s Jennifer Szalai praised the author’s “candid and cheerfully irreverent” chronicle of her quest to improve her skills while also investigating what constitutes art and who gets to be considered an artist.

BOOMTOWN: The Fantastical Saga of Oklahoma City, Its Chaotic Founding, Its Apocalyptic Weather, Its Purloined Basketball Team, and the Dream of Becoming a World-Class Metropolis, by Sam Anderson. (Broadway, $18.) Anderson, a critic at large for The Times Magazine, leaps headlong into the phantasmagoric past and rollicking present of “the great minor city of America,” home to frequent booms, both seismic and financial. Our reviewer, Will Blythe, praised the book and its author’s “sly, entertaining voice.”

THE SILENCE OF THE GIRLS, by Pat Barker. (Anchor, $16.95.) Presenting the events of Homer’s “Iliad” from the perspective of a once-powerful woman who is treated as a spoil of war, Barker gives a sharp and mournful voice to Briseis, the former queen at the center of the fight between Achilles and Agamemnon that sets the ancient Greek epic in motion. Our reviewer, Geraldine Brooks, called the novel “an ‘Iliad’ for the age of #MeToo.”

PRESIDIO, by Randy Kennedy. (Atria, $17.) The setting for this debut noir thriller about unlikely criminals on the run is the rural Texas borderlands of the 1970s, where Kennedy, a former Times reporter and editor, grew up. Our reviewer, Lee Child, praised the novel, calling it a “fluent, mordant, authentic, propulsive narrative, wonderfully lit from within by an intriguing main character.”

Follow New York Times Books on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, sign up for our newsletter or our literary calendar. And listen to us on the Book Review podcast.

Source: Read Full Article