New in Paperback: ‘Vietnam’ and ‘Upstream’

VIETNAM: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975, by Max Hastings. (Harper Perennial, $22.99.) Hastings, a British journalist and military historian who reported on the war, chronicles the conflict and its staggering destruction, excoriating both sides for corruption and inhumanity. The United States, he argues, failed most egregiously in not helping create a viable South Vietnam. Our reviewer, Mark Atwood Lawrence, called the book “monumental.”

UPSTREAM: Selected Essays, by Mary Oliver. (Penguin, $17.) The Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, who died this year, turns her attention to the natural world that inspires her as well as to her literary forebears, including Emerson and Whitman. In these pages, Daphne Kalotay called the book a “gem of a collection” that “offers a compelling synthesis of the poet’s thoughts.”

BOOMER1, by Daniel Torday. (Picador, $18.) The millennial protagonist of Torday’s third work of fiction is a jobless Ph.D. who is forced to move back home, but hits a cultural nerve by creating an alter ego that declares war on boomers and inadvertently starts a movement. Our reviewer, Olivia Sudjic, called the novel a “contemporary satire with Shakespearean echoes.”

SEDUCTION: Sex, Lies, and Stardom in Howard Hughes’s Hollywood, by Karina Longworth. (Custom House, $17.99.) This portrait of the eccentric studio head places Hughes’s pursuit of control over women, including Ava Gardner and Bette Davis, front and center. The book is “guaranteed to engross anybody with any interest … in Hollywood, in … #MeToo and in the never-ending story of men with power and women without,” Lisa Schwarzbaum wrote here.

MELMOTH, by Sarah Perry. (Custom House, $16.99.) Perry retells Charles Robert Maturin’s 1820 Irish horror novel about a man who’s sold his soul to the Devil in exchange for 150 extra years of life, setting it in contemporary Prague and making the protagonist a lonely, wandering woman who bears witness to terrible crimes. Our reviewer, Danielle Trussoni, called the book a “Gothic stunner.”

SEVENTEEN, by Hideo Yokoyama. Translated by Louise Heal Kawai. (MCD, $19.) In this second novel to appear in English by Yokoyama, who was a newspaper reporter before turning to thrillers, a journalist decides to scale a rock face that was the scene of the world’s deadliest plane crash 17 years earlier. The challenging climb becomes a chance to reflect on bitter newsroom politics, and solve one final mystery.

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