By Javier Cercas. Translated by Frank Wynne. (Vintage, $17.) For three decades, Enric Marco, a Catalan mechanic, was a prominent public face of Spanish survivors of the Holocaust — until his story was revealed to be a hoax. Cercas unravels the horrific, yet wildly successful, lie, raising questions about the truth and its consequences and investigating the uneasy kinship he felt with the disgraced man.


By Matias Faldbakken. Translated by Alice Menzies. (Scout Press, $16.) At the Hills, a fusty fine-dining restaurant in Oslo, Norway, the title character goes off the rails. Rattled by patrons whose preferences endanger the old guard, the waiter, who prided himself on his impeccable presentation and service, descends into neurosis: mixing up orders, giving nonsensical answers.

BUILT: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures

By Roma Agrawal. (Bloomsbury, $18.) A pioneering engineer behind some of the world’s tallest towers shares her enthusiasm and appreciation for her craft. The “engineered universe is a narrative full of stories and secrets,” Agrawal writes, and the book unveils many of the discipline’s solutions to the world’s problems. The astonishing ingenuity of engineers makes for fascinating reading.

DAYS OF AWE: Stories

By A.M. Homes. (Penguin, $17.) The absurd and the delicate live side by side in these 12 selections, all shot through with Homes’ brand of dark humor. The title story follows a war reporter and a novelist who meet at a conference on genocide (one whose intentions are somewhat undercut by its corporate sponsors) and carry on an affair. Times reviewer Ramona Ausubel praised the collection, writing that “everything has a sharp edge, is strikingly beautiful and suddenly also a little menacing.”

SQUEEZED: Why Our Families Can’t Afford America

By Alissa Quart. (Ecco/HarperCollins, $16.99.) Quart coins the term the “Middle Precariat” to describe the swath of Americans whose financial situations are increasingly tenuous. Many of the families she interviews speak of the guilt and shame they feel about their circumstances, although the book makes an argument that personal discipline is not to blame.


By Olen Steinhauer. (Picador, $18.) A timely new thriller imagines what would happen if an organized anti-capitalist fervor swept the United States. One day, hundreds of Americans across the country simply vanish, raising fears that the organization, known as the Massive Brigade, is actually a terrorist group. Although Steinhauer asks political questions, they don’t get in the way of suspense.

New York Times

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