Aliens, love gone bad and a thriller for summer reading

Posted Sunday, Jul. 07, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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What’s new in bookstores this week:

•  The Humans by Matt Haig (Simon & Schuster, $25) — The bestselling author ( The Radleys) plops a stranger into a strange land where the extraterrestrial visitor is promptly disgusted by all of Earth’s human excesses, bad habits and looks (including our noses). He’s sent by the Vonnadorians (an advanced race in a utopian world, of course) on a gruesome assignment and takes the form of professor Andrew Martin, a brilliant mathematician at Cambridge University, who has a wife and a son. Not into sci-fi? Don’t be put off by all the alien stuff. At its heart, this novel is really about the art of being human and all that entails.

•  My Education by Susan Choi (Viking, $26.95) — The author was a 2004 Pulitzer Prize for fiction finalist for American Woman and has numerous writing awards on her résumé, with topics ranging from terrorism to the Unabomber. Choi chooses a different path for this novel, turning her focus on love and lust, bad choices and bad behavior. “I realized I wanted to write a book about people being young and behaving stupidly, and that I probably didn’t need to do research for that,” said Choi in the book’s media material. The protagonist, Regina Gottlieb, arrives at a prestigious campus in 1992 and is drawn into a relationship with a professor — despite warnings to steer clear. But there’s much more going on here than a student/prof affair.

• Hidden Order by Brad Thor (Atria/Emily Bestler Books, $27.99) — The bestselling author ( Foreign Influence, Full Black) is back for a 12th thriller featuring Scot Harvath, a former Navy SEAL and current covert counterterrorism operative. Harvath is summoned to Washington when five candidates tabbed to lead the Federal Reserve, the most mysterious agency in the U.S., start to disappear — and begin to turn up murdered. He must unravel a plot that dates to the 1700s and the Fed’s beginnings, and “head off the greatest threat America has ever seen.” Meet the author at 4 p.m. Saturday at Half Price Books, 5803 E. Northwest Hwy., Dallas; 214-379-8000.

— Celeste Williams

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