By Billy Heller
Industrial Sublime Modernism and the Transformation of New York’s Rivers, 1900-1940
edited by Kirsten Jensen and Bartholomew F. Bland (Fordham University Press)
From the 1820s through the turn of the 20th century, artists of the Hudson River School painted the pastoral landscape along the river. As industrialization and commerce along the river increased, a group of artists continued to paint the area but shifted their focus to the teeming metropolis growing along the waterfront. The more than 150 images in this gorgeous collection include bridges, tugs, waterfront shacks, skyscrapers and smokestacks from artists such as Robert Henri, John Sloan, Georgia O’Keeffe and Edward Ault.
The Yellow Eyes of Crocodiles
by Katherine Pancol (Penguin)
Will a trendy Parisian novel from 2006 become the très chic accessory in 2014 New York? Pancol’s tale follows Josephine Cortes, a homely French scholar of Medieval history whose unemployed husband runs off with his mistress to manage a crocodile farm in Kenya. But everything changes when her glamorous, wealthy sister, Iris, convinces Josephine to write a 12th-century romance novel — in Iris’ name — and the book becomes a runaway bestseller. Mon dieux!
The Purity of Vengeance
by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton)
Copenhagen cop Carl Mørck returns with a new cold case for his Department Q. Just about everyone has forgotten a brothel owner who went missing in 1987. But when it comes to Carl’s attention that several other people — a lawyer, a fisherman, a women’s asylum guard — disappeared that same day, he, his assistant, Hafez el-Assad, and his secretary, Rose Knudson, are on the case. It leads them to the bleak island of Sprøgo, where, from 1923 to 1959, Danish women thought to be “pathologically promiscuous” were incarcerated — and some even sterilized.
The Prince of Risk
by Christopher Reich (Doubleday)
The latest thriller from Reich (“The Devil’s Banker”) begins with a bang — one heard from Washington to Wall Street and around the world. On their way to an urgent late-night meeting with the president, the Treasury secretary, chairman of the Fed and chief exec of the New York Stock Exchange are killed when the car they are in goes out of control on the White House lawn and Secret Service open fire. But just before the vehicle erupts in a fiery explosion, the NYSE exec leaves a final clue — a text to his estranged hedge-fund-manager son, Bobby.
The Time Regulation Institute
by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar (Penguin Classics)
More than 50 years after the Turkish author’s death, Tanpinar’s satire on state bureaucracy has been translated into English. In this Kafkaesque tale, we follow the adventures of Hayri Irdal, who, after the establishment of the Turkish Republic and its turn toward modernism, has helped create the Time Regulation Institute — to make sure all clocks in Turkey are set to Western time. The government department uses an absurd system of fines enforced by Irdal and his fellow timekeepers, who include a mystic, a pharmacist/alchemist and an official from the old Ottoman empire.