The Week in Books

We take the weekend to highlight some of the recent books coverage in The Times:

A tour of the Book Review:

Emily Bazelon’s “Charged” is an indictment of prosecutorial excess, arguing that lawyers bear much of the responsibility for over-incarceration, conviction of the innocent and other serious problems of the criminal justice system. Bazelon is a staff writer at The New York Times Magazine, and she talks about “Charged” on this week’s episode of the Book Review podcast.

Ruth Reichl’s latest memoir, “Save Me the Plums,” is about the former New York Times restaurant critic’s time as editor in chief of Gourmet magazine. Our review calls it a “poignant and hilarious account of what it took to bring the dusty food bible back to life with artistic and literary flair.” Reichl also appears on this week’s podcast.

In By the Book, Julia Alvarez talks about her prolific reading habits: “I even have a stack of journals/nonfiction that I read when I’m brushing my teeth. (My dentist marvels at how healthy my gums look.)”

Reviews from the staff critics

Sally Rooney’s “Normal People” is her second novel, following the widely acclaimed “Conversations With Friends.” As Dwight Garner writes of the new novel’s two main characters: “They are never quite boyfriend and girlfriend in the conventional sense. They merely break each other’s hearts over and over again.”

In “Working,” the historian Robert A. Caro, takes readers behind his researching and writing process. “For someone so interested in the power of others,” Jennifer Szalai writes, “Caro seems coy about his own power to shape legacies.”

Over the course of three days in 1911, 300 Chinese immigrants were shot and bludgeoned to death in the city of Torreón, during the Mexican Revolution. Parul Sehgal says that an illuminating new telling of the massacre by the Mexican writer Julián Herbert is delivered with “shame and fury.”

The evolution of E L James

The author changed the literary landscape with her blockbuster series, “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Her new book, “The Mister,” comes out Tuesday, and it’s the first book she’s written since she created the characters of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. “I’m incredibly nervous about it,” James said. “There are other stories I want to tell. I’ve been with these two for so long.”

Looking for your next read?

Here are eight books our editors recommend this week, and a list of our 10 most anticipated titles of April.

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