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8 New Books We Recommend This Week

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IF THE BOOT FITS, by Rebekah Weatherspoon. (Dafina, paper, $8.99.) In this smart, sparkling modern-day Cinderella tale, an aspiring screenwriter who works as a personal assistant to Hollywood royalty realizes that her own dreams and ambitions are worth putting first in her own life. “Most Cinderellas famously leave a slipper behind,” Olivia Waite writes in her latest romance column. “Weatherspoon’s heroine, Amanda McQueen, holds on to her shoes, but unwittingly makes off with her one night stand’s brand-new Oscar statuette. It’s a fun twist on the traditional scene, and it sets the tone for an adorable retelling, engaging and character-rich.”

THE PATTERN SEEKERS: How Autism Drives Human Invention, by Simon Baron-Cohen. (Basic, $28.) Baron-Cohen argues that humans are distinguished by their ability to categorize and systematize — a quality particularly pronounced in people with autism. He contends that if we better understand how this trait works in them we can better appreciate what makes our entire species unique. “Grand theories aside,” Christine Kenneally writes in her review, “Baron-Cohen is at his most striking when he writes about people with autism, like Jonah, who was slow to talk but who taught himself to read” — a “born pattern seeker” who “was taunted by other children for being so different. … Baron-Cohen argues with feeling and conviction that society must do a better job of making room for people like Jonah, and that it will benefit enormously when it does.”

THE SILENCE, by Don DeLillo. (Scribner, $22.) For some 50 years now, DeLillo has demonstrated his gift and his affinity for using the novel to chronicle America’s unrelenting contemporary culture. In his bone-hard and skeletally spare latest, he imagines a near-future in which technology is dead — and civilization might be, too. “The novelists of DeLillo’s generation expected the end of the world through nuclear calamity, but of them only a few still remain alive to countenance the change: namely, the increased chance of the world ending not with a bang, or even a whimper, but in silence,” Joshua Cohen writes in his review. “This is the eschaton through lack of access, but also through human atrophy, debility, the desuetude of critical function.”

THE LENIN PLOT: The Unknown Story of America’s War Against Russia, by Barnes Carr. (Pegasus, $29.95.) Carr’s revealing book upends notions of the Cold War, showing that it began earlier than assumed — as soon as the Bolsheviks took over — and that it wasn’t always cold: In 1918, America led a failed military intervention to oust the Communists. “One would be hard pressed to find anything about this conflict in official United States documents, or even American military history books, which makes Barnes Carr’s entertaining new study, ‘The Lenin Plot,’ a welcome corrective,” Victor Sebestyen writes in his review. “The story is vividly told by Carr, who has unearthed some fascinating new archival sources to add to a sparkling narrative.”

DANCING IN THE MOSQUE: An Afghan Mother’s Letter to Her Son, by Homeira Qaderi. (HarperCollins, $26.99.) In this galvanizing memoir, an Afghan women’s rights activist living in exile in California tells the story of her life through a series of honest, brave letters to the son she had to leave behind. “A stunning reminder that stories and words are what sustain us, even — and perhaps especially — under the most frightening circumstances,” Elisabeth Egan writes in her latest Group Text column. “Qaderi risked everything to tell her story. When you hear what she survived — the Taliban, a refugee camp, marriage to a total stranger — you’ll want to hand her memoir to a friend and say the words that have fueled resistance for centuries: ‘Pass it on.’”

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