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9 New Books We Recommend This Week

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THE LAST MILLION: Europe’s Displaced Persons From World War to Cold War, by David Nasaw. (Penguin Press, $35.) Nasaw manages to make vivid sense of a chaotic moment at the end of World War II, when more than a million displaced persons were left with nowhere to go. A historian and biographer, he writes with “an especially supple sense of scale,” Adina Hoffman notes in her review. “Much of what makes the book so absorbing and ultimately wrenching is his capacity to maneuver with skill between the nitty-grittiest of diplomatic (and congressional, military, personal) details and the so-called Big Picture. In cinematic terms, he’s adroit at surveying a vast landscape with a soaring crane shot, then zooming in sharply for a close-up of a single face as it crumples.”

RUNAWAY: New Poems, by Jorie Graham. (Ecco, $26.99.) Graham, 70, has claimed a berth in the American literary establishment for four decades. She still knows how to get your attention. From its opening page until its final lines, Graham’s 15th collection of poetry has the heightened urgency of a young writer’s debut. Reviewing it, Jeff Gordinier writes that “Runaway” extends the “oracular reach” of Graham’s recent work, “in which the signs of impending global doom — climate change, species collapse, acidifying oceans, stupefying information overload, cataclysmic storms and fires — have catalyzed her urge to speak up and chronicle what we have before it is gone.”

GOD-LEVEL KNOWLEDGE DARTS: Life Lessons From the Bronx, by Desus & Mero. (Random House, $26.) Following their success as podcast and late-night TV hosts, the Bronx-bred duo now dispense written advice that falls somewhere between what they wish they’d known and what they definitely think you need to know to avoid being a total “herb.” Their book is raucous but “not all jokes,” Lovia Gyarkye writes in her review. “They tackle the thorniness of toxic masculinity, extol the potential benefits of therapy (if you can afford it) and … balance their signature comedy with the vulnerability and self-reflection that make their jokes so relatable.”

A TRAITOR TO HIS SPECIES: Henry Bergh and the Birth of the Animal Rights Movement, by Ernest Freeberg. (Basic Books, $30.) In the 19th century the idea that animals had rights would have seemed absurd to most people, until Henry Bergh came along. A passionate defender of creatures large and small, he fought with P. T. Barnum and created the A.S.P.C.A.; now Freeberg gives him his due. “‘A Traitor to His Species’ is not a conventional biography, intriguing as its central figure is,” Victoria Johnson writes in her review. “The book is above all a compassionate, highly readable account of the 19th-century plight of animals, especially urban animals — and of those who tried to come to their rescue.”

TOMBOY: The Surprising History and Future of Girls Who Dare to Be Different, by Lisa Selin Davis. (Hachette, $28.) Leveraging a familiar term, and examining girls who reject dolls, dresses and sparkles in favor of athletics, sportswear and dirt, Davis takes a thoughtful, comprehensive look at gender performance. Her book “takes the reader in a fresh direction by illuminating the forces behind the shifting regard in which tomboys have been held,” Lisa Damour writes in her review. “‘Tomboy’ brings us up to the current moment and its starkly polarized takes on gender.”

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