CHANCES ARE …, by Richard Russo. (Vintage, 320 pp., $16.) The author of “Nobody’s Fool” and “Empire Falls” mines the “reminiscences and regrets” of three former college roommates gathered on Martha’s Vineyard more than 40 years after a young woman they all loved took off and disappeared. The novel “unfolds as a mystery” and builds to the men’s realization, as our reviewer, Alida Becker, put it, that “they might not know one another as well as they thought.”
THE GREAT PRETENDER: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness, by Susannah Cahalan. (Grand Central, 416 pp., $16.99.) When an investigative journalist tracks down the “healthy volunteers” recruited to feign mental illness for a 1973 study that upended the field of psychiatry, what she finds is far stranger than she’d expected.
THE REGENCY YEARS: During Which Jane Austen Writes, Napoleon Fights, Byron Makes Love, and Britain Becomes Modern, by Robert Morrison. (Norton, 384 pp., $17.95.) Though it failed to convince her that 19th-century England’s post-Waterloo emergence as the world’s most powerful nation had much to do with its “capricious and pleasure-loving ruler,” our reviewer, Miranda Seymour, nonetheless found this “wide-ranging” account of the Prince Regent’s reign “elegant, entertaining and frequently surprising.”
THE WARLOW EXPERIMENT, by Alix Nathan. (Anchor, 272 pp., $16.95.) This “chilling” novel spins “gothic horror,” in the words of our reviewer, John Vernon, from the true story of an 18th-century British botanist who conducted an experiment to see if a human being could survive in absolute solitude.
THE MEMORY POLICE, by Yoko Ogawa. Translated by Stephen Snyder. (Vintage, 288 pp., $16.) A finalist for the National Book Award and the International Booker Prize, this dystopian fable is narrated by an amnesiac novelist trying to protect her editor from arrest by hiding him under the floorboards of her home office. Reading it is like “sinking into a snowdrift,” our reviewer, Julian Lucas, wrote. “Lulling yet suspenseful, it tingles with dread and incipient numbness.”
FLEISHMAN IS IN TROUBLE, by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. (Random House, 400 pp., $17.) In this “witty and well-observed” update to the “miserable-matrimony novel,” by a Times Magazine staff writer, the left-behind spouse is the husband — a scenario our reviewer, Tom Rachman, called “potent, upsetting and satisfying.”