• MYSTERY

BNR Recommends: 10 Great International Noirs

For many of us, summer reading means the chance to experience exotic locales beyond those frequent-flier miles can reach-- or to indulge in a safely imaginary excursion to the shadowy sides of human experience.  Why not combine the two?  Crime noir from around the world is perfectly suited for the season's sweltering days and nights. Here are ten tales of international intrigue have captured our attention:  whether they accompany you to the beach, on a flight, or even on a late-night stakeout, these cold-blooded tales are just the thing for the journey through a long, hot August.

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July 23: Jessica Mitford died on this day in 1996.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).

Watching Them Be

What makes a film actor into a larger-than-life movie star? James Harvey's passionate, freewheeling essays explain why there are some faces (from Greta Garbo's to Samuel L. Jackson's) from which we cannot look away.

Landline

What if you called up the spouse on the verge of leaving you -- and instead found yourself magically talking to his younger self, the one you first fell for?  Rainbow Rowell, author of the YA smash Eleanor & Park, delivers a sly, enchanting take on 21st-century love.