Through the lens of his own family’s lives as citizens of Pakistan and the United States as well as through his extensively documented ancestry, Shahan Mufti examines the evolution of Pakistan from its formation to its current status. It’s a huge project to undertake, but Mufti balances the personal with the political, finding the human moments in history and the sweeping themes in everyday life. As both a memoir and a biography of a nation, it is well worth a read.
— Emily Pullen, WORD [126 Franklin St. at Milton Street in Greenpoint, (718) 383–0096, www.wordbr
My favorite characters are back in this action-packed sequel to “City of Dark Magic.” Two years have passed since Sarah first met Prince Max and Nichol as Pertusato. Now back in Prague and subsequently Vienna, Sarah is racing to find a cure for young musical genius Pollina, who is gravely ill, while battling a mad scientist, a coquettish admirer, and an unseen enemy trailing her every move. Max and Nicholas are busy themselves in Prague with long-dead historical figures wandering around the city. Can the trio figure out how the events in Prague and Vienna are connected before it’s too late? Filled with all the villains, beloved heroes, alchemy, romance, and history as “City of Dark Magic,” “City of Lost Dreams” is a must-read.
— Bina Valenzano, co-owner, The BookMark Shoppe [8415 Third Ave. between 84th and 85th streets in Bay Ridge, (718) 833–5115, www.bookma
Ann Patchett, best-selling author of “Bel Canto” and “State of Wonder,” returns with a new collection of essays, “This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage.” In addition to being a writer, Patchett is co-owner of the independent bookstore Parnassus Books in Nashville, Tenn., and has become a well-spoken advocates of independent bookstores. This latest book mixes literature and memoir, which creates both a portrait and a philosophy of this amazing woman’s life. Great for fans of Patchett and literature-lovers alike.
— Emily Russo, Greenlight Bookstore [686 Fulton St. between S. Elliott Place and S. Portland Avenue in Fort Greene, (718) 246–0200, www.greenl