WILD MINDS: The Artists and Rivalries That Inspired the Golden Age of Animation, by Reid Mitenbuler. (Grove, 432 pp., $18.) This account of the 20th-century illustrators who shaped early American animation is meticulous and evocative. “Like the animators he celebrates,” noted our reviewer, Michael Tisserand, Mitenbuler is “capable of summarizing a character with a few quick swipes.”
I’M NOT HUNGRY BUT I COULD EAT, by Christopher Gonzalez. (SFWP, 115pp., $14.95.) This debut collection moves seamlessly between dinners, bedrooms and bachelor parties, as the mostly bisexual Puerto Rican narrators indulge in moments of longing, shame and sadness. Food is always plentiful – lobster meat, platters of chips, mushy vegan recipes – but what really holds these stories together is a unique, unabashed voice.
PEOPLE NEAR MY NEIGHBORHOOD, by Hiromi Kawakami. Translated by Ted Goossen. (Soft Skull, 176 pp., $15.95.) This collection of 36 flash stories focuses on an unnamed neighborhood in Japan, combining fables and the mundane. As our reviewer, Brenda Peynado, noted, “Kawakami’s style acts in brevity, giving us images distilled to the core, sentences that go straight to the heart, and the narrative mission to deliver entire lives within a breath.”
BEGINNERS: The Joy and Transformative Power of Lifelong Learning, by Tom Vanderbilt. (Vintage, 320 pp., $16.95.) Vanderbilt’s account of his efforts to learn everything from snowboarding to drawing to surfing is, according to Times critic Jennifer Szalai, “a tribute to the life-changing magic of learning new skills,” told in a tone that is at once “humble and comforting.” .”