Two of our recommended books this week use fiction to delve into Korean history and its relation to America, to strikingly different effect: Ed Park’s novel “Same Bed Different Dreams” is a sprawling, exuberant confection rife with wordplay and shades of Thomas Pynchon or Don DeLillo, while Paul Yoon’s “The Hive and the Honey” is a pointillist collection of spare, evocative short stories whose power derives from their restraint. Taken together the contrast is bracing, like sea salt and caramel, but of course you can choose to read either one without the other; we serve all tastes.
Also up this week, a handful of business-related books, including a history of the father-son conflict that shaped IBM and a look back at the Jewish immigrants who, bound together by the impact of antisemitism, transformed American banking. Other recommendations include a novel of immigration, a memoir by the author of “Maid,” a true-crime account of a drug kingpin in a college fraternity, and more. Happy reading. — Gregory Cowles
In this book about Watson’s struggle with his father over the fate of IBM (and by extension the computer industry), the combatants seem nearly Shakespearean.
Schulman’s comprehensive history shows how antisemitism bound turn-of-the-century Jewish bankers together, consigning them to work in the same offices, summer in the same towns and intermarry like European royalty, to consequential effect.
Knopf | $35
In this long-anticipated, many-layered, freewheeling sophomore novel, Park combines Korean history and American paranoia, then adds double agents, sinister corporations, slasher films, U.F.O.s and a bevy of unexpected elements. It all adds up to a dazzling kaleidoscope of a story.
Random House | $30
Set at South Carolina’s bucolic College of Charleston beginning in 2013, this gripping true-crime story stars a scrappy Kappa Alpha freshman at the center of a multitiered trafficking ring that supplies millions of dollars’ worth of drugs to campuses across the South.
For decades, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has funded public health and other initiatives. But in this blistering salvo, Schwab scrutinizes their philanthropy and accuses Gates of leveraging his power for political and financial gain, at the cost of those he purports to help.
Metropolitan | $33.99
Inspired by her own great-grandparents who fled Warsaw two decades before World War II, Grodstein takes readers into the lives of those who stayed. This devastating novel takes place in the Warsaw Ghetto, where a secret group of archivists made sure the truth survived.
Celina Baljeet Basra
This bighearted debut novel explores the realities of immigration by following Happy, a Punjabi farmer who moves to Italy. But rather than a straightforward telling, Basra uses a variety of formats to emphasize the psychological stakes.
Astra House | $26
We first met Land in “Maid,” as a single mother cleaning houses to stay off the streets. “Class” finds her at the University of Montana, an almost-35-year-old English major juggling classes and child care and maxed-out credit cards; it’s an indictment of a system that sets people up to fail.
Atria/One Signal | $28
Each story in this slim, exquisite collection is a piece of a larger puzzle that forms a breathtaking portrait of Korean history and its diaspora, detailing the persistence of imperialism, war, poverty and dislocation.
Marysue Rucci Books | $26