LIFE SCIENCES, by Joy Sorman. Translated by Lara Vergnaud. (Restless, paper, $18.) The French author’s surreal English-language debut asks: If the medical establishment dismisses the physical struggles of women, how much pain can we abide, and when must we fight back? The novel follows a Parisian teenager from a medically cursed family, who offers herself the care she can’t find elsewhere. “Sorman’s alternative history of female malady offers both a horrific dose of truth and a comforting alternative to the stories sick women have told ourselves since time began,” Lena Dunham writes in her review.
LOVE IN THE BIG CITY, by Sang Young Park. Translated by Anton Hur. (Grove, $26.) A best seller in Korea, this novel traces the defining relationships of its cynical, hard-drinking narrator’s young adulthood, from college to postgraduate life in Seoul to burgeoning literary success. Bobby Finger, reviewing it, calls the book “intoxicating”: “What a joy it is to see such a profound exploration of contemporary queer life — its traumas and its ecstasies throbbing in harmony. It’s a shimmering addition to the recent genre of novels chronicling queer millennial malaise.”
TERMINATION SHOCK, by Neal Stephenson. (Morrow, $35.) Stephenson’s new novel imagines a world gone haywire from climate change; storm surges routinely inundate, hot seasons kill and much of the planet is unlivable. A Texas businessman’s outrageous plan to cool the atmosphere unifies a story that features everything from Venetian nationalism to martial arts melees at the Indian-Chinese border. “‘Termination Shock’ manages to pull off a rare trick, at once wildly imaginative and grounded, and readers who go in for this world-building will likely leave with a heightened concern for all the ways in which we are actively making the planet inhospitable,” Omar El Akkad writes in his review. “This novel is both a response to a deeply broken reality, and an attempt to alter it.”
AMOR ACTUALLY: A Holiday Romance Anthology, by Adriana Herrera, Alexis Daria, et al. (Adriana Herrera, Kindle, $4.99.) In this multi-author Latinx story collection riffing on the plotlines of the movie “Love, Actually,” new beginnings, holiday joy and following your desires loom large — but the breadth of ages and sexualities and pairings shows this volume has its arms thrown wide open in welcome. “It’s almost too cozy and delectable for words, which is to say it’s perfect mood reading for a stressful holiday season,” Olivia Waite writes in her latest romance column. “Seeing all the couples come together for Nochebuena at the end was cathartic in a way few epilogues can achieve.”
WHITE ON WHITE, by Aysegul Savas. (Riverhead, $26.) A graduate student moves to a new city to research cathedrals and depictions of Gothic …….