MUSIC AND BOOKS TO PASS THE TIME
THE ENGLISH ASSASSIN
By Daniel Silva, (G.P. Putnam's Sons, $25.95)


A secret collection of priceless Impressionist paintings is missing, their reclusive millionaire banker owner murdered. Art restorer and occasional foreign agent Gabriel Allon arrives in Zurich presumably to restore a painting, but finds himself knee-deep in a high-stakes spy game, battling wits with an assassin he helped train.

OUR READ: Remain seated, with your seat belt fastened

WIFEWORK
By Susan Maushart (Bloomsbury, $24.95)


From the wife’s point of view comes a provocative scrutiny of the institution of marriage, specifically the inequitable division of labor between husbands and wives (the author notes that three-quarters of divorces are initiated by women). “Wifework,” the physical, emotional, and organizational labor in marriage — everything from housework to sex — is the root of many a marital problem.

OUR READ: Husbands, especially those who frequently trek by road or air, take note
THE GREAT MOVIES
By Roger Ebert (Broadway Books, $27.50


One hundred movies — from Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights to Gone With the Wind and The Shawshank Redemption — are lovingly and thoroughly examined in a collection of essays by America’s most famous film critic. This one is sure to send readers to the video store.

OUR READ: Thumbs Up!
POSSESSING GENIUS: THE BIZARRE ODYSSEY OF EINSTEIN’S BRAIN
By Carolyn Abraham (St. Martin's Press, $24.95)


Thomas Harvey was the chief pathologist at the hospital where Albert Einstein died in 1955. Harvey extracted the brain, hoping it would offer clues to the mystery of genius. A few years later, Harvey and the brain disappeared, but it popped up through the intervening decades in very strange places. Eventually, it ended up in Canada, and Abraham broke the story of its travels, for which she won the Canadian Science Writers Association Science in Society Award for her reporting on the business of genetics.

OUR READ: A twisted journey of science and vanity