VALIANT AMBITION: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution, by Nathaniel Philbrick. Benedict Arnold is the textbook traitor of American history, but who was he, really? The author of “Mayflower” and “In the Heart of the Sea” looks at “one of Washington’s greatest generals” and how an injury sustained at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 led him to treason. (Viking, $30)

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YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: Taste in an Age of Endless Choice, by Tom Vanderbilt. “Why do we like the things we like?” asks the author of “Traffic” and “Survival City.” In the age of the Facebook thumbs up, we’re faced with this question daily — and marketers want to know, too. Through the lenses of psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, this book chases the surprisingly elusive answer. (Knopf, $26.95)

THE ASSISTANTS, by Camille Perri. Tina Fontana, the underpaid 30-year-old protagonist of this sly debut novel by an East Meadow native, is the assistant to a CEO who “hovers around number thirty-five on the Forbes billionaire list.” But don’t think this office peon is a self-pitying victim: Tina develops an embezzlement scheme to pay off her student loans — and the other assistants want in. (Putnam, $25)