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What to read this week: New books by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko, James Geary and Gina Apostol

"Vita Nostra" by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko. Credit: Harper Voyager

VITA NOSTRA by Marina and Sergey Dyachenko. Students of Hogwarts and Brakebills can enroll in the Institute of Special Technologies, a school of magic in this dark fantasy novel from Ukraine, translated by Julia Meitov Hersey. There, newcomer Sasha finds that books are unreadable, lectures impenetrable and students' families are threatened. (Harper Voyager, $26.99)

WIT'S END: What Wit Is, How It Works, and Why We Need It by James Geary. This inventive and playful book explores the nature of wit, from puns and verbal repartee to visual jokes and slapstick. Every chapter takes a different form, among them a verse essay inspired by Alexander Pope, a scientific paper, a rap lyric and a dialogue between two historical figures. (Norton, $23.95)

INSURRECTO by Gina Apostol. Recently named on the of the Top 10 Books of 2018 by Publishers Weekly, this swirling novel of colonialism and history follows an American filmmaker and her Filipino translator through the contemporary Philippines as they work on a film about a 1901 insurrection where local revolutionaries attacked an American garrison. (Soho Press, $26)


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