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What to read this week: New books by Jerome Charyn, Jennifer Traig, Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall

"The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King" by

"The Perilous Adventures of the Cowboy King" by Jerome Charyn. Credit: Liveright

THE PERILOUS ADVENTURES OF THE COWBOY KING by Jerome Charyn. Teddy Roosevelt gets the full fictional treatment in this exuberant historical novel beginning in childhood (with an asthma attack) and sweeps through nearly 40 years up to his 1901 assumption of the presidency. Along the way are stops in old Manhattan, the Dakota Badlands, Cuba's San Juan Hill and Long Island's own Sagamore Hill. (Liveright, $26.95)

THE SOPRANOS SESSIONS by Matt Zoller Seitz and Alan Sepinwall. Twenty years ago, Tony Soprano first appeared on our TV screens, and Americans were in for six seasons of riveting television about the Jersey mobster, his professional compatriots, his family and his psychiatrist. In this anniversary volume, two TV critics revisit the show episode by episode, and conduct new interviews with creator David Chase. (Abrams, $30)

ACT NATURAL: A Cultural History of Misadventures in Parenting, by Jennifer Traig. "To do even a half-assed job" of parenting, writes author and parent Traig, "is a Sisyphean task." But what is good parenting, and how did we arrive at our current standards? "Act Natural" ranges over the history to look at child-rearing trends from ancient Rome (infant exposure) to Dr. Spock ("Trust yourself"). (Ecco, $26.99) 

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