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What’s new: A memoir by Emma Reyes, Ladee Hubbard’s debut novel, David Thomson on Warner Bros.

"The Book of Emma Reyes" is a memoir

"The Book of Emma Reyes" is a memoir in the form of letters. Credit: Penguin Books

THE BOOK OF EMMA REYES, by Emma Reyes, translated by Daniel Alarcón. Reyes (1919-2003) was a Colombian painter born in Bogotá who later lived in Paris; she counted Frida Kahlo and Jean-Paul Sartre as friends. Her memoir, structured as a series of letters to a friend, recalls a Dickensian childhood, raised in a windowless room by a mother she knew only as “Mrs. María” and later abandoned at a convent where 150 girls labored for the nuns. (Penguin Classics, $24)

THE TALENTED RIBKINS, by Ladee Hubbard. There’s a lot going on in this sly, pleasurable first novel. It’s about a 72-year-old man, Johnny Ribkins, on a Florida road trip with his 13-year-old niece Eloise, in search of loot he has buried all over the state. Mind you, the Ribkins are no ordinary African-American family — they all have special powers (Johnny draws accurate maps of places he’s never been) that have been employed for good (civil rights) and sometimes for ill (larceny). (Melville House, $25.99)

WARNER BROS: The Making of an American Movie Studio, by David Thomson. Part of the Jewish Lives series, this slim volume is an examination of Harry, Albert, Sam and Jack Warner, Jewish immigrants who founded a movie studio famous for its 1930s and ’40s gangster pictures, its movies starring Bette Davis, and all-time classics such as “Casablanca.” It’s written by the prolific David Thomson, known for his Biographical Dictionary of Film. (Yale University Press, $25)

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