"A Flag Worth Dying For" by Tim Marshall

"A Flag Worth Dying For" by Tim Marshall Credit: Scribner

A FLAG WORTH DYING FOR: The Power and Politics of National Symbols, by Tim Marshall. Considering the cases of various national and other flags — from Old Glory and the Union Jack to the Jolly Roger and the ISIS banner — Marshall explores the powerful emotions and tribal identities bound up in a deceptively simple piece of fabric. (Scribner, $26)

QUEEN OF BEBOP: The Musical Lives of Sarah Vaughan, by Elaine M. Hayes. Along with Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, Vaughan was one of the great jazz singers of the 20th century, known for her lush voice and virtuosic improvisations. The author of this biography follows her from a childhood making music in a Newark church to her success as a jazz and pop singer and her final act as a jazz diva in the rock and roll era. (Ecco, $27.99)

ALL WE SHALL KNOW, by Donal Ryan. This novel by an award-winning Irish writer is centered on Melody Shee, a 33-year-old married tutor who is pregnant by one of her students — a 17-year-old “Traveller,” a clan of itinerant gypsies. The novel follows Melody through her pregnancy — the chapters start at “Week Twelve” and end at “Postpartum” — as her husband leaves her and she befriends a Traveller woman. (Penguin Books, $16 paper)

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