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Paperback Picks

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The Soccer War
Ryszard Kapuscinski (first published in 1991)
In 22 years as a correspondent covering hot spots in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East for the Polish Press Agency, Kapuscinski reported on a total of 27 wars, revolutions, coups, and rebellions. His self-deprecating sense of humor and his fundamental humanity shine through on every page of this eccentric, understated memoir in the tradition of Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad. A

The Little Girls
Elizabeth Bowen (1964)
Vintage Elizabeth Bowen. Three schoolgirls, shortly before World War I, attempt to send posterity a mixed message in the form of buried treasure. The extent to which they succeed is the subject of Miss Bowen’s wittiest novel. On the surface not a lot happens, but small ghosts from the past are almost visible throughout. A

A Neutral Corner
A.J. Liebling (1990)
You don’t have to be a fight fan in full cry to appreciate the pieces in this collection, most of which originally appeared in The New Yorker. Although A Neutral Corner frequently supplies a connoisseur’s appreciation of memorable left hooks and poignant combinations, its real subject is the now extinct subculture of small-time fighters, trainers, and managers at the long-gone Stillman’s Gym on Manhattan’s West Side. A-

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