We Are the Eighth Day, © Melanie Weidner


Here, There and Everywhere, Anthony Molinaro

Many Beatles tribute discs fail be­cause the vocalists or players aren’t up to the task. But with this piano-based instrumental disc, Chicago’s Anthony Molinaro shatters barriers in refreshing ways. On the opening “Blackbird,” he manages to inject the melody with stride-piano infectiousness.


Gabriel: A Poem, by Edward Hirsch

Hirsch writes a book-length lament in verse for his son, who died at age 22 from a drug overdose. Gabriel was diagnosed with one mental disorder after another. One doctor told Hirsch, “Think of the brain as a switchboard. . . .


Gold, by Barbara Crooker

Barbara Crooker enters the shades and brush strokes of daily life with such reverence that readers want to take notice, live better, and die better.


Sex in the lab

On Masters of Sex, the wired-up naked bodies are not nearly as titillating as the melodramas that unfold when the characters are fully clothed.