“There are always epidemics no one understands, coming out of nowhere,” a character comments in Larry Kramer’s immense, sprawling, subversive, slightly insane and brilliant new novel, “The American People: Volume 1: Search for My Heart.” Readers familiar with Kramer’s history will prick up their ears: This is a writer all but synonymous with an epidemic.
“Getting Back Out There: Secrets to Successful Dating and Finding Real Love After the Big Breakup,” by Susan J. Elliott. Da Capo Lifelong/Perseus Books Group, Boston, 2014. 271 pages. $14.99.“Getting Back Out There: Secrets to Successful Dating and Finding Real Love After the Big Breakup” is the sage, uncompromising friend you come home to after a rough first date.
“The Terrorist’s Son: A Story of Choice” (Simon & Schuster / TED Books, $14.99) by Pittsburgh-born Zak Ebrahim (with Jeff Giles) was designed to be absorbed in a single sitting. Mr. Ebrahim’s inspiring account of growing up blighted by his terrorist father points the way toward a tolerance he was forced to forge on his own.
The Ramones were a band that was ahead of its time. Arriving on the music scene in the mid-1970s, when rock music was defined by the singer/songwriter and the “West Coast sound,” the Ramones had a garage band mentality and a penchant for two-minute blasts of sonic energy that helped define the early punk sound.