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New & Recommended

A Long Way Down
By Nick Hornby

Hornby's new novel, about four would-be suicides, confirms his grasp of both the comic and the tragic (Riverhead, $24.95).

Love Creeps
By Amanda Filipacchi

Three extremely neurotic characters are brought together by stalking in this inventive and intelligent anti-romance (St. Martin's, $23.95).

Specimen Days
By Michael Cunningham

With Whitman as their ghostly muse, the novel's three self-contained novellas form a rich, melancholy whole (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $25).

The Optimists
By Andrew Miller

A subtle, beautifully written novel that explores the plight of a caring man in an uncaring universe (Harcourt, $24).

1776
By David McCullough

America's most momentous year, captured in trademark you-are-there style by the prize-winning McCullough (Simon & Schuster, $32).

Selected from books recently reviewed in the Globe.

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