Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?

By Bill McKibben. (Holt, $17, new in paperback.)

Bill McKibben, who offered an early warning about climate change 30 years ago in "The End of Nature," returns with an examination of what's happening to the planet and to humanity itself — and how we might save ourselves. "It's a direct, attention-grabbing sprint through what we've done to the planet and ourselves, why we haven't stopped it and what we can do about it," wrote a Washington Post reviewer, concluding, "Despite the book's bleakness, its most stirring takeaway is perhaps McKibben's soulful insistence that choices remain."

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times

The Source of Self-Regard: Selected Essays, Speeches and Meditations By Toni Morrison. (Vintage, $16.95, new in paperback.)

Published a few months before Morrison's death last August, this final book — containing speeches and essays on topics ranging from the Sept. 11 attacks to James Baldwin and her own work ("The Bluest Eye," "Beloved," "Sula") — is an eloquent reminder of the power of this author's voice. "This book demonstrates once again that Morrison is more than the standard-bearer of American literature," wrote author James McBride in the New York Times. "She is our greatest singer. And this book is perhaps her most important song."

Moira Macdonald