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A reporter returns to India to write about a grisly crime. "Honor" by Thrity Umrigar; Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (326 pages, $26.95, in stores Jan. 11) ——— Thrity Umrigar's latest novel, "Honor," begins with a vacation cut short when Smita Agarwal, a foreign correspondent from Brooklyn, is forced to abandon the sunny beaches of the Maldives for an unexpected detour to bustling Mumbai. She ...

"Our Country Friends" by Gary Shteyngart; Random House (336 pages, $28) ——— In the earliest, disorienting days of the coronavirus pandemic, as New York City became the site of its first American conflagration, many people who could fled the city. Gary Shteyngart’s engaging new novel, "Our Country Friends," is a sometimes comic, sometimes poignant story of one such group. He borrows a bit from ...

"Blue-skinned Gods" by SJ Sindu; Soho Press (336 pages, $26) ——— SJ Sindu has imagined a fascinating premise for her novel exploring identity, family, community and the tensions that arise among them: A boy born with a rare medical condition that causes his skin to turn blue is raised to believe he is an incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu. His parents set up an ashram outside a village in ...

Jessica Nordell's "The End of Bias" dives deep to help us transform ourselves and our world. MINNEAPOLIS — Jessica Nordell earned degrees in physics and poetry and has worked as a journalist for more than 15 years. But in her soul, Nordell is an archaeologist, digging deep into the human psyche on a quest to understand why we move through the world with realities "tinted and tinged and tweaked ...

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This is also a variant of interest according to the WHO and CDC, with its earliest documentation in India in October 2020.

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What’s been referred to as “delta plus” is getting buzz. This has been reportedly detected in South Korea, India and the United States, and some believe it may be more transmissible than the original delta variant. Experts are watching and waiting, but some note it hasn’t yet gained momentum here. Also known as AY.1, it is included under the World Health Organization’s list of variants of concern.

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Even though Mary Helen Wissinger has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 since the spring, she avoids indoor dining and going inside public spaces when they appear crowded or the parking lot seems full. The 67-year-old volunteer church secretary is still social distancing to some degree, choosing curbside pickup at big-box stores and takeout at restaurants. “I just try to be overly ...

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