American Empire: The Rise of a Global Power, the Democratic Revolution at Home 1945-2000 By Joshua B. Freeman (Viking, $36)
An imaginative history of the second half of the 20th century in which the US emerges as an empire with a character all its own.
Ghost Milk: Recent Adventures Among the Future Ruins of London on the Eve of the Olympics By Iain Sinclair (Faber and Faber, $28)
A meditation on the destruction that can be wrought on a landscape by the excesses of development, including the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Yok By Tim Davys Harper (Harper, $22.99)
Humorous final novel in a quartet about a town whose inhabitants are all stuffed animals.