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10 best books of April: the Monitor's picks

Some call April the cruelest month but we think it may be the smartest month. From a worthy new biography of John Updike to an alarming but clear-eyed look at the ravages of pollution to a thoughtful memoir about life among the creative set, April's books are the opposite of beach reading. Here are the 10 April releases most favored by the Monitor's book critics. 

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1. "Updike," by Adam Begley

From the appearance of "Rabbit, Run" in 1960 up through his death in 2009, John Updike was a giant in the field of American letters. Now comes the first major, full-length biography of this iconic American figure. Adam Begley, the former books editor for the New York Observer, has pulled together a literary biography that Monitor book critic James Schiff calls "insightful, compelling, discreet, and admirable." You can see the Monitor's full review of "Updike" here.

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