Rebecca Makkai’s masterful novel, “The Great Believers,” opens in 1985 with Yale Tishman attending a memorial service for Nico Marcus — his first real friend in Chicago — who has just died from AIDS. Nico’s younger sister, Fiona, is the protagonist of the book’s alternating chapters, which are set in 2015. She is heading to Paris to look for her daughter, Claire, whom she has not seen in some time.

Becoming Barbra

By Bill Eppridge

Coffee-table book

Iconic singer and actor Barbra Streisand had a humble beginning, and this glossy book of photos serves as a reminder of it.

Philadelphia tourists and current citizens can take a guided tour of the city with the help of a handy guidebook. “Walking Philadelphia: 30 Walking Tours Exploring Art, Architecture, History, and Little-Known Gems” takes readers through the city’s diverse neighborhoods while showcasing information about the buildings and history.

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