1. iPad pickings have thinned out considerably with the arrival of the new version of Apple’s tablet computer, but there are still some terrific books from writers who have already delved into the iPad. “The Control Freak’s Handbook for Living in the 21st Century,” by Joshua Oppenheimer (Riverhead: 232 pp., $24), is a cool update on the classic 1966 manifesto by Raymond Queneau; the new edition introduces a further seven devices, ranging from an innocuous iPhone to an extraordinarily detailed piece of six-figure machinery. “What Comes After Work: The Culture of Clocking In,” by Maya Lin (University of Georgia Press: 272 pp., $25), fills in the blanks of her groundbreaking 1990s design at the Vietnam War Memorial. The new edition includes scenes from the construction of the memorial and interviews with federal officials and Lin herself.
2. Indie darling Tobias Wolff (“This Is the End”) returns with “The Titan: A Novel,” which quickly adjusts to live-in duty for a single young married man. What makes the book so appealing is Wolff’s unhurried, diffuse style, and the restraint with which he depicts his protagonists’ homes and jobs. Plus, he peppers it with plenty of low-key philosophizing. “The novel is a valentine to anything that doesn’t conform to a societal ideal,” Wolff writes in the first chapter. His characters tend to be similarly discombobulated.
3. New York’s novelist Stanley Fish wrote the novel “Glamour Boys” in 2007. Now, he tells the story of the publishing house that survives through collaboration and a simple approach to fronting for a middleman. Like the recent bestseller “Sycamore Row,” Fish’s book is a gentle valentine to genius and failure. It’s hard to know what to make of the second novel he’s read. “Hallelujah,” by John Williams (Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 539 pp., $27.95), has a sophisticated technical touch that could be called derivative. But the intelligent, surprising plot, hints of social commentary, and great writing make it a surprise.
4. Want more than superhero films, action comedies and feverishly plotted smut in the summer of 2015? Head to Washington, D.C., at the end of July to see the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s spectacular display in the main gallery of the National Gallery of Art (Glencoe Street, SW; 202-783-5000). The 32-acre festival features 58 million blooms over 31 days, and there’s also a Japanese Garden near the Jefferson Memorial. Weather-permitting, of course.
5. The Washington Post’s poetry editor Matt Citron, who submitted “Our Souls at Night” by Kent Haruf (PublicAffairs: 288 pp., $26) on short notice to be placed in the April 14 poetry issue, is now out with his second collection, “Power Play” (University of Chicago Press: 161 pp., $24). It’s a lovely collection of 40-odd poems that strives to celebrate, or at least analyze, the political sphere, with an array of loquacious characters. Including, of course, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is often good for a pithy response, like the one he gave when Citron included him in the new collection. “Rand Paul: U.S. Senator from Kentucky @RandPaul Answers Editor’s Question” (publishers.my.com), posted after his well-received appearance in a print ad for Citron’s collection, is short but effective.