Cheat Sheet: March Books

Courtesy of Crown Publishing Group/Random House

AND NOW IT’S OVER. REALLY: Land of Painted Cave (Crown, March 29) by Jean M. Auel
Thirty-one years, 45 million books and one box-office flop (1986 with Daryl Hannah) after The Clan of the Cave Bear inaugurated the Earth’s Children series, Auel brings it to a conclusion in the sixth book. In the final novel, series heroine Ayla trains to become a priestess, discovers cave painting and renews her love for mate Jondalar.

The Savage City: Race, Murder, and a Generation on the Edge (William Morrow, March 15) by T.J. English
On the same day as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, two twentysomething white women were murdered in their apartment on the Upper East Side. TV vet English (Homicide, NYPD Blue) uses the “Career Girls” murders as the starting point for a sprawling exploration of the crime and police brutality that gripped NYC during the turbulent ’60s and ’70s. His main characters are George Whitmore, the “hapless victim” framed for the murders; Bill Phillips, a corrupt cop-turned-whistleblower; and Dhoruba bin Wahad, the “militant revolutionary” who challenged the police force. A tour de force of storytelling, this could be a hit.

Conversations With Scorsese (Knopf, March 8) by Richard Schickel
Six-plus years of conversations with the director covering everything from his childhood on the Lower East Side to 2010’s Shutter Island, the hits and the flops, the student films and the docs, the masterpieces and the ones that never got made. Aspiring actors and directors will love the detail and nuance about Scorsese’s work process and evolution as an artist.