You think you know Caroline Doctorow? “Something Pulls Me to You,” the opening track of the singer-songwriter’s new album, leaves behind flowery folk for Hank Williams lonesome. Backed by the loping twang of Pete Kennedy’s guitar, it calls to mind hunched patrons at a late-night New Mexico roadside diner, nursing their sorrows as much as their coffee cups.
Ever feel that modernity has gotten so strange you must be living on another planet? In “The Twinning Project” (Clarion Books, $16.99), Robert Lipsyte of Shelter Island posits a second Earth created by alien scientists to study evolution. But humans, as humans will, have made a mess of things (our stock-in-trade: war, starvation, genocide, environmental degradation), and the project is being abandoned — no more Earths.