Articles in OL Weekly
A new anthology looks at the rich, creepy atmosphere that gave rise to the fiction of Edgar Allan Poe – and then was dominated by him as by no other author
The great Persian King Xerxes gets a wonderfully sharp and detailed biography for Western readers
While a young Winston Churchill was making history during the waning years of the Victorian Empire, he was also reporting on himself making history during the waning years of the Victorian Empire. A new book tells the old story.
On the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, a spirited new biography looks at King John
A new book looks at one tumultuous year in the life of William Shakespeare
In the latest of David Weber’s “Safehold” novels, Industrial-Age technology is coming to a quasi-Renaissance world, ready or not
An effective debut novel looks at the story of famous Cleopatra’s much less-famous sisters
The first volume of Michael Broers’ new Napoleon biography follows its famous subject from obscure Corsican boyhood to the stage of world-wide fame.
A grand and jauntily mythological new volume of poetry from Pulitzer Prize-winning Yusef Komunyakaa
Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth tells of the fantastical life of Gustavo “Highway” Sánchez Sánchez, the self-proclaimed best auctioneer in the world, and a great collector of teeth and their stories.
A big new volume commemorates a century of “Best American Short Stories,” which began – as with all worthy things – in Boston a long time ago
The author of such brilliant novels as “Year of Wonders” and “March” takes on the Biblical story of King David
The odd couple military police sergeants Sueno and Bascom return in Martin Limon’s gripping new mystery set in 1970s Korea
Armed with camera and tennis balls, a young photographer takes informal portraits of the dogs he meets. The Instagram sensation “The Dogist” is now a book.
A failed writer seizes on a most unlikely inspiration for his great book: the catastrophically unlucky life of his best friend
A polite conversation by two intellectuals about an explosive subject: the rise of militant Islamic groups throughout the world, and the world’s response
The ancient Chinese classic of divination gets a brisk new English-language translation
The venerable sub-genre of the Washington, DC history gets a substantial new update
A revelatory new volume brings to English-language readers a selection of the verses of St. Petersburg poet Aleksandr Kushner
The new entry in Oxford University Press’ “Great Battles” series focuses on the long and potent afterlife of the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War
In the latest crime novel from Stuart Neville, two young killers are getting paroled – much too soon for the son of their victim
From the McCarthy era to the Watergate era and beyond, Mary McGrory ruled the Washington press corps, as a wonderful new book details
Growing up in suburban Illinois, author Michael Clune discovered the world of gaming – and nothing was ever the same again
In his new book, David Brock, foremost champion of the Clintons, comes to the defense of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton
A slim new novel works hard at being clever, with mixed results. Justin Hickey reviews “The Beautiful Bureaucrat”
James Hamilton’s fascinating new book looks behind the glorious paintings of the Victorian era at the men who designed the frames, discovered the paint pigments, and heated the galleries
The author of several well-regarded but unprofitable novels about sensitive misfit boys turns to the industry’s top money-maker: epic fantasy. Disaster promptly ensues.
In 2012, a trio of Antarctic explorers re-traces the path of a doomed expedition from 1913
A stunning debut volume from poet and teacher Robin Coste Lewis
British literary icon Alan Bennett looks at six poets whose work has meant a great deal to him over the years
If a gushing new biography is any warrant, that’s the wrong Roosevelt up on Mount Rushmore.
When the Second World War erupted, the British Empire expected all its client states to do their duty for the Crown; but in India, as a sharp new book details, that duty was deeply complicated
The fierce, epic height of WWII’s Pacific War is the subject of Ian Toll’s gripping new volume
The latest volume in Yale University Press’s series of short histories is a quick yet authoritative overview of United States history
A taut new history of Richard III and the battle in which he lost everything – and the new Tudor dynasty gained everything
In the Ethiopian city of Harar, spotted hyenas roam the streets at night, cleaning up the day’s garbage better than any human crew could do. A fascinating new book tells the story.
Long before the famous date of the Declaration, Boston was breaking the King’s Peace and warning other towns and colonies to do likewise – a lively new book tells the story
National Book Award-winner Lily Tuck’s latest book attempts an experiment at dramatizing her memories of her early years
A Stanford history professor attempts to make a positive case for one of the most benighted countries on the planet
The world’s most famous architect gets his first full-length biography
They slit throats; the bombed churches; they were none too mentally stable – and these were the GOOD guys
Now in paperback: a thorough – and thoroughly interesting – study of the actual physical dimensions of the little pond whose name Henry David Thoreau made immortal
A thorough new study of the poetry of the great transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson
The great home of generations of the Sitwell family, Renishaw Hall, is the subject of Desmond Seward’s latest book
In historian Kate Williams’ new novel, a wealthy family in England confronts the realities of the First World War
The bad science behind the Hindenburg was made tragically obvious by its explosion in 1937; a new book warns that other miracles of science may be equally dangerous
A new book assembles and studies the scattered writings of American slaves
The great German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt was fascinated by all of the natural world, and his work in studying it and writing about it has shaped our understanding ever since
A harrowing and contentious new assessment of the Nazi war on the Jews of Europe.
A witty, unsparing memoir from author and critic Gary Indiana
A sarcastic screenwriter learns he has only six months to live in this reprinted novel from Edward St. Aubyn from 2000
In the latest chapter of S. M. Stirling’s “Emberverse” series, two courageous women embark on a quest for a supernatural sword
In Zen Cho’s exuberant debut, the magic of Napoleonic-era England is slowly dwindling, and it’s up to the Sorcerer Royal to figure out why
The life of infamous NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, in comic book form
A spirited defense of humanist intangibles in a culture obsessed with material gain
The huge environmental problems facing India form the backdrop for Meera Subramanian’s fantastic first book
A mother grieving the loss of her own son investigates the 30-year-old disappearance of a powerful Southern family’s little boy in this haunting debut
A debut adventure starring the smarter older brother of Sherlock Holmes
Michael Swanwick’s terrific new novel features a con artist and a genetically modified dog-man seeking riches and power in a post-post-apocalyptic China
In the continents-spanning 16th-century clash between Venice and the Ottoman Empire, a crucial role was played by Albania – and by two families at the heart of events
The celebrated author of “The Yacoubian Building” returns with another panoramic look at life in modern Egypt during a pivotal era
In Adrienne Celt’s remarkably rich debut novel, an opera singer is worried that the birth of her daughter has robbed her of her singing voice
In the wake of professional betrayal and global catastrophe, the heroes of Linda Nagata’s “Red” Trilogy are confronted by a new threat as the series barrels on
At the end of the 14th century, Lorenzo de’ Medici and the friar Savonarola began a series of clashes in palace and pulpit that would end up altering the course of the city’s history. A lively new book tells the story.
Book critic Michael Dirda’s latest collection offers more personal musings on the subject he loves most
A new edition of this collection of Holocaust diaries by young people captures the voices and the worries of the Nazis’ most innocent victims
A newly-reprinted biography of the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck is noticeably short – what kind of a job does it do?
Bloomsbury publishes a lovely new English-language translation of Sonallah Ibrahim’s great novel about the Lebanese Civil War
You wouldn’t bet on a little street in Edinburgh – or its eccentric inhabitants – surviving a series of world-battering catastrophes, but that’s both the starting and the ending point of Nick Holdstock’s fascinating first novel
In his brilliant new book, Jedediah Purdy argues that humanity must face the collapse of nature using the three tools it knows best: politics, policy, and cold, hard cash
In a dusty Vatican archive, an ancient manuscript is found that could change the world. Or whatever.
The woes of empire and the decline of the aristocracy form the backdrop for Jonathan Weisman’s smart and moving debut novel, set in Thatcher’s England.
A powerful new book by one of our best historians examines from new sources the torturous path Russia took to the First World War
In this funny and touching debut, a young man’s search for his missing mother leads to unexpected discoveries amid the lights of Las Vegas
In an alternate history in which an undefeated Nazi Germany controls vast portions of Africa, a cast of old friends and enemies come together amid rumors of a devastating new kind of bomb …
Ailing cultural critic Clive James turns in what may very well be his final collection of essays. Robert Minto reviews.
The hero of Linda Nagata’s nifty new series is hard-wired to his battle-armor … but is something else hiding in the connection?
A collection of profiles of eight pivotal American literary men of the 20th century – Robert Minto reviews
Part history, part travel guide, part novel – a wonderful new book takes readers on a tour of Roman Britain
Yale University Press publishes a 2005 memoir by the 2014 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature
The great ancient Indian emperor Ashoka gets a splendid new biography that attempts to divine the man at the heart of the legend
A sumptuous new book studies the work of one of the English language’s greatest poets. Robert Minto reviews.
Veteran New Yorker writer William Finnegan has written a captivating memoir of surfing and growing up
On the world of Paradise, the wars of dynasties are fought on battlefields by knights mounted on dinosaurs
A lively new book explores the minds and behaviors of many of Earth’s cetaceans
The settled opinion of historians has always been that President Eisenhower personally hated his vice president, Richard Nixon; a vigorous, unmissable new book tries to set that record straight
A massive new history details the war in the Pacific Theater during WWII
One by one, young Spencer’s books are disappearing at night – can he figure out where they’re going before they’re all gone?
A new book celebrating the library’s thousands of years of history and constantly-changing cultural role is filled with sharp essays
For the better part of a century, Voltaire waged a sometimes solitary battle against the iniquities of organized religion. A great new book brings together fresh translations of some of the philosopher’s most biting works.
Archeological research has uncovered more than ever about the ordinary men and women who lived in Britain during the centuries of Roman occupation. A lively new book assesses what we know
Matthew Hawkwood, James McGee’s super-competent soldier-turned-spy, returns in another adventure, this time trapped in America during the War of 1812
In the latest Roman historical novel from old pro Simon Scarrow, two heroic legionaries are chasing an infamous local warlord in Britannia – and facing treachery from within their own ranks
“How a Court LOOKS,” remarked a courtier to one of England’s more successful modern-day monarchs, “is at least as important as how a Court WORKS.” A re-issued study from Philip Mansel looks at form and function in the court of Napoleon Bonaparte
“Austria,” quipped Talleyrand, “has the tiresome habit of always being beaten” – but Richard Bassett’s vigorous new history of the Imperial Austrian Army begs to differ!
A French army and a British army stumble upon each other in the wilderness of the New World, and their conflict changes the nature of the world’s biggest war
The epic change in ancient Rome from a Republic to an Empire hinged on one man: Julius Caesar. A new history tells the familiar story.
A veteran state conflict analyst looks at the mother of such conflicts: the long strife between Israel and Palestine
A teenager in Kyoto tries to face the last months of his life as a samurai would – with a little help from his friends
The famous bloody encounter at the center of Albert Camus’ novel The Stranger is re-imagined from a new perspective in Kamel Daoud’s widely-praised debut
In the wake of Bangladesh’s bloody Liberation War, a hapless nonentity suddenly finds himself impersonating a beloved national leader
Veteran historian John Julius Norwich attempts to cram over 800 years of Sicilian history into 300 pages – and because he’s John Julius Norwich, he very nearly succeeds
Federal contractor Jack Taylor takes an unprecedented high-altitude space jump – but when he breaks the sound barrier and makes his landing, he finds himself in a different reality
E. L. Doctorow
In Max Gladstone’s latest “Craft” sequence novel, what looks like a straightforward neighborhood gentrification suddenly threatens to unleash the wrath of the gods themselves
Debut author Geoffrey Storm started down the usual path – writing conferences, agents – but then decided to take the route so many new authors are taking and self-publish his first novel. He talks with Open Letters about that process.
The latest monumental anthology from Gardner Dozois of the best the sci-fi genre has to offer
In his beautifully-written new book, ecologist Carl Safina takes a broader look at the emotional and mental lives of nonhuman animals
A professor of Italian clings to Dante’s Divine Comedy when confronted with an unthinkable tragedy in his own life
The half-legendary Maid of Orleans gets a refreshingly wide-angled new history from Helen Castor
A memoir of the first President Bush, written by his former Chief of Staff
In a mere 200 pages on the history of writing, Matthew Battles takes readers from ancient China and Sumeria to Gutenberg to – oh my, are we out of time already?
Far from the popular image of ravenous killing machines, wolves are actually surprisingly cautious predators who carefully weigh the risks they take, as a stunning new study illustrates
A distant planet crackling with “dark energy” holds mind-boggling secrets for the crew of humans sent to explore it
Years ago, two young girls were abducted and held for two months by a mysterious stranger; in the present, in Maggie Mitchell’s terrific debut novel, these women are now confronted with the suspicion that a part of their childhood ordeal is very much alive.
Military historian Stephen Harding tells the poignant story of the last soldier killed in World War II
In the future, a vast corporation sends operatives back in time to loot the past, and those operatives have one rule above all others: bring nobody back with you. When one of those operatives breaks that rule, Wesley Chu’s novel takes off
When enigmatic aliens plunge down in the ocean off the coast of Nigeria, three very different humans encounter them – and watch as the world is changed forever
Time and again in the history of life, environmental pressures and biological systems combine to produce the same adaptations in wildly different species and epochs. It’s called convergent evolution, and Simon Conway Morris has written its grand opera.
A decorated Roman soldier accompanies a dangerous mission into barbarian territory in 4th century Britain
The forgotten Midwestern town of Normandy Falls becomes the setting for an increasingly horrifying – and surreal – series of events in Kevin Keating’s outstanding new novel
In “Hostile Takeover,” Shane Kuhn provides a raucous follow-up to his popular novel “The Intern’s Handbook”
Two brothers – one simple-minded, the other quite possibly devious – are at the heart of Stuart Prebble’s new thriller
Just in time for America’s Independence Day, the Library of America presents its newest production: a two-volume collection of some of the pamphlets that so inflamed the colonial population in the decade leading up to the Revolution
Three sisters and their various husbands and children gather at the family’s inviting old Cape Cod vacation home, where they face drama, revelation, heartache, and maybe personal re-invention.
A wealthy family in dazzling 1920s Newport, Rhode Island faces problems and revelations in both the material world of their huge estate – and also in the spirit world, where secrets will be revealed
In the early 1720s, the regent of France risked both his young king and his young daughter on high-stakes international gambles in the ongoing War of Succession; a sparkling new novel dramatizes the events
In Wednesday Martin’s now-infamous scathing account, we learn the appalling personal details of the wives of Manhattan’s rich and famous
A brutal assassination in 1537 changed the course of Florentine history, and eleven years later, the assassin was himself murdered. Case closed? A fascinating new book thinks not!
Sybille Bedford’s great novel – now in a pretty reprint from the New York Review of Books – has the sweep of Edward Gibbon and the emotional vitality of Jane Austen. Robert Minto takes a new look at a classic.
Fifteen hundred years ago, the inhabitants of northeastern Canada encounter intruders from over the sea: Vikings
A rich investment swindler disappears on his boat – and with a great chunk of his ill-gotten gains – and the plot is afoot in the latest thriller from Mary Higgins Clark
Tens of thousands of years ago, humans domesticated canines and thereby changed the dynamics of life on earth – a change humanity then continued by domesticating other species. A fascinating new book details the process
Millions of years ago, hominids began walking upright – thus expanding their field of view and freeing their hands for mischief and took-making. A new book celebrates the result.
Now in paperback in the US: the companion book to the popular BBC science program hosted by physicist Brian Cox
Byron the poet was also Byron the prolific correspondent and diarist, as a generous and learned new collection amply demonstrates
For a key interval in 1940, Britain stood alone against the might of Nazi Germany at its peak – and that familiar story of determination and ultimate victory is the subject of Robin Prior’s new book
The “ecologies of attention and action” form the dynamic heart of philosopher Matthew Crawford’s new book. Robert Minto reviews.
In a generous new anthology, a group of talented authors tells stories set in the “Emberverse” of S. M. Stirling – an Earth where all technology has abruptly stopped working
In Iggulden’s ongoing series about the Wars of the Roses, England’s Queen Margaret struggles to hold onto her power – and her life – even as her husband the king slips in and out of sanity
A New Jersey town repeatedly struck by falling planes is the setting for Judy Blume’s new book
How did the dynamics of kingship apply to a distant and socially maladroit little creature like King Charles I? A terrific new book looks at personality and power in the Stuart era
A former slave in a brutal empire is now wielding both political and magical power the second volume in Jon Sprunk’s hugely enjoyable “Book of the Black Earth” series
An ambitious debut novel explores the world that gave birth to the meteoric career of Charles Dickens and his lesser-known competitors
At the height of the Vietnam War, President Nixon engaged in an incredibly risky game of nuclear brinksmanship – a richly-researched new book tells the story
While America was still technically neutral in Great Britain’s fight against Germany, a handful of American flyers traveled to England and volunteered to fly in the RAF – a fascinating new book tells their story
A sumptuous new bilingual edition of the great Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade
A woman dies in Versailles, and her death sets in motion a tangled plot connecting a small group of people in this 2010 novel by Pascal Garnier
A new memoir about sleeplessness – and the wired culture that seems to encourage it
Now in paperback: a new rumination on the nature of the post-wildlife world mankind has built
Hilary Mantel’s two famous novels have fueled the centuries-old curiosity about King Henry VIII’s notorious minister Thomas Cromwell: was he a saint, Satan, or a civil servant? A magnificent new study attempts to sift fact from fiction
The effort of an eccentric earl to re-introduce wolves to England draws a zoologist back to the home she left years before
The steely matriarch of a wealthy family is losing both her health and her control over her family in this sharp debut novel by Sophie McManus
Now in paperback, a groundbreaking study of Winston Churchill’s life as a bestselling author, speechwriter, and speech performer
Penelope Devereux inspired a poet and may well have inspired a failed coup in Elizabethan England – and now she inspires a richly-detailed novel
The 1596 battle over Blackfriars Theatre was waged by a strong-willed Puritan woman who had a habit of picking fights, including with the Queen; a terrific new book tells the story at length for the first time
In time for the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo comes the concluding volume in Rory Muir’s magisterial biography of the battle’s victor, the Duke of Wellington
The enigmatic and compelling aristocratic author Vita Sackville-West is the subject of an approachable new biography
A group of rescuers in Southern California treat the most delicate patients imaginable: injured hummingbirds
A genuinely thought-provoking new work of science-writing probes the nature – and even the value – of noise
A short new biography seeks to do the impossible: encompass the Protean life of Goethe in only a handful of pages. Robert Minto reviews.
On a chilly day in late May, 1918, American troops went into battle in the World War I for the first time – a gripping new history tells the story
Now in paperback: a fascinating history of mankind’s interactions with the most famous volcano in the world
The mad debacle of the Dardanelles campaign is now 100 years in the past, and to mark the anniversary, a classic account is reprinted
A former deputy director of the CIA reflects on his time on the front lines in this frustrating memoir
A former key player in the Coalition’s conquest and administration of Iraq reflects on her time there
A young monk goes on a desperate quest in the 12th century – to a fable city called Venetia
The pioneering English Egyptologist William Bankes gets a smart and vivacious new biography
In Florence of the 1490s, a ranting Dominican friar picked a fight with the wrong Pope and lost badly. A new I Tatti volume translates the bickering before the bonfire.
A plucky, unlikely teen heroine and a brooding, idealistic teen hero form an unlikely relationship as they fight the oppression of their world in … well, every single YA novel ever written, including this one.
In the wake of the First World War, unimaginable energies were unleashed upon the societies of the Western world. A fascinating new book attempts to assess the results.
John Ferling, great historian of 18th century America, here tells the story of the American Revolution itself, in typically riveting fashion
At the heart of this astounding work of fantasy broods a jungle called the Vorrh, a forest so unending that it warps time and steals souls.
The quintessential modern classic of gardening-literature gets a very nice reprint
A nature enthusiast looks at the countless little lives taking place on his small rural French meadow-farm
A wunderkind of the Canadian theater world writes an impassioned manifesto about everything that’s wrong with the theater world – with better results than you’d expect
During the Italian Renaissance, one enterprising autodidact took it upon himself to track down and transcribe as many inscriptions from the ancient world as he could find
An Indian driver and his enormous war-elephant experience the treacheries and triumphs of Alexander the Great’s Babylon campaign
A noted Israeli scholar and ‘refusnik’ writes a reserved and thorough history of the occupied territories
The popular Facebook-poster Jeff Nunokawa now has a book collecting his highlights
In the new novel from James Cambias, a space pirate in the near future – and the enforcer hunting him – encounter something neither one expects
The firebrand preacher and founder of the Presbyterian denomination is the subject of a masterful new biography
When a renegade mage steals a powerful book of sorcery, the world of Marc Turner’s fantasy debut is plunged into a disturbing new form of warfare
A former British White House correspondent looks back half a century at the two titans who ruled a now-vanished Washington
Religion and science – the so-called “non-overlapping magisteria” – are actually deeply adversarial, writes “Why Evolution is True” author Jerry Coyne
Crime columnist Irma Heldman reports on the winners, the sinners, and the dinner at the 2015 Edgar Awards
Charles Boxer and Mercy Danquah are both kidnap specialists who’ve solved many tough cases. But in their latest, the missing person is their own daughter – and she doesn’t want to be found
The US Constitution – the oldest in the world – gets a comprehensive new biography
Two men meet by chance in a 1960s cafe – and remember a time twenty years earlier when they were captor and prisoner at Auschwitz
Is the artist painting heath landscapes in England during World War II a mild-mannered hero of military campaigns or a spy? Gerard Woodward’s spellbinding novel starts there and then travels over the whole of an improbable life story
The Tim Parks essays collected in this pretty volume range over the whole landscape of the book-world, from endangered copyright to foreign-lit chic to the inescapability of Jonathan Franzen
In the latest Star Wars novel, Darth Vader and his evil Emperor are trapped on a hostile world, being hunted by man and beast
Max Planck, the great physicist and father of quantum theory, gets a marvelous and empathetic new biography
A new biography takes advantage of recently-opened Soviet archives
In the wake of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States summarily imprisoned thousands of its Japanese citizens for the duration of the war. Richard Reeves’ passionate new book tells the story
Jenny Uglow’s new book goes into lively detail about how ordinary people in Britain experienced the cataclysmic events of the wars of the Napoleonic era
Author Thom Hatch promises mind-blowing new revelations in his book on the Battle of Little Bighorn. And in other news, Rutherford B. Hayes is rumored to be contemplating a run for president.
In his moving account, now in paperback from New World Library, David Helvarg recounts the wonders and wealth of the world’s oceans
Mary Robinette Kowal’s sparkling “Glamourist” fantasy series comes to a complex and intriguing conclusion
Cuckoos use other species of birds to raise the young they abandon, and they’ve been doing it for thousands of years without getting arrested. An absorbing new book isn’t precisely rooting for them, but still …
An extremely winning new book explores the enormous ways eight particular animal kinds have altered the course of human life on Earth
One hundred years ago, a German U-boat sank the RMS Lusitania, with grievous loss of civilian life. The anniversary is observed by one of our best popular historians
A chatty, vivacious new book tracks the four sons of the Royal House of Windsor during the years of World War Two
Jonathan Lethem’s latest book continues his project of combining the literary and the pulpy – Robert Minto reviews.
The latest full-dress biography of John Wilkes Booth seeks to get at the flesh-and-blood man beneath the monster
Giant eels, dragon-scammers, and of course Sasquatch himself feature in Chris Tarry’s delightfully gonzo debut short story collection
The passionate, unconventional life of novelist George Sand forms the backdrop for Elizabeth Berg’s new novel
In April of 1945, the destroyer USS Laffey was bombarded by wave after wave of kamikaze fighters – and yet survived. A gripping new book tells the story of a ship that refused to die
In the dystopian future of Jeffrey Rotter’s fantastic novel, Copernican astronomy has been forgotten – but its secrets lie buried under what was once Florida
In time for the hundred-year anniversary of the Ottoman killing of over a million Armenians, a gripping new history tells the whole story of the tragedy
The main character of Adam Thirlwell’s new novel has no redeeming qualities whatsoever – and he’s sinfully easy to read about
The tense and frantic final months of the American Civil War forms the backdrop for Joseph Wheelan’s lively new book
President Lincoln’s mercurial Secretary of War Edwin Stanton gets a full-dress biography that would have gladdened the heart of anybody who ever wanted to hit him with a shovel
The poet James Merrill at long last gets the lavish soup-to-nuts biography he’s always deserved
The sprawling system of concentration camps established by the Nazis gets its first comprehensive history
In his new book, Peter Brown offers a provocative and fascinating new look at the evolution of the Christian idea that you can be helped in the next life by how much moolah you fork over in this one
From the novelist, critic, and columnist Dale Peck comes a series of autobiographical essays and reflections about life during the height of the AIDS epidemic
A fantastic, important new study traces the history of insanity in human history
The military collapse of France in 1940 has been a punch line and byword for decades, but a provocative new book argues that the traditional view is too simple
In 2011, a man detonated a bomb in Oslo and then shot dozens of people on a nearby island before surrendering to police. A vivid new book tells the whole story of the victims – and the killer
A gigantic new biography chronicles the rise-to-power of Napoleon Bonaparte
In 1936 Nazi Germany poured money and manpower into backing General Franco in the Spanish Civil War; a new history powerfully re-interprets that fraught relationship
A new book tells the story of the War Cabinet Winston Churchill assembled to fight the Second World War
Beyond the battles and trenches of the First World War, a dozen less glamorous but no less vital fights were being waged – in laboratories and darkrooms and publishing offices. A vibrant new book tells the story of the other World War I
The incestuously-close relationship between a literary biographer and his subject lies at the heart of Hanif Kureishi’s new novel
800 years ago, King John “Lackland” sealed Magna Carta and unwittingly laid the foundation for some of Western law; a new book takes a fresh look at this much-maligned figure
For more than a thousand years, the sprawling area of the Baltic has played host to history, art, and fitful commerce – a new history tells the story.
American senator, author, and statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s complex and constantly-evolving political philosophy is the subject of a pointed new book
A fantastic new book tells the story of President Washington and the extraordinary team he assembled to form the new nation’s first administration
One little spyglass – only four fingers long – changed the world; a sparkling new book tells the story of Galileo’s “recounting of the stars”
In 1939 the Nazis established their only concentration camp specifically for women; a comprehensive new book tells the history of Ravensbruck
The high school students in Tommy Wallach’s fantastic debut face more than graduation and an uncertain job market: they face an honest-to-gosh killer asteroid
From Lizzie Borden to O. J. Simpson, big public show-trials have fascinated the American people. In his new book, renowned legal historian Lawrence Friedman tries to dissect why that is.
A young boy and his gorgeous white elephant become apprenticed to the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire in this stunning new novel by the author of “The Bastard of Istanbul”
In the latest Princeton “Writers on Writers” installment, novelist Colm Toibin writes about poet Elizabeth Bishop
In N. K. Traver’s exciting debut, a young cyber-hacker finds his life steadily being commandeered – but his own reflection in the mirror.
Dostoevsky’s great semi-fictionalized prison memoir gets a sterling new translation from the superstar team of Pevear and Volokhonsky
A lavishly-detailed new biography shows us Thomas Stearns Eliot in his slightly fussy, slightly feckless pre-fame years
One of the only two people at the deathbed of Samuel Johnson was a young ex-slave to whom Johnson was, in his testy way, devoted. A new book finally gives Francis Barber the biography he’s always deserved
Plato might be Western philosophy’s first great writer, but a new book argues we’ve mostly been reading him wrong.
A new book details the terrible destruction caused by a record-breaking series of tornadoes that struck the American South in 2011
In Dan Simmons’ latest fantastic novel, Henry James finds himself teamed up with fiction’s most famous detective, Sherlock Holmes, in order to solve a very real – and very heartbreaking – mystery.
At the outbreak of the First World War, American writers flocked to Europe and headed for the Western Front in order to find their Muse – and to make some quick cash. A new book follows a handful of these earliest chroniclers
The rebel pharaoh who instituted a radical new monotheism gets a highly-detailed and revisionist investigation
In the concluding volume of James Enge’s gripping fantasy trilogy, a band of unlikely heroes is caught between warring godlike beings in a world quickly tearing itself apart
The daughter of the first President Roosevelt and the wife of the second President Roosevelt had a long and sometimes cross-purposed relationship. A new book dishes the old dirt.
“I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work,” Woody Allen famously quipped; “I want to achieve immortality through not dying.” Robert Minto reviews a new book on what it takes to make it big in the literary afterlife
In a dystopian future, a plucky young woman from a poor village suddenly finds herself at the heart of the corrupt power system and the focal point of a rebellion in “The Hunger Ga-” um, in Victoria Aveyard’s “The Red Queen.”
Wildly popular YouTube phenomenon Shane Dawson now has a BOOK!
Ian Fleming bought a run-down villa in Jamaica and used it as the workshop – and backdrop – for his world-famous James Bond novels. A new book takes us inside the world of Goldeneye
For over a century, Oscar Wilde’s notebook on Thomas Chatterton has been regarded as a ‘smoking gun’ of Wilde’s plagiaristic tendencies. A new book radically re-examines the issue
Joanna Stafford – niece of an executed man and distant cousin to King Henry VIII – is called to court, where she immediately becomes the focal point of deadly intrigues
Three impressionable young 13th-century Franciscans embark on an improbably odyssey to bring a momentous manuscript to the Pope
In a world very much like our own, super-powered clandestine operatives vie with each other on missions to save or destroy humanity
Every day, all around us, everything solid is inexorably corroding into powder. A game new book takes readers inside the surprisingly fascinating world of rust
He established Parliament, hammered the Scots, expelled the Jews, and inspired centuries of biographers – England’s King Edward I gets a lively new biography
The Ottoman Empire joined the fighting of the First World War deeply misunderstood by both sides; a charismatic new book seeks to clarify the story of that odd meeting of East and West
Species arrive, thrive, and then go extinct – but after the long and frightful reign of Homo sapiens … what?
Sabina, the wife of the enigmatic Roman emperor Hadrian, is beset by enemies in Rome – and safeguards a secret they’d all kill to know …
A businessman is on a trip to new-money Tunisia when the world’s economy goes into meltdown…
In this New York Times bestseller, a hapless woman spots a mysterious event from the window of her commuter train and is soon caught up in a police investigation.
Under the direction of Oliver Cromwell, dozens of men deliberated to execute the captive King Charles I, and when Charles II came to power a decade later, those men were suddenly in the gravest danger. A fascinating new book tells their stories.
A new book takes an intense look at the presidency of Ronald Reagan
Driven into hiding by the victorious forces of William the Conqueror, the heroic Hereward the Wake and his band of freedom fighters must struggle to survive
A gripping new book takes readers inside the fabled – and troubled – land of Tibet
A harrowing new book looks at the many spaces the Vietnam Was has occupied in the American mental landscape
A strong-willed Bavarian princess captures the eye of the young Austro-Hungarian emperor in Allison Pataki’s opulent new historical novel. Steve Donoghue reviews.
Nearly 40 years ago, the Voyager spacecraft left Earth bearing cameras to photograph the solar system – and messages of greetings to the wider galaxy. A terrific new book tells the story of a great human adventure
The clashes of the Cold War weren’t just matters of missiles and border guards; they also enlisted honey-voiced broadcasters, drunken novelists, and bookish magazine editors, as a fascinating new book makes clear
In Jo Walton’s latest novel, the “just city” of Plato’s Republic is brought to life via Greek gods, robots, and a little discreet time travel
In Dewey Lambdin’s latest rousing Alan Lewrie adventure, our dashing hero sees action off the coast of a Spain imperiled by Napoleon
In 1944 a contentious group of delegates gathered in New Hampshire in order to lay out a blueprint for the postwar world economy; a great new history tells the story of Bretton Woods
In V. E. Schwab’s new fantasy novel, a young man can travel between a string of alternate-reality Londons
An engaging new book looks at that perennial fascination for biographers, Niccolo Machiavelli
Two-time National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft kept a low profile (and a negligible paper trail) throughout a lifetime in Washington power-dealing; a compelling new book profiles the ultimate Oval Office insider
In Matt Sumell’s debut, his main character manages to alienate every other person in the book, often by punching them.
In the vastness of the world’s oceans, some mammals have evolved brains and language … and culture? A fascinating new book looks at the inner lives of whales and dolphins
Sartre the man takes a distant back seat to Sartre the thinker in Thomas Flynn’s new intellectual biography
For twenty-five years, the “Table Talk” feature of The Threepenny Review has offered occasional musings on a wide range of topics by some of the best freelance writers and critics in the business. A new hardcover collects a generous helping of highlights
The latest book from New Testament scholar N. T. Wright presents a passionate new appraisal of the “good news ” of the Christian Gospels
When a 21st-century woman travels to the hometown of Emily Dickinson, she finds herself caught between a passionate present and a past far more human than she imagined
In the very engaging latest from Sharma Shields, one family has a very unusual encounter with the legendary Bigfoot
A small group of Americans visit a super-secret Chinese nature-park with a very unusual star attraction.
Former governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee offers a plea for understanding the ‘flyover states’ where, he claims, real people lead real lives
Two years before he gained fame in the most painful way imaginable at the Battle of Little Bighorn, George Armstrong Custer led a large expedition into the Black Hills sacred to the Sioux – in search of gold
The author of “Dogwalker” returns with a new collection of interlinked short stories that revel in their own straight-faced absurdity
In this arresting debut, a young woman working in Paris is hiding from her past – and she worries that the old friends she betrayed are hunting her.
One of the most experienced reporters to cover the war in Afghanistan writes up his experiences
In his new book, historian Adam Zamoyski paints a picture of a Europe convulsed with fear of upheavals like the French Revolution and the tyranny of Bonaparte – and willing to do anything to prevent them
A paradigm-shifting new book looks at the turbulent decade of the 1970s in United States politics and the re-shaping of the world
A slim picaresque novel that was a runaway bestseller in France gets a stylish English-language translation
From the Puritans and their city on a hill to the Mormons to modern-day charlatans, the story of the United States is the story of competing faiths; a lively new book looks at that complicated tapestry
An environmentalist writes an energetic and – despite everything – optimistic clarion call to better and smarter thinking about how mankind can ease its disastrous impact on nature