Home » Archive by Category

Articles in OL Weekly

Book Review: Justifying Genocide

January 15th, 2016
justifying genocide

A powerful new book looks at the ideological connections between the Armenian Genocide and the Nazi death-camps that followed twenty years later

Book Review: Jakob’s Colors

January 14th, 2016
jakob’s colors

The Nazi slaughter of hundreds of thousands of European gypsies forms the grim backdrop to Lindsay Hawdon’s debut novel

Book Review: The Bands of Mourning

January 13th, 2016
the bands of mourning

In the latest novel from hyper-prolific Brandon Sanderson, the vast mythos of his “Cosmere” is further expanded

Book Review: George Washington’s Journey

January 12th, 2016
george washington’s journey

In his first term as president, George Washington packed up and went on long, rattling tours of the new United States, to see the people and let them see him. A new book follows along.

David Bowie

January 11th, 2016

David Bowie

Book Review: What Belongs to You

January 11th, 2016
what belongs to you

An American instructor in Bulgaria falls into a problematic infatuation with a rough-hewn rent-boy in Garth Greenwell’s debut novel

Book Review: The Norton Critical Lazarillo de Tormes

January 10th, 2016
norton lazarillo

The great Renaissance classic gets a spryly-translated new Norton edition

Book Review: Blood & Steel

January 9th, 2016
Book Review: Blood & Steel

In the third century, the Roman Empire teetered on the brink of implosion, with one man after another claiming power – and Harry Sidebottom’s “Throne of the Caesars” series transmutes it all into first-rate historical fiction

Book Review: Beyond Greek

January 8th, 2016
beyond greek

A provocative new book re-examines the startling power and, yes, originality of Roman literature

Book Review: The Happy Marriage

January 7th, 2016
the happy marriage

A bedridden famous painter reflects on his unhappy marriage – and his wife gets the last word

Book Review: Only the Stones Survive

January 6th, 2016
only the stones

In Morgan Llywelyn’s latest novel, the gods and goddesses of ancient Ireland take center stage

Book Review: The Lives of Frederick Douglass

January 5th, 2016
lives of fd

A stimulating new study of the autobiographies Frederick Douglass continued writing throughout his life

Book Review: The Gun

January 4th, 2016
the gun

A young man out for a nighttime walk in Tokyo finds a gun. Then he thinks about it all the time. Then he thinks about getting bullets for it. And then he thinks about firing it …

Now in Paperback: Doomed

January 3rd, 2016
true love

Now in paperback: a densely-packed graphic novel in which Superman slowly becomes his worst enemy

Book Review: The Big Book of Sherlock Holmes Stories

December 26th, 2015
big book of sherlock

A legendary editor assembles the biggest collection of Sherlock Holmes parodies, pastiches, and homages ever collected in one volume

Book Review: “Forward, My Brave Boys!”

December 20th, 2015
james rains

A richly-detailed new history traces one Confederate volunteer infantry through the course of the Civil War

Book Review: The Day the Renaissance Was Saved

December 17th, 2015
the day the renaissance was saved

According to one historian, the battle commemorated in a lost painting by Leonardo Da Vinci was the little-known birth-moment of the Renaissance

Book Review: Reading The Tale of Genji

December 11th, 2015
reading the tale of genji

The Tale of Genji has been enthralling readers for a thousand years; a grand new book collects some of the varied critical responses it’s sparked over the centuries

Book Review: The Iran-Iraq War

December 2nd, 2015
the iran-iraq war

The brutal 1980s war between Iran and Iraq gets a definitive new history

Book Review: In Winter’s Kitchen

November 26th, 2015
in winter’s kitchen

A family from New Jersey moves to the wilds of Minnesota and learns a whole new way to think about food

Book Review: Augustine

November 24th, 2015
augustine lane fox

A sumptuous new book traces the long and complicated path St. Augustine took to reach his famous “Confessions”

Book Review: Battling the Gods

November 19th, 2015
battling the gods

The open, even evangelical atheism of the 21st century might be new, but as a sparkling-good new book demonstrates, atheism itself is as old as belief

Book Review: Russell Kirk

November 16th, 2015

A big and colorful new biography of modern conservatism’s larger-than-life ideological godfather

Book Review: The Mystery of the Lone Wolf Killer

November 14th, 2015
Book Review: The Mystery of the Lone Wolf Killer

A penetrating – and bitterly timely – book about the 2011 killing rampage of Anders Behring Breivik

Book Review: The English and Their History

November 10th, 2015
the english and their history

A huge – and hugely enjoyable – new book details the long history of the English people

Book Review: London Fog

November 9th, 2015
Book Review: London Fog

For centuries, “pea-soup” fog was synonymous with the city of London; a lively new book tells its story.

Book Review: Great Soul of Siberia

November 8th, 2015
great soul of siberia

A stirring account of one wild family of critically-endangered Siberian tigers

Book Review: City on a Grid

November 6th, 2015
city on a grid

The in-depth story of how it came to be that the Bronx is up and the Battery’s down – the grid system of Manhattan!

Book Review: The Work of the Dead

November 2nd, 2015
the work of the dead

A fascinating new history details the changing job description of the dead-and-buried over the centuries

Book Review: The Annotated Poe

October 27th, 2015

A sumptuously illustrated and annotated new edition of the classic short works of Edgar Allan Poe

Lisa Jardine

October 25th, 2015
Picture shows  :  Professor Lisa Jardine

Lisa Jardine

Book Review: Magna Carta

October 24th, 2015
magna carta

A slim and intensely good new history of King John and the creation of the Great Charter

Maureen O’Hara

October 24th, 2015
maureen ohara

Maureen O’Hara

Book Review: Keeping An Eye On Art

October 22nd, 2015
keeping an eye on art

Novelist Julian Barnes takes readers on a tour of some of his favorite French artists

Book Review: Part of Our Lives

October 21st, 2015
part of our lives

A wonderful new book details the raucous past – and the complicated, vibrant present – of the public library in the United States

Book Review: Evolution – The Whole Story

October 19th, 2015

A gorgeously-illustrated new book looks at the long and gaudy history of life on Earth

Book Review: After Hitler

October 18th, 2015
after hitler

A forensic and often quite moving new history of the last, desperate days of the Third Reich

Book Review: The German War

October 18th, 2015
the german war

A new book brings to life the experiences of ordinary Germans during the Second World War

Book Review: The Rise of Germany

October 16th, 2015
the rise of germany

An ambitious new work of history charts the rise to victory of Nazi Germany – and deflates a few treasured myths along the way

Book Review: In the Shadow of Edgar Allen Poe

October 13th, 2015
in the shadow of ea poe

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

Book Review: Xerxes

October 12th, 2015

The great Persian King Xerxes gets a wonderfully sharp and detailed biography for Western readers

Book Review: Winston Churchill Reporting

October 12th, 2015
winston churchill reporting

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.

Book Review: King John

October 11th, 2015
king john – morris

On the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, a spirited new biography looks at King John

Book Review: The Year of Lear

October 11th, 2015
the year of lear

A new book looks at one tumultuous year in the life of William Shakespeare

Book Review: Hell’s Foundations Quiver

October 10th, 2015
hell’s foundations quiver

In the latest of David Weber’s “Safehold” novels, Industrial-Age technology is coming to a quasi-Renaissance world, ready or not

Book Review: Cleopatra’s Shadows

October 10th, 2015
cleopatra’s shadows

An effective debut novel looks at the story of famous Cleopatra’s much less-famous sisters

Book Review: Napoleon – Soldier of Destiny

October 8th, 2015
napoleon broers

The first volume of Michael Broers’ new Napoleon biography follows its famous subject from obscure Corsican boyhood to the stage of world-wide fame.

Book Review: The Emperor of Water Clocks

October 8th, 2015
the emperor of water clocks

A grand and jauntily mythological new volume of poetry from Pulitzer Prize-winning Yusef Komunyakaa

Book Review: The Story of My Teeth

October 6th, 2015

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.

Book Review: 100 Years of the Best American Short Stories

October 3rd, 2015
100 years

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

Book Review: The Secret Chord

October 3rd, 2015
the secret chord

The author of such brilliant novels as “Year of Wonders” and “March” takes on the Biblical story of King David

Book Review: The Ville Rat

October 2nd, 2015
the ville rat

The odd couple military police sergeants Sueno and Bascom return in Martin Limon’s gripping new mystery set in 1970s Korea

Book Review: The Dogist

October 1st, 2015

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.

Book Review: Quicksand

September 29th, 2015

A failed writer seizes on a most unlikely inspiration for his great book: the catastrophically unlucky life of his best friend

Book Review: Islam and the Future of Tolerance

September 29th, 2015
islam harris

A polite conversation by two intellectuals about an explosive subject: the rise of militant Islamic groups throughout the world, and the world’s response

Book Review: I Ching

September 27th, 2015
i ching hinton

The ancient Chinese classic of divination gets a brisk new English-language translation

Book Review: Washington

September 27th, 2015

The venerable sub-genre of the Washington, DC history gets a substantial new update

Book Review: Apollo in the Grass

September 25th, 2015
apollo in the grass

A revelatory new volume brings to English-language readers a selection of the verses of St. Petersburg poet Aleksandr Kushner

Book Review: Gallipoli

September 23rd, 2015

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

Book Review: Those We Left Behind

September 22nd, 2015
those we left behind

In the latest crime novel from Stuart Neville, two young killers are getting paroled – much too soon for the son of their victim

Book Review: Mary McGrory: The First Queen of Journalism

September 21st, 2015
mary running

From the McCarthy era to the Watergate era and beyond, Mary McGrory ruled the Washington press corps, as a wonderful new book details

Book Review: Gamelife

September 21st, 2015

Growing up in suburban Illinois, author Michael Clune discovered the world of gaming – and nothing was ever the same again

Book Review: Killing the Messenger

September 20th, 2015
killing the messenger

In his new book, David Brock, foremost champion of the Clintons, comes to the defense of Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton

Jackie Collins

September 19th, 2015
jackie collins

Jackie Collins

Book Review: The Beautiful Bureaucrat

September 19th, 2015
beautiful bureaucrat

A slim new novel works hard at being clever, with mixed results. Justin Hickey reviews “The Beautiful Bureaucrat”

Book Review: A Strange Business

September 18th, 2015
a strange business

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

Book Review: The Murdstone Trilogy

September 17th, 2015
the murdstone trilogy

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.

Book Review: Everland

September 17th, 2015
Book Review: Everland

In 2012, a trio of Antarctic explorers re-traces the path of a doomed expedition from 1913

Book Review: Voyage of the Sable Venus

September 16th, 2015
voyage of the sable venus

A stunning debut volume from poet and teacher Robin Coste Lewis

Book Review: Six Poets

September 16th, 2015
Bennett jacket 215052.indd

British literary icon Alan Bennett looks at six poets whose work has meant a great deal to him over the years

Book Review: Man of Destiny

September 15th, 2015
man of destiny

If a gushing new biography is any warrant, that’s the wrong Roosevelt up on Mount Rushmore.

Book Review: India at War

September 15th, 2015
india at war

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

Book Review: The Conquering Tide

September 14th, 2015
the conquering tide

The fierce, epic height of WWII’s Pacific War is the subject of Ian Toll’s gripping new volume

Book Review: A Little History of the United States

September 13th, 2015
little history of us

The latest volume in Yale University Press’s series of short histories is a quick yet authoritative overview of United States history

Book Review: Bosworth 1485

September 13th, 2015
bosworth dan jones

A taut new history of Richard III and the battle in which he lost everything – and the new Tudor dynasty gained everything

Book Review: Among the Bone Eaters

September 13th, 2015
marcus and willi

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.

Book Review: The Spirit of ’74

September 12th, 2015
spirit of 74

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

Book Review: The Double Life of Liliane

September 12th, 2015
the double life of liliane

National Book Award-winner Lily Tuck’s latest book attempts an experiment at dramatizing her memories of her early years

Book Review: Afghan Modern

September 12th, 2015
afghan modern cover

A Stanford history professor attempts to make a positive case for one of the most benighted countries on the planet

Book Review: Building Art

September 9th, 2015
building art cover

The world’s most famous architect gets his first full-length biography

Book Review: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

September 9th, 2015
ministry cover

They slit throats; the bombed churches; they were none too mentally stable – and these were the GOOD guys

In Paperback: Walden’s Shore

September 7th, 2015
walden’s short

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

Book Review: Ralph Waldo Emerson – The Major Poetry

September 7th, 2015
emerson poetry

A thorough new study of the poetry of the great transcendentalist writer Ralph Waldo Emerson

Book Review: Renishaw Hall

September 7th, 2015

The great home of generations of the Sitwell family, Renishaw Hall, is the subject of Desmond Seward’s latest book

Book Review: The Storms of War

September 7th, 2015
storms of waruk

In historian Kate Williams’ new novel, a wealthy family in England confronts the realities of the First World War

Book Review: Monsters

September 7th, 2015

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

Book Review: Word by Word

September 7th, 2015
word by word

A new book assembles and studies the scattered writings of American slaves

Book Review: The Invention of Nature

September 6th, 2015
the invention of nature

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

Book Review: Black Earth

September 6th, 2015
black earth

A harrowing and contentious new assessment of the Nazi war on the Jews of Europe.

Book Review: I Can Give You Anything But Love

September 4th, 2015
i can give you anything but love

A witty, unsparing memoir from author and critic Gary Indiana

Book Review: A Clue to the Exit

September 4th, 2015
a clue to the exit

A sarcastic screenwriter learns he has only six months to live in this reprinted novel from Edward St. Aubyn from 2000

Book Review: The Desert and the Blade

September 3rd, 2015
the desert and the blade

In the latest chapter of S. M. Stirling’s “Emberverse” series, two courageous women embark on a quest for a supernatural sword

Book Review: Sorcerer to the Crown

September 3rd, 2015
sorcerer to the crown

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

Book Review: Snowden

September 2nd, 2015

The life of infamous NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, in comic book form

Book Review: Self and Soul

September 2nd, 2015
self and soul

A spirited defense of humanist intangibles in a culture obsessed with material gain

Book Review: A River Runs Again

September 1st, 2015
a river runs again

The huge environmental problems facing India form the backdrop for Meera Subramanian’s fantastic first book

Book Review: The Gates of Evangeline

September 1st, 2015
the gates of evangeline

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

Book Review: Mycroft Holmes

August 31st, 2015
mycroft holmes

A debut adventure starring the smarter older brother of Sherlock Holmes

Book Review: Chasing the Phoenix

August 30th, 2015
chasing the phoenix

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

Book Review: Agents of Empire

August 30th, 2015
agents of empire

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

Book Review: The Automobile Club of Egypt

August 30th, 2015
the automobile club of egypt

The celebrated author of “The Yacoubian Building” returns with another panoramic look at life in modern Egypt during a pivotal era

Book Review: The Daughters

August 29th, 2015
the daughters

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

Book Review: The Trials

August 29th, 2015
the trials

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

Book Review: Death in Florence

August 29th, 2015
death in florence

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 Review: Browsings

August 26th, 2015
Book Review: Browsings

Book critic Michael Dirda’s latest collection offers more personal musings on the subject he loves most

Classics Reissued: Salvaged Pages

August 25th, 2015
salvaged pages

A new edition of this collection of Holocaust diaries by young people captures the voices and the worries of the Nazis’ most innocent victims

Book Review: Bismarck

August 24th, 2015
bismarck ullrich

A newly-reprinted biography of the “Iron Chancellor” Otto von Bismarck is noticeably short – what kind of a job does it do?

Book Review: Beirut, Beirut

August 23rd, 2015
beirut, beirut

Bloomsbury publishes a lovely new English-language translation of Sonallah Ibrahim’s great novel about the Lebanese Civil War

Book Review: The Casualties

August 23rd, 2015
the casualties

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

Book Review: After Nature

August 22nd, 2015
after nature

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

Book Review: Under Tiberius

August 20th, 2015
under tiberius

In a dusty Vatican archive, an ancient manuscript is found that could change the world. Or whatever.

Book Review: No. 4 Imperial Lane

August 20th, 2015
no. 4 imperial lane

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.

Book Review: The End of Tsarist Russia

August 19th, 2015
the end of tsarist russia

A powerful new book by one of our best historians examines from new sources the torturous path Russia took to the First World War

Book Review: Still Life Las Vegas

August 18th, 2015
still life las vegas

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

Book Review: The Madagaskar Plan

August 17th, 2015
the madagaskar plan

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 …

Book Review: Latest Readings

August 16th, 2015
latest readings

Ailing cultural critic Clive James turns in what may very well be his final collection of essays. Robert Minto reviews.

Book Review: The Red

August 15th, 2015
the red

The hero of Linda Nagata’s nifty new series is hard-wired to his battle-armor … but is something else hiding in the connection?

Book Review: Moral Agents

August 14th, 2015
moral agents

A collection of profiles of eight pivotal American literary men of the 20th century – Robert Minto reviews

Book Review: Under Another Sky

August 14th, 2015
under another sky

Part history, part travel guide, part novel – a wonderful new book takes readers on a tour of Roman Britain

Book Review: Pedigree

August 14th, 2015
pedigree cover

Yale University Press publishes a 2005 memoir by the 2014 winner of the Nobel Prize for literature

Book Review: Ashoka in Ancient India

August 13th, 2015
ashoka in ancient india

The great ancient Indian emperor Ashoka gets a splendid new biography that attempts to divine the man at the heart of the legend

Book Review: The Poetry of John Milton

August 12th, 2015
poetry of john milton cover

A sumptuous new book studies the work of one of the English language’s greatest poets. Robert Minto reviews.

Book Review: Barbarian Days

August 12th, 2015
barbarian days cover

Veteran New Yorker writer William Finnegan has written a captivating memoir of surfing and growing up

Book Review: The Dinosaur Lords

August 10th, 2015
dinosaur lords cover

On the world of Paradise, the wars of dynasties are fought on battlefields by knights mounted on dinosaurs

Book Review: Voices in the Ocean

August 8th, 2015
voices in the ocean

A lively new book explores the minds and behaviors of many of Earth’s cetaceans

Book Review: The President and the Apprentice

August 7th, 2015

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

Book Review: Hirohito’s War

August 6th, 2015
hirohito’s war

A massive new history details the war in the Pacific Theater during WWII

Book Review: Where Are My Books?

August 5th, 2015
where 3

One by one, young Spencer’s books are disappearing at night – can he figure out where they’re going before they’re all gone?

Book Review: The Meaning of the Library

August 5th, 2015
the meaning of the library

A new book celebrating the library’s thousands of years of history and constantly-changing cultural role is filled with sharp essays

Book Review: Voltaire’s Revolution

August 4th, 2015
voltaire’s revolution

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.

Book Review: The Real Lives of Roman Britain

August 3rd, 2015
the real lives of roman britain

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

Book Review: The Blooding

August 2nd, 2015
the blooding cover

Matthew Hawkwood, James McGee’s super-competent soldier-turned-spy, returns in another adventure, this time trapped in America during the War of 1812

Book Review: Brothers in Blood

August 1st, 2015
brothers in blood

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

Alan Cheuse

August 1st, 2015
alan cheuse

Alan Cheuse

Book Review: The Eagle in Splendour

July 30th, 2015

“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

Book Review: For God and Kaiser

July 28th, 2015
for god and kaiser

“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!

Book Review: Braddock’s Defeat

July 27th, 2015
braddock’s defeat cover

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

Book Review: Rome’s Revolution

July 27th, 2015
rome’s revolution

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.

Book Review: The Two-State Delusion

July 27th, 2015
two-state delusion cover

A veteran state conflict analyst looks at the mother of such conflicts: the long strife between Israel and Palestine

Book Review: The Last Leaves Falling

July 25th, 2015
last leaves falling

A teenager in Kyoto tries to face the last months of his life as a samurai would – with a little help from his friends

Book Review: The Meursault Investigation

July 25th, 2015
meursault investigation

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

Book Review: The Black Coat

July 23rd, 2015

In the wake of Bangladesh’s bloody Liberation War, a hapless nonentity suddenly finds himself impersonating a beloved national leader

Book Review: Sicily

July 23rd, 2015

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

Book Review: The Fall

July 22nd, 2015
the fall

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

July 21st, 2015

E. L. Doctorow

Book Review: Last First Snow

July 21st, 2015
last first snow

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

Interview: Debut author Geoffrey Storm

July 20th, 2015
Interview: Debut author Geoffrey Storm

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.

Book Review: The Year’s Best Science Fiction, 2015

July 20th, 2015

The latest monumental anthology from Gardner Dozois of the best the sci-fi genre has to offer

Book Review: Beyond Words

July 18th, 2015
beyond words

In his beautifully-written new book, ecologist Carl Safina takes a broader look at the emotional and mental lives of nonhuman animals

Book Review: In a Dark Wood

July 16th, 2015
in a dark wood cover

A professor of Italian clings to Dante’s Divine Comedy when confronted with an unthinkable tragedy in his own life

Book Review: Joan of Arc

July 16th, 2015
joan of arc

The half-legendary Maid of Orleans gets a refreshingly wide-angled new history from Helen Castor

Book Review: The Quiet Man

July 15th, 2015
the quiet man cover

A memoir of the first President Bush, written by his former Chief of Staff

Book Review: Palimpsest

July 15th, 2015
palimsest cover

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?

Book Review: Wolves on the Hunt

July 14th, 2015
wolves on the hunt!

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

Book Review: Dark Orbit

July 14th, 2015
dark orbit cover

A distant planet crackling with “dark energy” holds mind-boggling secrets for the crew of humans sent to explore it

Book Review: Pretty Is

July 11th, 2015
prettty is cover

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.

Book Review: Last to Die

July 11th, 2015
last to die

Military historian Stephen Harding tells the poignant story of the last soldier killed in World War II

Roger Rees

July 11th, 2015
roger rees

Roger Rees

Omar Sharif

July 11th, 2015

Omar Sharif

Book Review: Time Salvager

July 10th, 2015
time salvager

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

Book Review: The Lagoon

July 10th, 2015
lagoon cover

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

Book Review: The Runes of Evolution

July 9th, 2015
the runes of evolution

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.

Book Review: The War at the Edge of the World

July 8th, 2015
war at the edge cover

A decorated Roman soldier accompanies a dangerous mission into barbarian territory in 4th century Britain

Book Review: The Captive Condition

July 7th, 2015
the captive condition cover

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

Book Review: Hostile Takeover

July 6th, 2015
hostile takeover cover

In “Hostile Takeover,” Shane Kuhn provides a raucous follow-up to his popular novel “The Intern’s Handbook”

Book Review: The Insect Farm

July 6th, 2015
the insect farm cover

Two brothers – one simple-minded, the other quite possibly devious – are at the heart of Stuart Prebble’s new thriller

Book Review: The American Revolution

July 4th, 2015
loa american revolution

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

Book Review: The Summer of Good Intentions

July 3rd, 2015
the summer of good intentions cover

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.

Book Review: Newport

July 3rd, 2015
newport cover

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

Book Review: The Exchange of Princesses

July 3rd, 2015
the exchange of princesses cover

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

Book Review: Primates of Park Avenue

July 2nd, 2015
primates of park avenue cover

In Wednesday Martin’s now-infamous scathing account, we learn the appalling personal details of the wives of Manhattan’s rich and famous

Book Review: The Duke’s Assassin

July 1st, 2015
Dall’Aglio Jkt 9780300189780.indd

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!

Classics Reissued: A Legacy

June 30th, 2015
a legacy cover

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.

Book Review: People of the Songtrail

June 29th, 2015
people of the song trail

Fifteen hundred years ago, the inhabitants of northeastern Canada encounter intruders from over the sea: Vikings

Book Review: The Melody Lingers On

June 27th, 2015
the melody lingers on cover

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

Book Review: Domesticated

June 24th, 2015
domesticated cover

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

Book Review: The Upright Thinkers

June 24th, 2015
the upright thinkers cover

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.

In Paperback: Human Universe

June 24th, 2015
human universe cover

Now in paperback in the US: the companion book to the popular BBC science program hosted by physicist Brian Cox

James Horner

June 23rd, 2015
james horner

James Horner

Book Review: Byron’s Letters & Journals

June 20th, 2015
byron’s letters

Byron the poet was also Byron the prolific correspondent and diarist, as a generous and learned new collection amply demonstrates

Book Review: How Britain Saved the West

June 19th, 2015
when britain saved the west

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

Book Review: The World Beyond Your Head

June 18th, 2015

The “ecologies of attention and action” form the dynamic heart of philosopher Matthew Crawford’s new book. Robert Minto reviews.

Book Review: The Change

June 18th, 2015
dies the fire

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

Book Review: Margaret of Anjou

June 17th, 2015
margaret of anjou cover

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

Book Review: In the Unlikely Event

June 17th, 2015
in the unlikely event cover

A New Jersey town repeatedly struck by falling planes is the setting for Judy Blume’s new book

Book Review: Charles I & The People of England

June 16th, 2015

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

Book Review: Storm and Steel

June 16th, 2015

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

Book Review: Death and Mr. Pickwick

June 15th, 2015
death and mr pickwick cover

An ambitious debut novel explores the world that gave birth to the meteoric career of Charles Dickens and his lesser-known competitors

Book Review: Nixon’s Nuclear Specter

June 15th, 2015
nixon’s nuclear specter cover

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

Book Review: Yanks in the RAF

June 13th, 2015
yanks in the raf cover

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

Book Review: Multitudinous Heart

June 12th, 2015
multitudinous heart cover

A sumptuous new bilingual edition of the great Brazilian poet Carlos Drummond de Andrade

Book Review: The Islanders

June 12th, 2015
the islanders cover

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

Book Review: Bright Eyed

June 11th, 2015
bright eyed

A new memoir about sleeplessness – and the wired culture that seems to encourage it

In Paperback: Wildlife in the Anthropocene

June 11th, 2015
wildlife in the anthropocene

Now in paperback: a new rumination on the nature of the post-wildlife world mankind has built

Book Review: The Rise of Thomas Cromwell

June 10th, 2015
rise of cromwell cover

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

Book Review: The Wolf Border

June 9th, 2015
wolf border cover

The effort of an eccentric earl to re-introduce wolves to England draws a zoologist back to the home she left years before

Book Review: The Unfortunates

June 7th, 2015
the unfortunates cover

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

In Paperback: The Literary Churchill

June 6th, 2015
the literary churchill paperback

Now in paperback, a groundbreaking study of Winston Churchill’s life as a bestselling author, speechwriter, and speech performer

Book Review: Watch the Lady

June 5th, 2015
watch the lady

Penelope Devereux inspired a poet and may well have inspired a failed coup in Elizabethan England – and now she inspires a richly-detailed novel

Book Review: Shakespeare and the Countess

June 4th, 2015
shakespeare and the countess cover

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

Book Review: Wellington, Waterloo and the Fortunes of Peace

June 3rd, 2015
half-centurie wellingtons

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

Book Review: Behind the Mask

June 1st, 2015
behind the mask

The enigmatic and compelling aristocratic author Vita Sackville-West is the subject of an approachable new biography

Book Review: Fastest Things on Wings

May 30th, 2015
fastest things on wings

A group of rescuers in Southern California treat the most delicate patients imaginable: injured hummingbirds

Book Review: Noise Matters

May 29th, 2015
noise matters cover

A genuinely thought-provoking new work of science-writing probes the nature – and even the value – of noise

Book Review: Goethe

May 26th, 2015
goethe cover

A short new biography seeks to do the impossible: encompass the Protean life of Goethe in only a handful of pages. Robert Minto reviews.

Book Review: First Over There

May 26th, 2015
first over there cover

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

In Paperback: Vesuvius

May 24th, 2015
vesuvius cover

Now in paperback: a fascinating history of mankind’s interactions with the most famous volcano in the world

Classics Reissued: Gallipoli

May 24th, 2015
gallipoli cover

The mad debacle of the Dardanelles campaign is now 100 years in the past, and to mark the anniversary, a classic account is reprinted

Book Review: The Great War of Our Time

May 24th, 2015
the great war for our time cover

A former deputy director of the CIA reflects on his time on the front lines in this frustrating memoir

Book Review: The Unraveling

May 24th, 2015
the unraveling cover

A former key player in the Coalition’s conquest and administration of Iraq reflects on her time there

Book Review: The Eye Stone

May 22nd, 2015
the eye stone cover

A young monk goes on a desperate quest in the 12th century – to a fable city called Venetia

Book Review: The Obelisk and the Englishman

May 21st, 2015
the obelisk and the englishman cover

The pioneering English Egyptologist William Bankes gets a smart and vivacious new biography

Book Review: Apologetic Writings

May 20th, 2015

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.

Book Review: An Ember in the Ashes

May 19th, 2015
an ember in the ashes cover

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.

Book Review: Fracture

May 17th, 2015
fracture cover

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.

Book Review: Whirlwind

May 16th, 2015
whirlwind cover

John Ferling, great historian of 18th century America, here tells the story of the American Revolution itself, in typically riveting fashion

Book Review: The Vorrh

May 14th, 2015
the vorrh us cover

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.

Classics Reissued: Onward and Upward in the Garden

May 13th, 2015
nyrb onward and upward cover

The quintessential modern classic of gardening-literature gets a very nice reprint

Book Review: A Buzz in the Meadow

May 13th, 2015
buzz new.indd

A nature enthusiast looks at the countless little lives taking place on his small rural French meadow-farm

Book Review: Theatre of the Unimpressed

May 12th, 2015
theatre of the unimpressed cover

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

Classics Reissued: Cyriac of Ancona

May 12th, 2015
cyriac of ancona

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

Book Review: Colossus

May 11th, 2015

An Indian driver and his enormous war-elephant experience the treacheries and triumphs of Alexander the Great’s Babylon campaign

Book Review: Cursed Victory

May 11th, 2015
cursed victory cover

A noted Israeli scholar and ‘refusnik’ writes a reserved and thorough history of the occupied territories

Book Review: Note Book

May 10th, 2015
note book cover

The popular Facebook-poster Jeff Nunokawa now has a book collecting his highlights

Book Review: Corsair

May 10th, 2015
corsair cover

In the new novel from James Cambias, a space pirate in the near future – and the enforcer hunting him – encounter something neither one expects

Book Review: John Knox

May 9th, 2015
john knox cover

The firebrand preacher and founder of the Presbyterian denomination is the subject of a masterful new biography

Book Review: When the Heavens Fall

May 9th, 2015
when the heavens fall

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

Book Review: JFK and LBJ – The Last Two Great Presidents

May 8th, 2015
jfk and lbj cover

A former British White House correspondent looks back half a century at the two titans who ruled a now-vanished Washington

Book Review: Faith vs. Fact

May 7th, 2015
faith vs fact cover

Religion and science – the so-called “non-overlapping magisteria” – are actually deeply adversarial, writes “Why Evolution is True” author Jerry Coyne

The 69th Annual Edgar Awards

May 4th, 2015

Crime columnist Irma Heldman reports on the winners, the sinners, and the dinner at the 2015 Edgar Awards

Book Review: You Will Never Find Me

May 4th, 2015
you will never find me cover

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

Book Review: The Constitution – An Introduction

May 4th, 2015
constitution cover

The US Constitution – the oldest in the world – gets a comprehensive new biography

Book Review: The Death’s Head Chess Club

May 4th, 2015
death’s head chess club cover

Two men meet by chance in a 1960s cafe – and remember a time twenty years earlier when they were captor and prisoner at Auschwitz

Book Review: Vanishing

May 4th, 2015
vanishing cover

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

Book Review: Where I’m Reading From

May 3rd, 2015
where i’m reading from cover

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

Ruth Rendell

May 2nd, 2015
ruth rendell

Ruth Rendell

Book Review: Lords of the Sith

May 1st, 2015
lords of the sith cover

In the latest Star Wars novel, Darth Vader and his evil Emperor are trapped on a hostile world, being hunted by man and beast

Book Reivew: Planck: Driven by Vision, Broken by War

April 30th, 2015
planck cover

Max Planck, the great physicist and father of quantum theory, gets a marvelous and empathetic new biography

Book Review: Stalin: New Biography of a Dictator

April 29th, 2015
Khlevniuk jkt ks.indd

A new biography takes advantage of recently-opened Soviet archives

Book Review: Infamy

April 28th, 2015

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

Book Review: In These Times

April 27th, 2015
in these times cover

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

Book Review: The Last Days of George Armstrong Custer

April 26th, 2015
last days cover

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 Paperback: Saved by the Sea

April 25th, 2015
saved by the sea

In his moving account, now in paperback from New World Library, David Helvarg recounts the wonders and wealth of the world’s oceans

Book Review: Of Noble Family

April 25th, 2015
of noble family cover

Mary Robinette Kowal’s sparkling “Glamourist” fantasy series comes to a complex and intriguing conclusion

Book Review: Cuckoo: Cheating by Nature

April 24th, 2015
cuckoo cover

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 …

Book Review: The Intimate Bond

April 23rd, 2015
the intimate bond cover

An extremely winning new book explores the enormous ways eight particular animal kinds have altered the course of human life on Earth

Book Review: Dead Wake

April 22nd, 2015

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

Book Review: Princes at War

April 22nd, 2015
princes at war cover

A chatty, vivacious new book tracks the four sons of the Royal House of Windsor during the years of World War Two

Book Review: Lucky Alan and Other Stories

April 21st, 2015
lucky alan cover

Jonathan Lethem’s latest book continues his project of combining the literary and the pulpy – Robert Minto reviews.

Book Review: Fortune’s Fool

April 20th, 2015
fortune’s fool cover

The latest full-dress biography of John Wilkes Booth seeks to get at the flesh-and-blood man beneath the monster

Book Review: How To Carry Bigfoot Home

April 19th, 2015
how to carry bigfoot home cover

Giant eels, dragon-scammers, and of course Sasquatch himself feature in Chris Tarry’s delightfully gonzo debut short story collection

Book Review: The Dream Lover

April 19th, 2015
the dream lover cover

The passionate, unconventional life of novelist George Sand forms the backdrop for Elizabeth Berg’s new novel

Book Review: Hell from the Heavens

April 18th, 2015
hell from the heavens

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

Book Review: The Only Words That Are Worth Remembering

April 17th, 2015
the only words cover

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

Book Review: “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else”

April 16th, 2015
armenian genocide suny cover

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

Book Review: Lurid & Cute

April 15th, 2015
lurid & cute cover

The main character of Adam Thirlwell’s new novel has no redeeming qualities whatsoever – and he’s sinfully easy to read about

Book Review: Their Last Full Measure

April 14th, 2015
their last full measure cover

The tense and frantic final months of the American Civil War forms the backdrop for Joseph Wheelan’s lively new book

Book Review: Lincoln’s Autocrat

April 13th, 2015
lincols autocrat

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

Book Review: James Merrill – Life and Art

April 12th, 2015
james merrill cover

The poet James Merrill at long last gets the lavish soup-to-nuts biography he’s always deserved

Book Review: KL

April 11th, 2015
kl cover

The sprawling system of concentration camps established by the Nazis gets its first comprehensive history

Book Review: The Ransom of the Soul

April 11th, 2015
the ransom of the soul cover

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

Book Review: Visions and Revisions

April 10th, 2015
visions and revisions cover

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

Book Review: Madness in Civilization

April 9th, 2015
madness in civilization cover

A fantastic, important new study traces the history of insanity in human history

Book Review: France 1940

April 8th, 2015
france 1940 cover

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

Book Review: One of Us

April 7th, 2015
one of us cover

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

Book Review: Bonaparte, 1769-1802

April 6th, 2015
bonaparte cover

A gigantic new biography chronicles the rise-to-power of Napoleon Bonaparte

Book Review: Hitler’s Shadow Empire

April 5th, 2015
hitler’s shadow empire cover

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

Book Review: Ministers at War

April 4th, 2015
ministers at war cover

A new book tells the story of the War Cabinet Winston Churchill assembled to fight the Second World War

Book Review: Secret Warriors

April 3rd, 2015
Scan 46

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

Book Review: The Last Word

April 2nd, 2015
last word cover

The incestuously-close relationship between a literary biographer and his subject lies at the heart of Hanif Kureishi’s new novel

Book Review: King John and the Road to Magna Carta

April 2nd, 2015
king john uk cover

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

Book Review: The Baltic

April 1st, 2015
the baltic cover

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.

Book Review: American Burke: The Uncommon Liberalism of Daniel Patrick Moynihan

March 31st, 2015
uncommon liberalism cover

American senator, author, and statesman Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s complex and constantly-evolving political philosophy is the subject of a pointed new book

Book Review: Washington’s Circle

March 30th, 2015
washington’s circle cover

A fantastic new book tells the story of President Washington and the extraordinary team he assembled to form the new nation’s first administration

Book Review: Galileo’s Telescope

March 29th, 2015
galileo’s telescope cover

One little spyglass – only four fingers long – changed the world; a sparkling new book tells the story of Galileo’s “recounting of the stars”

Book Review: Ravensbruck

March 28th, 2015
ravensbruck cover

In 1939 the Nazis established their only concentration camp specifically for women; a comprehensive new book tells the history of Ravensbruck

Book Review: We All Looked Up

March 27th, 2015
we all looked up cover

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

Book Review: The Big Trial

March 26th, 2015
the big trial cover

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.

Book Review: The Architect’s Apprentice

March 25th, 2015
architect’s apprentice cover

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”

Book Review: On Elizabeth Bishop

March 24th, 2015
on elizabeth bishop cover

In the latest Princeton “Writers on Writers” installment, novelist Colm Toibin writes about poet Elizabeth Bishop

Book Review: Duplicity

March 23rd, 2015
duplicity cover

In N. K. Traver’s exciting debut, a young cyber-hacker finds his life steadily being commandeered – but his own reflection in the mirror.

Book Review: Notes from a Dead House

March 22nd, 2015
notes from a dead house cover

Dostoevsky’s great semi-fictionalized prison memoir gets a sterling new translation from the superstar team of Pevear and Volokhonsky

Book Review: Young Eliot

March 21st, 2015
young eliot cover

A lavishly-detailed new biography shows us Thomas Stearns Eliot in his slightly fussy, slightly feckless pre-fame years

Book Review: The Fortunes of Francis Barber

March 20th, 2015
thefortunes of francis barber cover

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

Book Review: Plato’s Wayward Path

March 19th, 2015

Plato might be Western philosophy’s first great writer, but a new book argues we’ve mostly been reading him wrong.

Book Review: What Stands in a Storm

March 19th, 2015
what stands in a storm cover

A new book details the terrible destruction caused by a record-breaking series of tornadoes that struck the American South in 2011

Book Review: The Fifth Heart

March 18th, 2015
fifth heart cover

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.

Book Review: The War That Used Up Words

March 17th, 2015
the war that used up words

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

Book Review: Akhenaten & The Origins of Monotheism

March 16th, 2015
akhenaten & the origins of monotheism

The rebel pharaoh who instituted a radical new monotheism gets a highly-detailed and revisionist investigation

Book Review: The Wide World’s End

March 15th, 2015

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

Book Review: Hissing Cousins

March 14th, 2015
hissing cousins cover

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.

Book Review: Those Who Write For Immortality

March 13th, 2015
those who write cover

“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

Book Review: The Red Queen

March 13th, 2015

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.”

Book Review: I Hate Myselfie

March 12th, 2015

Wildly popular YouTube phenomenon Shane Dawson now has a BOOK!

Book Review: Goldeneye

March 11th, 2015
they call me squire

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

Book Review: Oscar Wilde’s Chatterton

March 10th, 2015
the death of chatterton

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

Book Review: The Tapestry

March 9th, 2015
the tapestry cover

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

Book Review: John the Pupil

March 8th, 2015
john the pupil cover

Three impressionable young 13th-century Franciscans embark on an improbably odyssey to bring a momentous manuscript to the Pope

Book Review: The Violent Century

March 7th, 2015

In a world very much like our own, super-powered clandestine operatives vie with each other on missions to save or destroy humanity

Book Review: Rust

March 6th, 2015
rust cover

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