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Articles in OL Weekly

CD of the Week – Renée Fleming: Poèmes

March 7th, 2012

Renée Fleming sings “sensual French masterpieces” on a new album from Decca–but are the results as evocative as the billing?

Now in Paperback: A Princess of Mars

March 6th, 2012
this you gotta see

Edgar Rice Burroughs’ debut John Carter novel, “A Princess of Mars,” gets a vivid new comic book adaptation

Now in Paperback: The View From Lazy Point

March 5th, 2012

A paperback reprint of a modern nature classic

Now in Paperback: DC Universe Legacies

March 4th, 2012

A new paperback edition of the once-definitive history of DC superheroes

Breitbart at Rest

March 3rd, 2012

Andrew Breitbart, the brash, conservative media warrior, died a few days ago. He was by all accounts a wonderful husband, father, and friend – but should that matter?

Book Review: Reading for My Life

March 1st, 2012
reading for my life – feb 2012

A new anthology samples from a lifetime’s publications of a beloved critic

Book Review: History of a Pleasure Seeker

March 1st, 2012
history of a pleasure seeker

In Richard Mason’s latest novel, a handsome, articulate young man takes a job with a wealthy family as tutor for their troubled son

Book Review: Watergate

February 27th, 2012

Thomas Mallon’s latest novel dramatizes the Watergate scandal that brought down the Nixon administration

Book Review: Enterprise

February 26th, 2012

a lean and pugnacious new history of the second-greatest fighting ship in United States history!

Classics Reissued: Illumination in the Flatwoods

February 25th, 2012
man and turkey

In conjunction with a recent PBS special, a classic book is re-issued: the story of a man who became the mother, father, and leader to an engaging group of wild turkeys

Book Review: Under the Moons of Mars

February 23rd, 2012
taylor kitsch

A new anthology of tales set in the exotic Mars of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ “John Carter” novels!

CD of the Week – Debussy’s Clair de Lune

February 22nd, 2012

The great Natalie Dessay is at her best in this recording of Claude Debussy’s early piano suites

Book Review: The Frontiers of Imperial Rome

February 20th, 2012

The frontiers of ancient Rome – the limits by which it defined both itself and its enemies – stretched from the Tigris and Euphrates to the Irish Sea. In this muscular new study, those frontiers take center stage.

Now in Paperback: Avengers Assemble Vol. 2

February 18th, 2012
justice fumbles

The Earth’s Mightiest Heroes love, squabble, and fight killer robots in this latest reprint volume

Book Review: The Forest Laird

February 18th, 2012
the forest laird

A veteran historical novelist takes on that gigantic freedom fighter, William Wallace

Classics Reissued: Dr. Fu-Manchu

February 17th, 2012
the return  of dr. fu manchu – feb 2012

Everybody knows the name Fu-Manchu, but so few people have read the books that made that name famous! A great new series of reprints aims to correct that.

Book Review: Kiev 1941

February 16th, 2012
kiev 1941

In Hitler’s great gamble of attacking the Soviet Union in 1941, the legendary victories at Kiev weren’t so glorious as standard histories would have us believe – so says a new book on the subject

CD of the Week – John Cage’s Complete Piano Music

February 15th, 2012

A bursting box set contains all of the piano music from the iconoclastic American composer John Cage

Book Review: The Oxford Handbook of Animal Ethics

February 12th, 2012

A massive collection of essays examining all aspects of animal rights.

Classics Reissued: What’s to Become of the Boy?

February 11th, 2012
heinrich boll

A pretty new reprint of the great German writers’ memoir of boyhood under the Nazis in Cologne.

Book Review: The Comedy is Finished

February 9th, 2012
comedy is finished

A series of fortunate events unearths a long-lost manuscript by the late great Donald Westlake! Too good to be true, or too true to be good?

Book Review: City of Fortune

February 8th, 2012
city of fortune

An intensely readable history of the wars that made – and then broke – the city of Venice as ruler of the seas.

Now in Paperback: Avengers Prime

February 7th, 2012
avengers prime cap

Thor, Iron Man, and Captain America – read a great adventure of the Avengers core trio before you feast your eyes on the summer’s movie!

Book Review: Zoopolis

February 6th, 2012
zoopolis – feb 2012

An eloquent and extremely thought-provoking new formulation of animals deserve from the humans who determine their fates.

Book Review: Quiet

February 5th, 2012
quiet- cain

A new book praises introverts as the wonderful, sensitive, thoughtful conscience of the brawling, talking human race.

Book Review: Ghost on the Throne

February 4th, 2012

When Alexander the Great died at age 32, his huge empire was split apart by his warring successors. James Romm’s new book on the subject captures all the brutal drama.

Classics Reissued: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

February 3rd, 2012
sir gawain and the green knight – dec 2011

A wonderful (and long out of print) adaptation of “SIr Gawain and the Green Knight” by the great 20th century novelist and teacher John Gardner

Romney After Florida

February 1st, 2012

After a brutal six months, Mitt Romney has won Florida and almost certainly the GOP nomination. Democrats and Republicans are rightly focused on his record, but they’re each doing it for the wrong reasons.

Book Review: Star Trek, The Rings of Time

February 1st, 2012
star trek the rings of time

Captain Kirk finds himself stranded in the middle of space in the 21st century in this new Star Trek novel.

Book Review: The Design in Nature

January 29th, 2012
design in nature

The originator of Constructal Theory writes another book expounding his notion that all things flow against resistance, and that everything flowing is alive.

Book Review: Iago

January 27th, 2012

One of Shakespeare’s greatest villains gets a novel of his own – is there creative life after the Bard?

Book Review: An Available Man

January 26th, 2012
an available man

A befuddled widower finds himself suddenly thrust back into the dating game in Hilma Wolitzer’s latest novel

Comics: Fear Itself

January 25th, 2012

The god of fear comes to Earth intent on stomping all over Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, and company

Book Review: Death and Resurrection

January 24th, 2012
death and resurrection

A new fantasy novel from a neglected giant in the genre!

Book Review: Henry VIII

January 24th, 2012
loades henry viii

A masterful new biography takes Henry VIII down a peg or two

Book Review: Ben Jonson

January 22nd, 2012
ben jonson – jan 2012

A brilliant new biography of the great man of the English Renaissance

Now in Paperback: Reckless

January 21st, 2012
reckless – pru – jan 2012

A daring teen hero must risk everything to save his brother.

Interview: Christina Brooke

January 20th, 2012
heiress in love

An interview with Romance author Christina Brooke!

Book Review: Mad About the Earl

January 19th, 2012
mad about the earl

When it comes to matters of matrimony, Christina Brooke’s Ministry of Marriage will have its way, even if – in her latest novel – it means matching a ravishing beauty with a reluctant beast!

Comics: The Drops of God

January 18th, 2012
drops of god 3

The international hit manga series about the joys of fine wine comes to America in a series of new graphic novels

Book Review: The Evolution of Ethan Poe

January 17th, 2012
bpl – the evolution of ethan poe – january 2012

a gay teen in rural Maine deals with God, lust, and dogs in Robin Reardon’s latest novel

Book Review: The Apocryphal Gospels

January 16th, 2012
bpl – the apocryphal gospels – january 2012

They’ve been debated, debarred, and destroyed over the centuries, but the Apocryphal Gospels are still with us, and in this fantastic new edition, they speak more clearly than ever.

Classics Reissued: Fire Upon the Deep

January 14th, 2012
fire upon the deep

Vernor Vinge’s epic science fiction masterpiece gets a spiffy reprint on its twentieth anniversary!

Book Review: Spartacus: Swords and Ashes

January 14th, 2012
liam mcintyre

A new novel (tie-in with the hit TV series) gives us an adventure of the pre-rebellion Spartacus

An Interview with Carol Carr

January 13th, 2012
india black 2

A lively interview with Carol Carr, author of the ‘India Black’ novels!

Book Review: Sex and the River Styx

January 12th, 2012

The great essayist Edward Hoagland has come out with another collection of his work, one preoccupied with old age and looming mortality – and happiness, and renewal, and forest ponds.

Book Review: The Darwin Archipelago

January 11th, 2012
bpl – the darwin archipelago – 3 jan 2012

He wrote about the voyage of the Beagle, and then he wrote about the Origin of Species … but many readers don’t recall that Charles Darwin KEPT writing, generating many more books in the two decades left to him.

Anthology Review: The Year’s Best Science Fiction 28

January 10th, 2012
bpl – year’s best science fiction – 3 january 2012

The living giants of science fiction stretch and subvert the fabric of imagination in the latest instalment of this legendary anthology series.

Book Review: The Deception at Lyme

January 9th, 2012
bpl – the deception at lyme – dec 2011

In Carrie Bebris’ latest Jane Austen homage, the detective duo of Mr. & Mrs. Darcy take a vacation at Lyme, a location the proves scenic, fascinating – and deadly!

Book Review: India Black and the Widow of Windsor

January 7th, 2012
bpl – india black and the widow of windsor – 3 jan 2012

High society madam and sometime-spy for the Crown, India Black investigates a threat to the life of Queen Victoria herself in Carol Carr’s latest delightful romp.

Book Review: When Passion Rules

January 7th, 2012

In Johanna Lindsey’s latest, the heiress to a distant kingdom returns home to stop a war and promptly falls into tempestuous love with the captain of the palace guard, giving whole new meanings to ‘porous borders’

Anthology Review: Cape Cod Noir

January 5th, 2012
bpl – cape cod noir – dec 2011

A noir mystery anthology takes us down the mean streets of … West Brewster?

Book Review: The Favored Queen

January 4th, 2012
the favored queen

A new novel tries to infuse life and drama into the mousy, deferential person of Henry VIII’s third wife, Jane Seymour

Book Review: The Good Thief’s Guide to Venice

January 3rd, 2012
bpl – good thief’sguide to venice – dec 2011

In his latest adventure, (mostly) reformed thief Charlie Howard finds trouble in the much-storied Queen of the Adriatic.

New in Paperback: Superman Secret Origin

January 1st, 2012
look – up in the sky

A thrilling re-telling of the famous origin story of the Man of Steel

Book Review: December 1941

December 22nd, 2011
december 1941

A day-by-day, hour-by-hour reconstruction of the month America’s childhood ended, from a historian who’s read every word on the subject.

Book Review: Spectrum 18

December 21st, 2011
queen cat by christina hess

The latest eye-catching volume in the ongoing series collecting the best science fiction and fantasy artwork of the previous year – elves, jedis, dragons, warlocks, and busty showgirls … and more than a few surprises!

Book Review: The Tudor Throne

December 18th, 2011
mary & elizabeth – gw – nov 2011

Two Tudor sisters fight for a throne – and love – in the latest historical fiction from Kensington Books

Christopher Hitchens

December 16th, 2011


Comics: Essential Rawhide Kid Volume 1

December 15th, 2011
the kid fights 2

Marvel’s pint-sized Old West gunslinger gets his first ‘essential’ volume!

Now in Paperback: From Colony to Superpower

December 12th, 2011
from colony to superpower

An epic history of America’s foreign policy-making, from a defeated King George III to a defeated Saddam Hussein, with every dictator, diplomat, and sometimes befuddled President in between.

Book Review: The Iron Knight

December 9th, 2011
the iron knight

Julie Kagawa’s evocative, addictive teen series concludes the way all her fans hoped it would: with Ash’s story.

Book Review: The Iliad

December 7th, 2011
achilles and hector

A new translation raises old questions about the greatest epic of them all.

Classics Reissued: The Fifth Queen

December 5th, 2011
the fifth queen

Before he wrote the novels that made him famous, Ford Madox Ford wrote Tudor fiction – and this great stuff is now offered to readers again.

Book Review: A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes

December 4th, 2011
beginner’s guide inset

A spirited and enterprising widow returns to London and finds herself locking horns with the cardsharp lord who crossed her path three years before in Vienna …

Book Review: The Heroes

December 3rd, 2011

The latest gritty, violent, sarcastic military science fiction novel from Joe Abercrombie

Classics Reissued: Avengers Forever

December 2nd, 2011
x-rex on main street

The mighty Avengers – past, present, and yet to come – team up with Kang the Conqueror to save the present from the marauding future. Dramamine not included.

Now in Paperback: China, a History

December 1st, 2011
history of china

A big, bustling new history of China, now out in paperback

Book Review: 1781

November 27th, 2011
1781 – oct 2011

A flinty new account of a pivotal year in the American Revolution

Book Review: Reprobates

November 25th, 2011

They were for King, country, and courtesans – not necessarily in that order! They were the Cavaliers, and a spirited new book tells their story.

Book Review: Catherine the Great

November 19th, 2011
catherine the great

She nearly doubled the size of the Russian empire, she debated with philosophers, she endowed the first women’s college in Russia, and she was a beloved mother to her people for 34 years – and she had a steady stream of lovers through it all. She was Catherine the Great.

Now in Paperback: Napoleon

November 15th, 2011

Arcade Publishing re-issues Frank McLynn’s merrily magnificent biography of that pestiferous little Corsican!

Book Review: The Romulan War

November 10th, 2011
star trek the romulan war part 2

Two new linked “Star Trek” novels dramatize a pivotal event in the fictional universe of the beloved TV show – Earth’s first war with the Romulans!

Book Review: Venice Disputed

November 9th, 2011
glorification of the barbaro family

A beautifully illustrated examination of one Venetian nobleman’s life-long wrangling with the experts over the public face of the Queen of the Adriatic.

Book Review: The Goblin King

November 8th, 2011
goblin king prequel

A new romance makes beefcake from the least likely material imaginable, treasure-hunting goblins

Classics Reissued: The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich

November 5th, 2011
rise and fall of the third reich anniversary edition

One of the greatest works of 20th century – and of all time – gets a handsome paperback reprint as it turns 50.

Now in Paperback: Evolution – The First Four Billion Years

November 3rd, 2011
evolution the first four billion years – tp – 1 nov 2011

A gigantic new paperback examines every nook and cranny of Darwin’s famous theory, still controversial after 150 years.

Classics Reissued: The Once and Future King

November 1st, 2011
the once and future king

T. H. White’s towering, sad, uplifting tale of King Arthur, Merlyn, Guenever, and Lancelot gets a beautiful Penguin reprint

Classics Reissued: Lucretius

November 1st, 2011

A handsome re-issue of the best English-language translation of Lucretius’ famous (and famously scatter-brained) poem

Classics Reissued: The Essential X-Men vol. 2

October 24th, 2011
blocks of talk

X-Men fans new and old can rejoice in this hefty re-issued collection of classic tales

Book Review: Barn Owl

October 20th, 2011
owl on a fence

A beautiful new book on one of the most recognizable and evocative of all birds, the barn owl

Now in Paperback: Antony and Cleopatra

October 17th, 2011

New in paperback: an excellent dual biography of one of history’s most famous couples.

Book Review: 1066

October 14th, 2011
1066 peter rex

A sharply realistic new history of the Norman invasion and conquest of England

Book Review: The Dovekeepers

October 10th, 2011

An ambitious historical novel (about the Jewish fortress of Masada) from a well-loved contemporary novelist

Book Review: Exodus from the Alamo

October 9th, 2011
exodus from the alamo

A revisionary new account takes a hammer to every cherished myth about the heroic last stand at the Alamo.

Book Review: Caravaggio

October 9th, 2011

A lively new biography of the artist whose work – and life – lives on the borderland of light and dark

Book Review: Theodora

October 1st, 2011

A lively and refreshingly blunt novel about one of the most fascinating – and polarizing – women in ancient history

Now in Paperback: the RSC/Modern Library Shakespeare

October 1st, 2011
rsc coriolanus

A new series of eye-opening Shakespeare paperbacks, suitable for bus, train, and trolley.

Book Review: Mary I

September 24th, 2011
mary 1

A quietly stunning new biography of England’s infamous “Bloody Mary”

Book Review: Star Trek: Cast No Shadow

September 20th, 2011
star trek cast no shadow

A new Star Trek novel attempts to answer some old Star Trek questions

Book Review: Letters to Friends

September 19th, 2011
fonzio letters to friends

Sooner or later, Harvard’s glorious I Tatti Renaissance Library gets around to everybody.

Book Review: Animal

September 15th, 2011
triangle frog

A stunning – and miraculously hopeful – update to DK’s legendary guide to animals

Book Review: Dark Jenny

September 11th, 2011
dark jenny

Mallory meets Mike Hammer in the latest Eddie LaCrosse adventure

Interview with Virginia Henley

September 10th, 2011
the dark early – pru sept 2011

Romance author Virginia Henley talks with Open Letters about history, human nature, and a certain four-letter word

Book Review: The Dark Earl

September 9th, 2011
the dark early – pru sept 2011

The truth is stranger – and more welcome – than fiction in Romance legend Virginia Henley’s latest.

Graphic Novel: Justice

September 7th, 2011
justice league 1

Writer Jim Krueger, artist Doug Braithwaite, and fan-favorite superhero painter Alex Ross create the ultimate Justice League adventure.

Book Review: Carthage Must Be Destroyed

September 5th, 2011
richard miles

A new history of ancient Rome’s greatest adversary, the doomed empire of Carthage.

Now in Paperback: By Nightfall

September 5th, 2011
hugh dancy

The paperback release of Michael Cunningham’s latest novel, a deft portrait of middle-aged might-have-been lust

Now in Paperback: Tutankhamun

September 1st, 2011
tutankhamun – august 2011

An engrossing novel featuring the boy-pharaoh Tutankhamun and his steely chief of detectives, Rahotep.

Classics Reissued: TheThree Musketeers

September 1st, 2011

All for one and one straight to HBO2! Huzzah!

Now in Paperback: Too Much to Know

August 28th, 2011
too much to know

Now in paperback: a fascinating look at the intellectual Dark Ages (i.e. before Wikipedia)

Now in Paperback: Thirteen Hours

August 25th, 2011
trackers – august 2011

The murder of an American tourist in Cape Town propels this well-made thriller, the latest paperback from an internationally popular writer.

Book Review: Byron in Geneva

August 21st, 2011
byron in geneva cover

Joining the innumerable hosts of Byron biographies, a new book looks at the heartthrob poet’s brief but legendary sojourn to Geneva

Author Interview: Justin Gustainis

August 15th, 2011
Justin Headshot (hat)

A quick Q & A with Justin Gustainis, author of the Morris and Chastain novels, on fame, devils, and holy scripture

Book Review: Sympathy for the Devil

August 14th, 2011
sympathy for the devil

In their latest outing, intrepid paranormal investigators Morris and Chastain look into an American presidential candidate who seems too good to be true.

Book Review: The Fallen Blade

August 11th, 2011
the fallen blade august 2011

A terrific new fantasy novel set in an alternate 15th century Venice.

Book Review: Happy Birthday

August 10th, 2011

In Danielle Steel’s latest, a celebrity hostess and an aging football hero both wonder if they’re too old to fall in love again.

Book Review: Sons of Encouragement

August 6th, 2011
sons of encouragement

An anthology volume from a titan of the Christian fiction genre

New in Paperback: Anno Dracula

August 3rd, 2011
anno dracula reissue

The long-awaited re-issue of one of the greatest, most triumphantly inventive vampire novels of all time.

Book Review: Supergods

August 1st, 2011

A compact and lively history of superhero comics, from one of the most popular writers currently working in the industry.

Book Review: Dead Alert

July 27th, 2011
dead alert detail

A zippy summertime adventure story featuring hissable bad guys, sexy good guys, a man-made plague of zombies, and an explosion or two.

Book Review: Queen Defiant

July 25th, 2011
queen defiant

An involving new historical novel about the legendary (and all too real) Eleanor of Aquitaine.

Book Review: The Last Vikings

July 14th, 2011
the last vikings

The Greenland settlements founded by the infamous Erik the Red lasted for centuries – and then failed. A new history tackles an old mystery

Now in Hardcover: Legion Lost

July 12th, 2011
legion lost panel 3

One of the greatest adventures of the Legion of Super-Heroes, now in a sturdy hardcover volume!

Book Review: Mitko

July 9th, 2011
garth greenwell

A powerful debut novella about lust and the deceits of yearning.

Author Interview: William Martin

July 6th, 2011
william martin

We talk with William Martin, author of the newly re-released “Citizen Washington”

New in Paperback: Citizen Washington

July 4th, 2011
citizen washington

Twelve years after its first appearance, “Citizen Washington,” a historical novel by bestselling author William Martin, gets an attractive new paperback just in time for about a million American summer vacations.

The Civil War: A Narrative

July 1st, 2011
civil war vol 3 – pru, june 2011

Shelby Foote’s massive three-volume military history of the Civil War is re-issued for the 150th anniversary of the war’s beginning.

Book Review: Helpless

July 1st, 2011
helpless – pearson – amazon june 2011

In a Victorian London gripped by the trial of Oscar Wilde for gross indecency, someone is preying on young men, and Douglas Shrove, scion of an illustrious family, is next – and doesn’t know who to trust.

New in Paperback: Palo Alto

June 22nd, 2011
palo alto tp

The paperback release of the Hollywood heartthrob’s debut story collection

Book Review: Revenger

June 19th, 2011

The latest in the ongoing adventures of Shakespeare – JOHN Shakespeare, master-spy to Queen Elizabeth I.

In Paperback: Tarzan of the Apes

June 16th, 2011
Tarzan Neal Adams

A handsome new paperback of the book that gave birth to a multi-million dollar industry: the modern-day myth that is “Tarzan of the Apes.”

In Paperback: A Princess of Mars

June 13th, 2011
John Carter of Mars

A paperback re-issue of the first instalment in the adventures of John Carter, gentleman of Virginia and superhuman warlord of distant Mars!

Book Review: Pirates of the Narrow Seas

June 11th, 2011
pirates of the narrow seas

Lt. Peter Thornton of the 18th century British Navy has a problem more threatening than storms or pirates or cannon-fire: he’s gay, and he’s in love with his captain.

Book Review: Exorcising Hitler

June 7th, 2011
Exorcising Hitler

A new history examines the problems the Allies faced when they took on the job of occupying a defeated Germany in 1945.

Book Review: Lost in Lexicon

June 5th, 2011
ivan captured

A canny and engaging children’s book about a pair of enterprising kids trying to make sense of a magical realm where their homework actually matters.

Book Review: The Water Margin

June 2nd, 2011
the 108 heroes of the Water Margin!

A great translation of one of the “Four Great Classical Chinese Novels” is given a carefully-revised and gorgeously produced reprint by Tuttle Publishing.

Graphic Novel Review: The Marvels Project

June 1st, 2011
the original angel

Unfamiliar characters like the Angel, the Phantom Bullet, and John Steele join the Human Torch, the Sub-Mariner, and Captain America in the birth of the Marvel Age of Super-Heroes

Author Interview: Barry Connolly

May 30th, 2011
the good thief tp

An interview with the author of the debut novel “The Good Thief”

Book Review: The Good Thief

May 29th, 2011
the good thief tp

A heartfelt novel tells the story of the “Good Thief” who was crucified alongside Jesus at Calvary.

Book Review: Queen of Kings

May 27th, 2011
queen of kings

Queen of the Nile, Queen of the Damned? “Queen of Kings” teaches a valuable lesson about not judging a book by its killer hook.

Book Review: Spectrum 17

May 24th, 2011
snowy path by david stevenson

The latest epic collection of fantasy art in the Spectrum series features hundreds of weird visions (and half a dozen very different trips over the rainbow).

Book Review: Geneaology of the Pagan Gods

May 23rd, 2011
genealogy of the pagan gods

A massive, lively, entertaining work by Boccaccio that isn’t “The Decameron”

Book Review: Hounded

May 22nd, 2011

A new fantasy series about a sexy druid (two thousand years young) fighting supernatural threats in present-day Arizona.

Book Review: Worlds Made By Words

May 21st, 2011
worlds made by words

New in paperback: a book that illuminates the slightly abstruse joys of scholarship.

Book Review: The Mighty Thor by Walter Simonson

May 16th, 2011
executioner’s song

The fabled Walter Simonson issues of “The Mighty Thor” are finally collected in one massive volume – and they’ve never looked better.

Book Review: Bismarck

May 16th, 2011

An excellent new biography gives us the man behind the so-called Iron Chancellor, Otto von Bismarck

Book Review: Moontusk

May 14th, 2011
moontusk bk 1

The first volume of a fantasy series set in a richly-imagined world of woolly mammoths and exotic tribesmen.

Book Review: American Masculine

May 11th, 2011

A new collection of short stories is set in an American West that’s masculinely bleak – or is it bleakly masculine?

Book Review: A Taint in the Blood

May 8th, 2011
a taint in the blood

The first book in a new vampire series shows all the veteran author’s signature strengths.

Book Review: The Morning Star

May 7th, 2011
the morning star

Overlook Press publishes a powerful and disturbing posthumous work by Andre Schwarz-Bart, author of the masterpiece “The Last of the Just”

Book Review: The Life of Polycrates

May 6th, 2011
life polycrates

An interesting – if problematic – collection of short stories by the author of “Metrophilias”

Now in Paperback: The Annotated Origin

May 5th, 2011

Now published in paperback: a fantastic annotated edition of Charles Darwin’s eternally-relevant bombshell, “On the Origin of Species”

Book Review: She-Wolves

May 2nd, 2011

An immensely enjoyable new book looks at four women who ruled England in the centuries before Queen Elizabeth I.

Review of A Fortunate Age

May 1st, 2011

Steve Donoghue grapples with the initial irritations and eventual pleasures of Joanna Smith Rakoff’s A Fortunate Age: “The process that changes your reaction will be familiar to anyone who’s ever been seduced by New York (a sordid, delectable experience that can happen repeatedly throughout your life – and against which there is no known vaccine).”

Book Review: Faith

May 1st, 2011

In her latest novel, Jennifer Haigh explores the impact of the Boston Catholic Church sex abuse scandal on the lives of one close-knit family.

Book Review: As We Are Sung

May 1st, 2011

There is nothing conventional about Christina Mengert’s new book of poetry, nor can it be read the same way twice.

Book Review: The Great Sperm Whale

April 20th, 2011
sperm whale

Prolific author Richard Ellis returns with a gripping new book about the monster from Melville, the mysterious and majestic sperm whale.

Book Review: The Social Animal

April 19th, 2011

David Brooks’ new book presents us with Harold and Erica, two characters who are meant to represent the way we live now. The results are quasi-fictional, at best.

Book Review: The Queen’s Rival

April 17th, 2011

A novel about the woman who came heart-breakingly close to founding a new Tudor dynasty.

Book Review: Dance of the Furies

April 16th, 2011

A provocative and fascinating new book challenges what we think we know about the causes and nature of the First World War.

Book Review: Boswell’s London Journal

April 14th, 2011
boswell’s london journal – penguiin tp

In his early 20s, James Boswell kept a journal of his riotous, entertaining life in London, and it’s now in an updated version from Penguin Classics.

Book Review: Wolfsangel

April 13th, 2011

Norse saga and werewolf yarn combine in the debut of a fast-paced, smart, and violent new fantasy series.

Book Review: Government in the Clouds

April 11th, 2011
government in the clouds

The rabble-rousing jeremiad is alive and well in the self-publishing world, as this new anti-politician broadside demonstrates!

Book Review: The Scar-Crow Men

April 10th, 2011
the scar-crow men

The dashing, omni-competent Will Swyfte returns to swash some further buckles in Mark Chadbourn’s new alternate-history fantasy novel.

Mary Chesnut’s Diary

April 7th, 2011
penguin mary chestnut

The famous Civil War diarist, whose eloquent pessimism was given voice in Ken Burns’s “The Civil War”, receives a much-needed repackaging by Penguin Classics

The Tudor Secret, by C.W. Gortner

April 5th, 2011
the tudor secret

C.W. Gortner kicks off his potboiling Tudor chronicles with a fast-paced novel of conspiracy (and, of course, shrouded paternity) in the court of Edward VI

Review of It’s Superman!, by Tom De Haven

April 1st, 2011

A favorite from the thriving genre of fiction based on the Man of Steel is reissued by Ballantine Books

Review of The Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, by Jack Rakove

December 16th, 2009

In his review of the “Annotated U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence,” Abraham Benrubi helps us to understand how these two essential documents of our country have came to be created.

Review of Birds of Eastern North America

December 15th, 2009

In his review of “Birds of Eastern North America,” Tuc Macfarland explains the benefits and enjoyment of this informative guide on Birds of Eastern North America written by Paul Sterry and Brian E. Small.

Thoughts on the Shirley Jackson Award

December 12th, 2009

I cruise a constellation of blogs written by authors who primarily (even, exclusively) write horror, science fiction, and/or fantasy. While I justify this use of my time as a practical interest in “the industry,” my …

Review of The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion

December 12th, 2009

In his review of The Definitive Prince Valiant Companion, Khalid Ponte tell us about the dynamic partnership of Brian Kane and Hal Foster.

Review of The Silver Skull – Swords of Albion

December 6th, 2009

In his review of The Silver Skull – Swords of Albion, Khalid Ponte travels back to a more adventurous (and rather sexier) time.

Review of Great White!

December 5th, 2009

In his review of Great White, Tuc Macfarland shows us how author James Fallows intrigues us with the “unknown” facts about these universally feared creatures.

Review of Vampire Stories

November 29th, 2009

In his review of Vampire Stories, Khalid Ponte illustrates why readers should not judge a book by either its cover or its gimmick.

Book Review: The Lost Origins of the Essay

November 15th, 2009

John D’Agata continues his exploration of the essay with a big new anthology. Steve Donoghue reviews The Lost Origins of the Essay.

Book Review: The Tyranny of Email

November 10th, 2009

John Freeman writes a heartfelt manifesto against email and Steve Donoghue reviews it

Book Review: Orlando Furioso

November 7th, 2009

David Slavitt produces a new translation of Ariosto Furioso. Steve Donoghue reviews.

Review of How Some People Like Their Eggs

November 5th, 2009

In this review of How Some People Like Their Eggs, the author breaks down all that’s irresistible about Sean Lovelace’s witty prose.

Review of Bone Warriors

September 20th, 2009

In her review of Bone Warriors, Leah Lambrusco highlights the book’s twists and turns, some more convincing than others.

Book Review: A Jello Horse

September 15th, 2009

Matthew Simmons’ novell A Jello Horse maps the fortunes of an enigmatic crew known only by their initials. John Madera reviews.

Review of The Demon’s Lexicon

September 13th, 2009

In her review of The Demon’s Lexicon, Leah Lambrusco illustrates this novel’s supernatural effects on the reader.

Review of Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs

September 6th, 2009

In his review of Sometimes My Heart Pushes My Ribs, Chris Tonelli explains the mesmerism of Ellen Kennedy’s prose

Book Review: How I Became a Famous Novelist

August 17th, 2009

Steve Hely’s How I Became a Famous Novelist tells the tale of a writer/’content manager’. Steve Donoghue reviews.

Review of The Signal

August 8th, 2009

“You always felt time as a tangible heartbeat in the mountains. The days were short.” Dive into Ron Carlson’s novel, The Signal, by starting with this review by Sam Sacks.

Review of An Expensive Education

August 6th, 2009

In his review of An Expensive Education, Sam Sacks unearths the vast geopolitical conspiracies being hatched in Nick McDonell’s Harvard.

Review of I Love You, Beth Cooper

July 13th, 2009

In her review of the movie I Love You, Beth Cooper, Sarah Hudson shares her thoughts on the highs and deep lows of the adolescent rom-com

Review of The Evolution of God

July 11th, 2009

In his review of The Evolution of God, Ignazio de Vega illustrates how Robert Wright investigates the origins of humankind’s notions of God.

Review of Public Enemies

July 3rd, 2009

Sarah Hudson reviews Michael Mann’s Public Enemies, scrambled plot and all: “The exquisite production deserves to be seen on a big screen but no one will blame you if you sit this one out.”

Review of Reality Check

July 3rd, 2009

Lambrusco describes Peter Abrahams’s Reality Check, as “so gripping, so smart, and so completely worthwhile.”

Review of Heros & Villians: Inside the Minds of the Greatest Warriors in History

June 24th, 2009

Steve Donoghue explores why eminent historian Frank McLynn’s “Heroes & Villains is easily the most frustrating book he’s ever written.”

Review of BoneMan’s Daughters

June 23rd, 2009

In his review of BoneMan’s Daughters, Steve Donoghue takes Ted Dekker to task, writing, “the experience is constantly given an extra-gummy sheen by carrying a freight of Biblical and quasi-Biblical double meanings.”

Review of Shakespeare and Elizabeth

June 20th, 2009

Garrett Handley reviews Helen Hackett’s “Shakespeare and Elizabeth”: “Luckily, in the hybridity which governs this book, the fun always wins out.”

Review of In the Courts of The Sun

June 17th, 2009

In his review of In the Courts of the Sun, Khalid Ponte discusses sci-fi conventions, time travel, plague, and the Mayan calendar

Review of Before I Lose My Style

May 16th, 2009

Steve Donoghue reviews the structurally bold gay novel “Before I Lose My Style”.

Review of The Great Perhaps

May 14th, 2009

Steve Donoghue review “The Great Perhaps,” “Joe Meno’s best book to date by several orders of magnitude.”

Review of Meriwether Lewis

May 8th, 2009

Find out more about Danisi and Jackson’s biography of Meriwether Lewis by reading Steve Donoghue’s informing review: “but we know what kind of a book Danisi and Jackson have written: meaty, entertaining, and best of all, definitive.”

Review of Into the Beautiful North

May 6th, 2009

Into the Beautiful North, writes Steve Donoghue, is “a strong, sensitive, wonderful novel, one richly deserving of wide success.”

Review of You Are Here

April 28th, 2009

Steve Donoghue digs into Donald Breckenridge’s stylistically arresting “You Are Here”

Review of Patient Zero

April 22nd, 2009

“Patient Zero is full of sharp dialogue, rapid-fire action, fascinating (and, the author somewhat disturbingly promises us, entirely fact-based) patho-science, and a wide array of deftly drawn characters.”

A Review of A Naked Singularity

April 8th, 2009

If a book of this unsettling oddness and power can be found, virtually at random, on the lists of one self-publish print-on-demand outfit, we might well lie awake wondering what else we’re missing, out there in the sprawling infinitude of computers and ISBNs.

Review of Last Days

April 6th, 2009

In John Cotter’s review of Brian Evenson’s Last Days, he states, “I came to it looking for a quick and disturbing shocker. And it satisfied. That’s something real.”

Review of Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi

April 3rd, 2009

In his review of, Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, Steve Donoghue explains why this book might make you want to “punch” the author…

Review of Philip II of Macedonia

March 24th, 2009

In his review of a new biography of Philip II of Macedonia, Steve Donoghue encourages readers, “Those interested in ancient history – and yes, Alexander fans – are urged not to miss it.”

Book Review: Lowboy

March 22nd, 2009

John Wray’s Lowboy enters the New York subway system. Steve Donoghue follows it.

Book Review: The Pluto Files

March 10th, 2009

In 2006 Pluto was officially taken off the list of planets. Neil deGrasse Tyson relates the ex-planet’s story.

Book Review: Delicate Edible Birds

February 13th, 2009

Lauren Groff’s Delicate Edible Bird is a story collection packaged for women readers but of interest to any reader

Book Review: The Holy City

January 4th, 2009

Patrick McCabe’s new novel imagines the life of Irish playboy Christopher McCool. Sam Sacks reviews The Holy City.

Microreview: Tierra del Fuego

December 22nd, 2008

Francisco Coloane’s collection of short stories takes readers into little-visited corners of southern Chile. Sam Sacks reviews Tierra del Fuego.

Carnival of Light

December 3rd, 2008

Paul McCartney doesn’t need to worry about his legacy, but he is worried. Perhaps The Beatles Anthology (both book and three (double-disk) CD sets) was the first indication, but Wingspan, a Wings greatest hits compilation …

Book Review: The Dart League King

October 26th, 2008

In Keith Lee Morris’ novel, a rogues gallery of characters come together at a league dart tournament. Sam Sacks reviews.

Book Review: American Wife

September 12th, 2008

Neither of Curtis Sittenfeld’s two previous books, Prep or The Man of My Dreams , gave her readers any hint of the subtlety, wit, and sheer storytelling power that is so abundantly on display in her latest novel. Steve Donoghue dives in.

Book Review: The Last Unicorn

July 21st, 2008

Peter Beagle’s classic The Last Unicorn turns 50. Alice Murphy reviews.

Book Review: Inside Beethoven’s Quartets

July 18th, 2008

Lewis Lockwood’s Beethoven lectures result in this book about the master’s string quartets. Elizabeth Hardy reviews.

Book Review: The China Diary of George H.W. Bush

June 24th, 2008

For a year in the mid 1970s George H.W. Bush was the head of the United States Liaison Office in China. Steve Donoghue laments the contrast they make with his incurious son.

Book Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

June 14th, 2008

Mohammed Hanif’s debut raises the specter of Joseph Heller. Steve Donoghue reviews A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Book Review: Palace Council

June 11th, 2008

Stephen L. Carter’s Palace Council occupies the rarefied territory of the 1960s Harlem elite. Sam Sacks reviews.

Book Review: Peace

May 26th, 2008

Richard Bausch takes his talents to Italy in World War II. Sam Sacks reviews Peace.

Book Review: Netherland

May 18th, 2008

Joseph O’Neill’s Netherland combine September 11 and cricket. Steve Donoghue reviews.

Book Review: Surprised by Hope

April 29th, 2008

N.T. Wright’s book of theology earns its allusion to C.S. Lewis’ Surprised by Joy. Steve Donoghue reviews.

Book Review: God’s Middle Finger

April 5th, 2008

Richard Grant take a trip to the hellhole of the Sierra Madre a (barely) lives to tell about it

Book Review: Quiver

March 21st, 2008

Does Peter Leonard’s thriller “Quiver” stand up to the work of his famous father Elmore?

Book Review: The Rain Before it Falls

March 19th, 2008

Jonathan Coe’s The Rain Before it Falls tells the multigenerational tale of women from World War II to the present era

Book Review: The Blue Star

March 13th, 2008

Tony Earley’s sequel to Jim the Boy is as rich and powerful as its predecessor. Sam Sacks reviews The Blue Star.

Book Review: The Reserve

February 27th, 2008

Russell Banks pens a Lost Generation fairy tale. Sam Sacks reviews The Reserve