The Heathen School

How a New England school embodied a young nation's missionary zeal.

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The Cairo Affair

As the Arab Spring catches fire, a murdered diplomat's widow looks for answers amid the chaos.

 

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The Broken Road

The long-awaited final volume of an epic memoir of pedestrian travel.

 

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Free Falling, As If in a Dream

The culmination of a trilogy spins a complex fictional intrigue around one of history's great unsolved crimes.

 

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An Officer and a Spy

The author of Fatherland and Pompeii sets his time machine for the Paris of the Dreyfus Affair.

 

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Flight by Elephant

A true story of escape and survival in World War II Burma is also a tale of pachyderm heroism.

 

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Flyover Lives: A Memoir

The author of effervescent transatlantic fiction maps the Middle America of her forebears.

 

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Killing the Tiger

Gene Kerrigan's tales of Irish crime and corruption topped one critic's year in reading.

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Gold: The Race for the World's Most Seductive Metal

This history of an element's grip on human imagination -- and the  devastating consequences of that fascination.

 

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Death of the Black-Haired Girl

An ominously mysterious murder in a college town leads a professor into a psychic abyss.

 

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Jonathan Swift: His Life and His World

The author of Gulliver's Travels was a wit, a ladies' man, a champion of the oppressed -- and a mystery.

 

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One Summer: America, 1927

Sacco and Vanzetti, the Great Flood, Lindbergh, and the Bambino -- a snapshot of America in one tumultuous year.

 

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Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

A new biography fills in the gaps in the life of one of the twentieth century's most beloved memoirists and travel writers.

 

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The Lowland

Two brothers of Calcutta take divergent paths in a tale of 1960s rebellion.

 

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Ring Lardner: Stories & Other Writings

The master ventriloquist of the American vernacular in all its comic variety.

 

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Archangel

Five stories follow seekers of knowledge in the natural world.

 

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American Pastimes: The Very Best of Red Smith

Listening to baseball through the voice of one of its greatest chroniclers.

 

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The Old Filth Trilogy

A century-spanning epic of bittersweet marriages and friendships concludes.

 

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Italian Ways

Italy by train is "not for beginners."

 

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The Boys in the Boat

How a scrappy team of rowers from Washington State pulled ahead of the world.

 

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TransAtlantic

The author of Let the Great World Spin spans genres and generations in his latest historical fiction.

 

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A Delicate Truth

In an espionage master's latest, war is a booming private enterprise.

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The Woman Upstairs

How selfish must an artist be?

 

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The Selected Letters of Willa Cather

Revealing the candid passions and ambitions of the austere O Pioneers! author.

 

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Merivel: A Man of His Time

The frustrated doctor at the center of Restoration travels to Versailles and beyond.

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The Enchanted Wanderer

A nineteenth-century Russian comic storyteller shines in a bold new English translation.

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Middle Men

Small tales offer medium-sized heroes a grand forum.

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Graven with Diamonds

Henry VIII's diplomat (and Anne Boleyn's lover) as seen through his vivid poetry. 

 

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P. G. Wodehouse: A Life in Letters

The blithe soul of Bertie Wooster can be spotted in his creator's correspondence.

 

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The Best of Youth

A star actor and his harried ghostwriter wage a war of words.

 

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About the Columnist
Katherine A. Powers received the 2013 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle. She is the editor of Suitable Accommodations: An Autobiographical Story of Family Life: The Letters of J. F. Powers, 1942–1963.

April 16: ""Blue pottery vases and bowls for flowers are most attractive, and certain blue books...will repeat and emphasize color."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.