• A READING LIFE

The Most Dangerous Book

How the novel often called the greatest of all time nearly failed to see the light of day.

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  • A READING LIFE

In the Wolf's Mouth

The Allies move from North Africa to encounter the Sicilian Mafia.

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  • A READING LIFE

Euphoria

A vivid new novel, born from the true story of Margaret Mead's loves and losses in New Guinea.

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  • A READING LIFE

Letters of Note

The Internet may have killed the letter as a literary form, but this collection provides a brilliant elegy.

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  • A READING LIFE

Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?

The New Yorker cartoonist confronts the inevitable in this graphic memoir.

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  • A READING LIFE

The Cairo Affair

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

 

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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

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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  • A READING LIFE

The Lowland

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

 

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  • A READING LIFE

Ring Lardner: Stories & Other Writings

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

 

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  • A READING LIFE

Archangel

Five stories follow seekers of knowledge in the natural world.

 

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  • A READING LIFE

The Old Filth Trilogy

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

 

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  • A READING LIFE

The Selected Letters of Willa Cather

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

 

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  • A READING LIFE

Ashenden

A tale of an English estate -- and those who cherish, neglect, and covet it.

 

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  • A READING LIFE

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

A critic looks back at her favorite read of the year.

 

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  • A READING LIFE

Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens

Their father was universally beloved, but growing up Dickens led, more often than not, to hard times.

 

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  • A READING LIFE

The Watchers

The network of spies and secret police that kept Good Queen Bess in power.

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  • A READING LIFE

Commander: The Life and Exploits of Britain's Greatest Frigate Captain

The unsung deeds of a hero of the Royal Navy.

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  • A READING LIFE

Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany

The True Grit author's short work reveals the range of an inimitable and hilarious American voice.

 

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  • A READING LIFE

Lucky Jim and The Old Devils

The alpha and omega of a comic novelist's oeuvre.

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  • A READING LIFE

Darkness on the Prairie

Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's surprisingly dark American epic.

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  • A READING LIFE

Enthusiasms

A historian goes on the hunt for the details of literary lives most of us overlook.

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  • A READING LIFE

The Greatest Game

Two new books unveil the work of the double agents who ran circles around the Nazis.

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  • A READING LIFE

Harry Lipkin, Private Eye

A geriatric gumshoe takes the case.

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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.

July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).