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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Ashenden

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

 

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Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

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

 

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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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The Watchers

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

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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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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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Lucky Jim and The Old Devils

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

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Darkness on the Prairie

Reading Laura Ingalls Wilder's surprisingly dark American epic.

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Enthusiasms

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

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The Greatest Game

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

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Harry Lipkin, Private Eye

A geriatric gumshoe takes the case.

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Long Time, No See

A vision of a prelapsarian Ireland, circa 2006, where old and new exist together in serenity.

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Beautiful Ruins

A tale of manipulation, fame, love and fate crossing half a century centers on an Italian village and the making of a Hollywood epic.

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The Mansion of Happiness: A History of Life and Death

Playing games with the meaning of life -- and the inevitability of its final turn.

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Our Lady of Alice Bhatti

The chaos of a Karachi hospital mirrors a nation pulled in multiple directions.

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Bring Up the Bodies

In the sequel to her novel Wolf Hall, a novelist continues her exploration of the enigmatic man at the heart of Tudor intrigues.

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The Cove

War threatens a remote recess in North Carolina's Appalachia.

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Open Season: Baseball Books of 2012

Tradition and revolution, friendship and bitter enmity, on the diamond and in the clubhouse.

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Another Time, Another Life: The Story of a Crime

Murder, terrorism, and corruption at the heart of the Swedish state are knotted at the center of Leif GW Persson's novel.

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Coral Glynn

A tale of love, loneliness, and the mysteries of an English mansion reaches back to the gothic novels of the past.

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Lonely Monsters

In honor of the centenary of Elizabeth Taylor's birth, two novels that showcase the author's gift for crafting comedies of manners with troubling undertones.

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At Last

The final volume in the author's celebrated Patrick Melrose cycle faces pain with wit and unflinching honesty.

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The Orphan Master's Son

The story of a professional kidnapper's life takes on a surreal edge in the appropriately nightmarish world of North Korea.

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A Good Man

Courage and slaughter, dreams and betrayals, in the shadow of Little Bighorn.

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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).