Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions

Rediscovering the 1884 geometric parable that signaled the brilliant dystopias of Orwell, Koestler, and Burgess.  

Read more...

Robert W. Chambers: Sentimental Horrification

An inspiration behind HBO's True Detective brings the horrors and earthly delights of the nineteenth century's roaring conclusion.

Read more...

The Philip Trent Mysteries

Why three lost tales of an amateur sleuth are among the best detective stories ever written.

 

Read more...

Wintry Mix

An inviting pile of season's readings -- magical, mysterious, and mirthful.

 

Read more...

The Ghost Stories of Edith Wharton

The great chronicler of turn-of-the-century New York was also a master of the chilling tale.

 

Read more...

The Riddle of the Sands

Why this 1903 "Record of Secret Service" may be the first great modern spy novel.

Read more...

Jean-Claude Izzo: Noir under the Sun

Hot nights and cold Cassis with Marseilles' master of crime fiction.

 

Read more...

Evan S. Connell: Bridging the Islands

The late author was an artist unconstrained by genre or convention.

 

Read more...

A Pleasing Terror: Kingsley Amis's "The Green Man"

The novelist's booze-soaked, bittersweet take on the classic ghost story.

 

Read more...

The Purple Cloud

A chilling Arctic expedition, fueled by horrific magic.

 

Read more...

A Duckburg Holiday

How Carl Barks made Uncle Scrooge McDuck the center of a magical, web-footed world.

 

Read more...

Religio Medici and Urne-Burial

The haunting imagination and musical prose of a seventeenth-century physician.

Read more...

Anti-Intellectualism in American Life

A classic critique of our nation's changing discourse feels more relevant than ever.

Read more...

Mediterranean Breeze

Norman Douglas's classic novel of an Italian island makes for hilarious and "utterly pagan" beach reading.

Read more...

Diamond in the Roughneck: The Books of Harry Crews

The lasting impact of a writer committed to the "jagged edges" of the soul.

Read more...

Stranger Magic: Charmed States and the Arabian Nights

How the stories of Scheherazade invented fantasy.

Read more...

A Dreamer of Mars: Edgar Rice Burroughs and John Carter

How a failed salesman became a titan of planetary romance.

Read more...

"We Revel in a Crowd of Any Kind": Dickens the Journalist

The great novelist, in love with the life of the streets.

Read more...

Journey to the Abyss: The Diaries of Count Harry Kessler

A diplomat’s journals form a scintillating chronicle of the Belle Époque – and beyond.

Read more...

Beyond the Veil: The Fiction of Arthur Machen

It's Halloween -- time to revisit the stories of the one of the masters of the "weird tale."

Read more...

Arabian Sands

A classic epic of endurance is also a testament to the beauty and hardship of desert life.

Read more...

When the World Spoke French

A captivating history of an era in which the gaze of the world was fixed on Paris.

Read more...

Idle Reading

A wealth of recommendations for whiling away the summer days.

Read more...

Tono-Bungay

H.G. Wells's most insightful visions concerned money, ambition, and the human heart.

Read more...

The Vintage Thrillers of John Buchan

A celebration of the author of The Thirty-Nine Steps and other classic early modern thrillers.

Read more...

We, The Drowned

Carsten Jensen's international bestseller is a darkly magical voyage through a sea of stories.

Read more...

The Idle Pleasures of Jerome K. Jerome

Michael Dirda on the comic Victorian charms of the author of Three Men in a Boat.

Read more...

Winter's Tales

A host of haunting stories, made to savor by a December fireside.

Read more...

The Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard

A not-to-be-missed collection of delightful tales of the Napoleonic Wars, penned by the creator of Sherlock Holmes.

Read more...

The Ghost Stories of Lafcadio Hearn

 The uniquely chilling tales of an almost forgotten master of spectral fiction.

Read more...

About the Columnist
Michael Dirda is a Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for The Washington Post Book World. He is the author of the memoir An Open Book and several collections of essays. His most recent book is Classics for Pleasure.

July 25: On this day in 1834 Samuel Taylor Coleridge died of heart disease at the age of sixty-one.

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

advertisement
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).