• READER'S DIARY

Firefly

A novelist makes chamber drama out of Noël Coward's Jamaican twilight.

 

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  • READER'S DIARY

The First Muslim

Is it possible to write the mind of a prophet?

 

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  • READER'S DIARY

Sweet Tooth

The author of Atonement launches a tale of narrative deception from the spy games of a dying Cold War.

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  • READER'S DIARY

George Orwell: Diaries

The journals of one of the twentieth century's most powerful voices contain the seeds of the ideas his books explored.

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  • READER'S DIARY

Ride a Cockhorse

Raymond Kennedy's ribald comedy pinned a satire of late-1980s excess on a small-town banker's sudden mania.

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  • READER'S DIARY

Pale Blue Ink in a Lady's Hand

A fresh translation of a classic novel unveils an Austrian life overshadowed by the rise of fascism.

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  • READER'S DIARY

How It All Began

A delicate network -- and a vulnerability to chaos -- connect the characters in this thoughtful comedy.

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  • READER'S DIARY

If Walls Could Talk: An Intimate History of the Home

The history of domestic life, the author argues, tells the story of our deepest secrets.

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  • READER'S DIARY

Tolstoy: A Russian Life

A new life of the writer focuses on Tolstoy's place in a changing Russian society.

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  • READER'S DIARY

The Forgotten Waltz

From the Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering comes a new novel that reckons the cost of love.

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  • READER'S DIARY

Wendy and the Lost Boys: The Uncommon Life of Wendy Wasserstein

A new biography of the playwright explores the secrets she guarded so closely.

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  • READER'S DIARY

Turn of Mind

A once-brilliant surgeon battles Alzheimer's disease. But is she forgetting a monstrous crime? 

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  • READER'S DIARY

A Life Like Other People's

The acclaimed British playwright details the shyness and madness that were his family inheritance.

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  • reader's diary

The Fall of the House of Walworth

A true-life tale of madness, scandal, and murder in Gilded Age New York.

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  • reader's diary

Nine Lives

An acclaimed travel writer and history explores the enduring religious inheritance of India through fascinating portraits of nine individuals.

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About the Columnist
Brooke Allen is the author of Twentieth-Century Attitudes; Artistic License; and Moral Minority. She is a contributor to The New York Times Book Review, The New Criterion, The New Leader, The Hudson Review, and The Nation, among others. She was named a finalist for the 2007 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing from the National Book Critics Circle.

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.

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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).