Songs of Blood and Sword

A new memoir from a member of Pakistan's storied political dynasty.

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The Weekend

The release of a terrorist raises uncomfortable questions about Germany's past, and present.

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A Life Like Other People's

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

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Comedy in a Minor Key

An urgent moral fable set in Nazi-occupied Holland, Keilson's novel proves that even death guaranteed no escape from the terror of the war.

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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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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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American Insurgents, American Patriots

In a new history of the American Revolution, an esteemed historian shifts the focus from the Founders to ordinary people.

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Therapeutic Felony & Mayhem

Brooke Allen on the therapeutic joys of mystery and espionage discoveries from Felony & Mayhem Press.

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Royal Pairs

Books that evoke the era of Victoria and Albert, in full flower – and rushing headlong to its end.

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Happy Accidents

Discoveries in winter, from an Asperger’s memoir to a poet’s rural vision.

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From Brisbane to Byzantium

New books collect the literature of a modern nation and listen for the lasting echoes of an ancient one. Read more...

New Worlds

From Wallace Shawn to Geraldo Rivera, uneasy crossings of horizons moral and physical. Read more...

Ascents, Flights, and Fogs

A new memoir from a daughter of a tragically brilliant union; an elegant critic; and the joys of crime by gaslight. Read more...

Introspections

New maps of the inner landscape from Carol Windley, and classic explorations of the ego revisted. Read more...

Honey's Progress

A new edition of Elaine Dundy's barbed classic; English cookery considered; and more.

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Vision Quests

Visionary conversations with artists David Hockney and Robert Irwin, plus Francis Bacon's messy studio.

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Pharma Nation

Pharmaceutical malfeasance, media madness, and more.

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What Went Right?

The author's road to Damascus yields some unexpected delights.

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Monuments in Words

Revisiting the diverse legacies of John Updike, John Mortimer, and Horton Foote.

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Empires on the Page

From Jerusalem to India to the realm of opera queens.

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Revolutionary Roads

Portraits of suburban despair, an apostle of love, and a disciple of anarchy. Read more...

Reader's Diary: The Culture Watch

From gallery to museum, music history to musical performance. Plus, striking new fiction. Read more...

Reader's Diary: Warriors, Holy and Otherwise

Portraits of evangelical collegians, Napoleon and his marshals, American ruins, and more. Read more...

The Year in Reading: A Conversation (Part One)

Six passionate readers on a year's worth of books and ideas. Read more...

The Year in Reading: A Conversation (Part Three)

Six passionate readers on a year's worth of books and ideas (Part Three of Three) Read more...

The Year in Reading: A Conversation (Part Two)

Six passionate readers on a year's worth of books and ideas (Part two of three) Read more...

Reader's Diary: November 2008

Robber barons, a medical mystery, a T'ang craftsman, and more. Read more...

Reader's Diary

Stories of survival, war, intrigue and mystery -- and a browse through a madman?s library.

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Reader's Diary

From Abraham Lincoln to Antoine Watteau -- plus educating educators, a mystery, et encore plus. Read more...

Reader's Diary

Fashion, greed, shopping, dog walking, and think-tankers. Read more...

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.

April 21: " 'Pull' includes 'invitations to tea' at which one hears smiling reminders that a better life is available to people who stop talking about massacres..."

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
Poems That Make Grown Men Cry

And women too.  Luminaries from Colin Firth to Nick Cave and Jonathan Franzen chose the poems that bring them to tears, and the result is a stunning collection of poignant verse from writers like Auden, Whitman, Bishop, Larkin, Neruda and many others.  Warning: choking-up hazard.

The King of Pain

Trapped beneath his entertainment system, reality TV mastermind Rick Salter reflects on his life and tries to piece together the events of the previous evening. Seth Kaufman’s romp is an outrageous meditation on pain and entertainment in a deranged world in which the two are often interchangeable.

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.