Recent Reviews

Innovative D.C. literacy program wins cash and kudos

Reach Incorporated receives $300,000 grant from Rales Foundation and $10,000 prize from National Book Foundation.

Rick Warren’s weight-loss plan named Christian Book of the Year

The founder of the Saddleback mega-church began writing “The Daniel Plan” after noticing that he and many of his congregants had grown too fat.

The best children’s books for May

“Tommy Can’t Stop,” “The Boys Who Challenged Hitler” and “An Ember in the Ashes.”

Anne Enright draws a rich, Irish family saga in ‘The Green Road’

From the author of “The Gathering,” a tale of a matriarch’s joys and disappointments.

‘The Strangler Vine,’ by M.J. Carter

This enthralling ad­ven­ture pits British agents against the Thuggee in 19th-century India.

Slouching toward dystopia in ‘The Dead Lands,’ by Benjamin Percy

More than a century after the flu wipes out civilization, Lewis and Clark strike out for Oregon — again.

‘A God in Ruins,’ by Kate Atkinson

The book is a magnificent companion novel to her 2013 bestseller, “Life After Life.”

David Baldacci’s ‘Memory Man’ is a master class in the art of the bestseller

In his latest thriller, the prolific writer brings us a new hero, Memory Man, a detective bent on revenge.

Atticus Lish accepts PEN/Faulkner Award

The win for his debut novel, “Preparation for the Next Life,” is the second Washington honor for Lish.

Gaithersburg Book Festival lets readers and writers commingle

The annual gathering on the City Hall lawn under pleasant skies offers an atmosphere inviting to families.

Ruth Rendell, prolific British crime novelist, dies at 85

In more than 60 books, Ms. Rendell examined crime and dark psychological depths.

A pair of U.S. poets laureate for the price of one

Charles Wright, the 20th U.S. poet laureate, concludes his term with a conversation with Charles Simic, the 15th U.S. poet laureate.

‘I wanted to be Murphy Brown’

“I wanted to be Murphy Brown,” the star writes in her frank and funny memoir.

What Joan Rivers didn’t take to the grave, as told by her daughter

Melissa Rivers’s biography of her mother is more sweet than funny, full of affection and a true sense of loss.

‘Map: Collected and Last Poems,’ by Wislawa Szymborska

This collection, which gathers work from seven decades, is sure to win the Nobel laureate even more fans.

Does free enterprise soar on wings of angels?

Kevin M. Kruse explores the impact of business in building the role of Christianity in America.

The trauma of FDR’s secret prisoner exchange program in World War II

Jan Jarboe Russell recounts the detention and deportation of U.S. citizens in World War II.

The young, tough guys behind the election of John F. Kennedy

Helen O’Donnell recounts the early days of her father, Kenny, a top JFK aide, on the climb to the White House.

How to talk to a transsexual

Maxim Februari describes his sexual transition and offers a guide on how to talk appropriately to a transsexual.

Getting to know an imam and seeing Muslims in the new light

Carla Power becomes the student of a scholar and imam and sees a side of Islam many Americans miss.

Stoking a women’s sexual revolution in the Middle East

Mona Eltahawy calls in the starkest terms for an end to the brutal misogyny in the region.

Independent Bookstore Day goes national May 2

More than 400 stores across the country will offer special programs and merchandise to celebrate their continued relevance in the Internet age.

‘Man in Profile’ stirs controversy over the work of a New Yorker great

Thomas Kunkel’s biography of Joseph Mitchell suggests the writer embellished some of his nonfiction.

Productivity expert David Allen on getting things done in a digital world

It’s time to clear your head, your to-do list and your inbox.

Historian recollects the demons of her own past in ‘The Last Asylum’

In her memoir, Barbara Taylor recalls a harrowing descent into madness and her time in a “B-movie loony bin.”

Three memoir picks for April

Family, love and loss in books by Bruce Eric Kaplan, Jamie Brickhouse and Elizabeth Alexander.

‘The Book of Aron,’ by Jim Shepard, is a masterpiece

REVIEW | The story is of a Jewish child in the Warsaw Ghetto as the Nazis tighten their grip.

Gaithersburg Book Festival offers world-class authors in a small-town setting

Award-winning authors, beloved children’s writers and workshops for all ages on Saturday, May 16.

Jane Smiley’s elegiac look at an American family in ‘Early Warning’

The second volume in the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s trilogy sets her characters amid the sweep of history.

William Vollmann’s upcoming novel is “quite a bit shorter than ‘War & Peace'”

‘The Dying Grass,’ about the Nez Perce War of 1877, will arrive this summer at 1,376 pages.

‘The Invention of Fire’ is a thrillingly written 14th-century murder mystery

Bruce Holsinger’s new novel features poets John Gower and Geoffrey Chaucer at the center of the story.

‘My Struggle’: Book four of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s monumental memoir

In this volume, 18-year-old Karl Ove tries to find romance that lasts longer than 10 seconds.

‘Dune’ receives the royal treatment on its 50th anniversary

Return to the planet Arrakis with Folio Society’s drool-worthy edition that’s sure to please your inner nerd.

Per Petterson’s ‘I Refuse’ and ‘Ashes in My Mouth, Sand in My Shoes’

REVIEW | The Norwegian novelist’s latest work and a reissue of his 1987 debut exemplify his brand of Scandinavian stoicism.

Do we still need libraries?

Get over your nostalgia for the local library of your childhood. Here’s how we need to remake it today.

Listen up, if you’re heading down the aisle

Ellen McCarthy explores how we love and how we could do it a little better with some kindness and courtesy.

The rivalry of Roosevelt women

Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer look into the lives of Eleanor Roosevelt and Teddy Roosevelt’s daughter.

Ian Fleming’s not-so glamorous life on his island escape of Jamaica

Matthew Parker chronicles Ian Fleming’s adventures and loves around his house called Goldeneye.

Eats, shoots and punctuates

In ‘Between You & Me,’ a New Yorker copy editor explains the uses of usage.

‘The Jazz Palace,’ by Mary Morris

The author is pitch perfect in this rich, musical novel about early 20th-century Chicago.

Washington Post Bestsellers May 3, 2015

The books Washington has been reading.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Innovative D.C. literacy program wins cash and kudos

Reach Incorporated receives $300,000 grant from Rales Foundation and $10,000 prize from National Book Foundation.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Rick Warren’s weight-loss plan named Christian Book of the Year

The founder of the Saddleback mega-church began writing “The Daniel Plan” after noticing that he and many of his congregants had grown too fat.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

Anne Enright draws a rich, Irish family saga in ‘The Green Road’

From the author of “The Gathering,” a tale of a matriarch’s joys and disappointments.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘Man in Profile’ stirs controversy over the work of a New Yorker great

Thomas Kunkel’s biography of Joseph Mitchell suggests the writer embellished some of his nonfiction.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

A new perspective on the birth of Europe in ‘The Edge of the World’

Michael Pye’s history focuses on the role of the people around the North Sea — not the Roman Empire.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

T.S. Eliot’s American childhood

Robert Crawford’s biography “Young Eliot” captures the poet’s early years.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

The case for conservative civil disobedience

Review of Charles Murray’s “By the People: Rebuilding Liberty Without Permission“

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

‘Did I ever wonder who my mother used to be, before she belonged to me?’

Review of “Ordinary Light,” a luminous memoir by Pulitzer-winning poet Tracy K. Smith.

Carlos Lozada

Carlos Lozada

Do we still need libraries?

Get over your nostalgia for the local library of your childhood. Here’s how we need to remake it today.

Literary Calendar

Going Out Guide: Upcoming events

Going Out Guide: Upcoming events

Get the latest on readings, signings and author appearances in the D.C. area.