Recent Reviews

Review: ‘We Are Pirates,’ by Daniel Handler

The “Lemony Snicket” author spools out a series of unfortunate events, but not for your kids.

Book review: ‘The Magician’s Lie’ by Greer Macallister

In this spellbinding historical novel, an illusionist may have pulled off the greatest trick of all.

Best new romance novels for February

In these three novels, love begins with conflict.

‘Leaving Before the Rains Come,’ by Alexandra Fuller

A memoir by the author of “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight” is about her divorce and its aftermath.

Book review: ‘The Big Seven,’ by Jim Harrison

A “faux mystery” stars a detective lured by temptation.

Book review: ‘A Muse and a Maze,’ by Peter Turchi

Finding the connections between puzzles, mystery and magic.

Going underground to freedom

Eric Foner depicts the promise and perils of the Underground Railroad.

Science as a force for good

Michael Shermer argues that science and reason are the key forces driving us to a more moral world.

How disruptive is bitcoin?

Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey argue that bitcoin challenges the financial world to operate better.

Yearning for British approval

Anita Anand explores the travails of a Punjabi Princess who became a part of upper-class British life.

A life of the greatest man in World War II

In Debi and Irwin Unger’s biography, George C. Marshall is a great man with flaws

‘March: Book II’ by John Lewis

A graphic-novel memoir by the Georgia congressman about the civil rights era

Book Review: ‘Group f.64,’ by Mary Street Alinder

A biography celebrates the artists who revolutionized photography, including Adams and Lange.

Is the ‘real’ Paddington bear too English for Americans?

The new film offers cuteness and hijinks, but the classic books offer something ever so proper.

Sean Lowe, America’s favorite bachelor, tells all

Lowe’s memoir arrives on the first anniversary of his televised marriage to Catherine Giudici.

‘The Siege,’ by Arturo Pérez-Reverte

In 1811, during the Siege of Cádiz, someone is killing young women, and a detective hunts the predator.

John Bayley, who wrote memoir of wife Iris Murdoch, dies at 89

Mr. Bayley, an Oxford literary scholar, achieved renown with a memoir of his wife’s descent into Alzheimer’s.

Book review: ‘The Creator’ by Mynona

That pseudonym — the German word for anonymous, spelled backward — is a hint at this Kafka-esque work

Claudia Rankine’s editor on the genius of ‘Citizen’

He calls Rankine’s latest work “that very rare book that can focus with precision and honesty about race.“

The view from inside Guantanamo

Mohamedou Ould Slahi, a detainee since 2002, publishes his diary of the brutal conditions at Guantanamo.

Book review: ‘Black River’ by S.M. Hulse

In this affecting modern-day Western, a former prison guard seeks faith and forgiveness.

Best new science fiction and fantasy

Giant ants threaten humans; witches hold grudges; and a man’s plight is that he is equally dead and alive.

James Patterson’s new book set to self-destruct

One high-priced copy will be destroyed by a SWAT team, but your e-copy will vanish, too.

James Patterson’s new book set to self-destruct

One high-priced copy will be destroyed by a SWAT team, but your e-copy will vanish, too.

National Book Critics Circle finalists

Toni Morrison and Phil Klay among those to be honored at the March 12 ceremony. Claudia Rankine’s “Citizen” competing in two different categories.

Alice K. Turner, fiction editor at Playboy, dies

Ms. Turner cultivated new writers and nurtured established ones during her two decades at the magazine.

Swift-going ‘Last American Vampire’ is an offbeat history rewrite

BOOK REVIEW | This is delightfully loopy and rather clever sequel to “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.”

Review: Ausma Zehanat Khan’s ‘The Unquiet Dead’

In this promising first novel, a killing may be linked to war crimes in Bosnia.

Corruption as a threat to world security

Sarah Chayes argues that governmental thievery leads to violence and religious extremism.

Promises and dangers of new medical technology

Eric Topol sees a medical future that allows patients to stand at the center of their care and personal data.

Family film restores a lost Jewish town

“Three Minutes in Poland” is the rare Holocaust narrative that feels like it’s about people, not ghosts

Coming to terms with an itinerate Jewish legacy

Roger Cohen explores his family’s disaspora from Eastern Europe to South Africa and on to America.

Liberalism was never easy

Julian Zelizer shows that LBJ’s Great Society programs came with greater opposition than most remember.

John Quincy Adams’s remarkable youth

Phyllis Lee Levin tracks the adventures and achievements of a youthful John Quincy Adams.

Book review: ‘Becoming Richard Pryor,’ by Scott Saul

A biography of the “most volatile and fragile but redoubtable black comedian of his time.”

Reel love: A first novel’s romance with the movies

Farran Smith Nehme’s “Missing Reels:” A cinematic romance.

Children’s author Katherine Paterson receives honorary degree

The author of ‘Bridge to Terabithia’ has supported the Vermont College of Fine Arts since its founding.

Book review: ‘White Plague,’ a thriller by James Abel

In the frozen waters of the Arctic, a bioterror expert tries to save a submarine crew from a lethal threat

The bully who didn’t get away

Allen Kurzweil chases down a bully who made his boarding-school life miserable 40 years ago.

The Big Bad Wolf and the No Little Pigs

After an uproar, Oxford University Press clarifies its policy about not mentioning pigs.

Washington Post Bestsellers Jan. 18, 2015

The books Washington has been reading.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

Review: ‘We Are Pirates,’ by Daniel Handler

The “Lemony Snicket” author spools out a series of unfortunate events, but not for your kids.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Sean Lowe, America’s favorite bachelor, tells all

Lowe’s memoir arrives on the first anniversary of his televised marriage to Catherine Giudici.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Claudia Rankine’s editor on the genius of ‘Citizen’

He calls Rankine’s latest work “that very rare book that can focus with precision and honesty about race.“

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

Book review: ‘The Creator’ by Mynona

That pseudonym — the German word for anonymous, spelled backward — is a hint at this Kafka-esque work

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘Sympathy for the Devil,’ by Michael Mewshaw

Writer delves into the life of author and gadfly Gore Vidal.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

Book review: ‘The Pebble Chance,’ by Marius Kociejowski

A poet and London antiquarian bookseller chronicles his chance meetings and comic misadventures.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

The creepiness of Bill Cosby’s books on love, sex and family

In light of rape allegations, Cosby’s books from the 1980s are revealing

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

When your thoughts become fears and your fears become obsessions

A memoir on how OCD takes over your life -- and how to fight back.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

Did Nixon blow off his daily CIA reports?

A new book says the president found the CIA’s information “sorely lacking.“

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.