Recent Reviews

‘Collecting Shakespeare,’ by Stephen H. Grant

The story of Henry and Emily Folger and the great collection they built, by Stephen H. Grant

Science fiction and fantasy for April

Intrepid travelers through time, space and language itself.

‘Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932’

Francine Prose assembles a spectacular cast of characters to describe Paris at war.

‘A Poet’s Glossary,’ by Edward Hirsch

It’s an instant classic that belongs on the bookshelf of every serious poet and literature student.

Elizabeth Warren, at home and fighting financial wrongs

The political narrative details the now-senator’s decades struggling against financial institutions.

‘Casebook,’ by Mona Simpson

A 9-year-old boy begins spying on his parents and doesn’t like what he discovers.

Two books on sound

‘The Sound Book’ and ‘I Can Hear You Whisper’ will change the way you perceive the noises that abound

‘No Way Back,’ a novel by Matthew Klein

The story begins with a long, graphic torture scene, turns to comedy and reaches an unexpected ending.

A college drinking party that burst into media sensation

‘The Price of Silence’ looks at the Duke lacrosse scandal and how the corruption of America’s universities

The history of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Todd S. Purdum chronicles the wrangling over the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s

Camp David Accords reading list

Lawrence Wright’s new play may have spurred interest in the 1978 Egyptian-Israeli peace talks.

An almost happy ending

Jo Becker’s new book chronicles the marriage equality movement.

An honest look at Elia Kazan, in his own words

The director and author speaks of a mask that hides his truer feelings, but his letters seem quite candid

Girl, before she was interrupted

Susanna Kaysen’s “Cambridge” is a memoir-like novel about a not-quite-happy childhood.

Fiction: ‘Lion Heart,’ by Justin Cartwright

A young scholar becomes obsessed with Richard I and a piece of the True Cross.

C.K. Williams on his foray into prose poetry

‘It represented giving up some of the constraints of poetry and allowing other things to happen.’

Book World: ‘Updike’ by Adam Begley

The biography delves into the life and works of celebrated 20th-century writer John Updike.

Maggie Shipstead’s ‘Astonish Me’

Joan is doomed to be a good dancer — good enough to know she’ll never be a great one.

Cozies for spring offer dastardly murder and sweet recipes

New mysteries feature a book that may be worth killing for, a baker trying to clear her grandmother and more.

Fantasy: ‘Raising Steam,’ by Terry Pratchett

In this latest installment of the Discworld series, steam engines chug into town.

‘And the Dark Sacred Night,’ by Julia Glass

Glass returns with some of the best characters from her National Book Award-winning novel, ‘Three Junes.’

Sue Townsend, British comic author, dies at 68

Ms. Townsend’s most popular creation was Adrian Mole, whom she followed from teen to adult.

‘You Should Have Known’ by Jean Hanff Korelitz

A thriller set among Manhattan’s elite reminds us that smart women can make foolish choices.

Richard Hoggart, key figure in ‘Chatterley’ trial, dies at 95

The British literary scholar and writer testified in the landmark 1960 obscenity case involving the novel.

How laws are bent for the benefit of the wealthy

Matt Taibbi investigates a system that arrests a man with a joint, but not the bankers who give drug lords billions

Gregory White Smith, Pulitzer-winning author, dies

Biography of Jackson Pollock riled many in the art-world community.

The cold and distant Sphinx that was Mitterrand

A book about Francois Mitterrand paints a politician part Machiavelli, Don Corleone and Casanova

Ellen Gilchrist’s latest collection is a beauty

‘Acts of God’ is the 12th story collection by Ellen Gilchrist, a renowned practitioner of the form.

Cellphones and the last frontier of navigation

‘You Are Here’ chronicles the history of global positioning and how we find out where we are.

A history of bourbon, the American spirit

Dane Huckelbridge attempts to discover America through bourbon, and bourbon through America

Shortlist for Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction revealed

The nominees include Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah” and Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch.”

Temple was Little Miss Economic Sunshine, author says

A review of “The Little Girl Who Fought the Great Depression” by John F. Kasson.

‘Every Day Is for the Thief,’ by Teju Cole

Cole roves the streets of Lagos, Ni­ger­ia, pondering the chaotic place where he was raised.

Are you there, God? It’s me, science.

OUTLOOK | In “Why Science Does Not Disprove God,” Amir D. Aczel says some mysteries have no other explanation.

Mary Cheever, author and John Cheever’s muse, dies at 95

Before their wedding, he told her their life would be ‘wonderful and beautiful,’ but it was far from that.

Kevin Powers’s debut collection of poems

“Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting”

‘From Pompeii,’ by Ingrid D. Rowland

A wonderfully digressive revisiting of a doomed city.

British historian David Reynolds wins PEN Hessell-Tiltman Prize

“The Long Shadow: The Legacies of the Great War in the Twentieth Century.”

New in paperbacks, April 1-April 9

Looking for a good book these wondrous days of Spring? Here are four books just out in paperback

Finalists named for Britain’s most prestigious literary prize for women

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s “Americanah” is on the shortlist for the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction.

Washington Post Bestsellers April 27, 2014

The books Washington has been reading.

Washington: From cover to cover

Washington: From cover to cover

From novels to history to cooking and ghost stories, Post editors and critics offer introduction to capital.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

McSweeney’s goes criminal

This season, the quarterly journal that changes its form each issue is a hardback book of 13 Latin American crime stories.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

‘Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932’

Francine Prose assembles a spectacular cast of characters to describe Paris at war.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Is your book club this fancy?

Politics & Prose Bookstore announces a new literary series at the Willard Hotel.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘Collecting Shakespeare,’ by Stephen H. Grant

The story of Henry and Emily Folger and the great collection they built, by Stephen H. Grant

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

Book World: ‘Updike’ by Adam Begley

The biography delves into the life and works of celebrated 20th-century writer John Updike.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

A used-book mecca closes its doors

It’s the final chapter for a Bethesda school’s beloved bookselling tradition.

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

The history of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Todd S. Purdum chronicles the wrangling over the landmark civil rights legislation of the 1960s

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

Ellen Gilchrist’s latest collection is a beauty

‘Acts of God’ is the 12th story collection by Ellen Gilchrist, a renowned practitioner of the form.

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

Ward Just’s latest books might just be his best

Ward Just’s excellent novel ‘American Romantic’ is about a young man in Vietnam during the war.

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.