Recent Reviews

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 Voting 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.

D.C. used book store reopens

Carpe Librum, a D.C. used bookstore, opens after reorganizing its shelves

Update: Film version of Stephen Amidon’s ‘Human Capital’ a hit in Italy

American premiere is at the Tribeca Festival on April 18.

Peter Matthiessen, award-winning author, dies at 86

Mr. Matthiessen won two National Book Awards for his finely wrought novels and nonfiction books.

David Allen Sibley on the joys of watching birds

The second edition of “The Sibley Guide to Birds” includes more than 100 new rare species.

David Guterson looks back 20 years later on ‘Snow Falling on Cedars’

He was a high school English teacher when his first novel was published -- and changed his life.

‘E.E. Cummings,’ by Susan Cheever

Cheever finally completes a conversation with the great poet that began when she was 14.

Mystery: ‘You Should Have Known,’ by Jean Hanff Korelitz

With a brilliant husband and a gifted son, Grace thinks she's lucky beyond words. Beware. . . .

Peter Matthiessen interview coming in Smithsonian magazine

The writer, who died on April 5, speaks about his last novel, “In Paradise,” and the nature of evil.

Washington Post Bestsellers April 13, 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

The 100th anniversary of the Ludlow massacre

David Mason’s verse novel commemorates an almost-forgotten tragedy in the history of labor.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

The novelist as a doubting Christian

Carlene Bauer’s essay in Virginia Quarterly Review is a searching, candid piece about the discomfort of hovering between certainties.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

E.L. Doctorow wins Library of Congress Prize for American Fiction

The celebrated writer of historical novels will accept the award at this year’s National Book Festival.

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.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘From Pompeii,’ by Ingrid D. Rowland

A wonderfully digressive revisiting of a doomed city.

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

The history of the Voting 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.