Recent Reviews

Science and Theology

In ‘Faith vs. Fact,’ Jerry A. Coyne explains why he thinks religion and science are mutually incompatible.

‘The State We’re In,’ a splendid new collection of stories by Ann Beattie

Her talent for rural tragic-comedy is unsurpassed.

Adventures from Dennis Lehane and Lene Kaaberbol

A former gangster makes a new life in Florida and a forensic doctor insists on respect in 1890s Denmark.

Fierce and bizarre nature of funnel clouds

Holly Bailey tracks the story of massive, destructive tornadoes that struck Oklahoma in recent years.

The rise of a foodie: J. Ryan Stradal’s ‘Kitchens of the Great Midwest’

This humorous, heartfelt debut novel follows a precocious chef-to-be as she grows up in the heartland.

‘Here She Comes Now’ review: How Miley and Sinead changed our lives

A playlist by popular writers of the songs that shaped them.

Defying the risks to fight irascible wild fires

Jason Ramos portrays the danger and beauty of his career as an elite wildland firefighter.

Sara and Gerald Murphy come alive in Liza Klaussmann’s ‘Villa America’

They were F. Scott Fitzgerald’s real-life models for the glamorous protagonists of “Tender Is the Night.”

How our brains toy with our minds

Anil Ananthaswamy explores the nature of the self by looking at several mental conditions.

The vast and complicated universe inside a seashell

Helen Scales takes us on a tour of the wonderful and strange world of sea shells.

How not to investigate child abuse

In ‘We Believe the Children,’ Richard Beck chronicles the daycare child abuse hysteria of the 1980s.

The evolution of American grammar from Noah Webster to the digital age

Rosemarie Ostler chronicles America’s long war over words.

William Vollmann’s ‘The Dying Grass’ is the reading experience of a lifetime

The story is a brilliant and masterful retelling of the Nez Perce War of 1877 that is worth every page.

Friendship under horrific conditions

The new issue of One Teen Story features ‘Locked In,’ a tale about two teens in the hospital — one dying, the other paralyzed.

New collection of Shirley Jackson writings is best left to devoted fans

Occasionally charming, “Let Me Tell You” should not be anyone’s introduction to the writer.

‘The Little Paris Bookshop,’ by Nina George, exudes all things French

A forlorn bookseller floats down the Seine in search of lost love.

‘No. 4 Imperial Lane’: A powerful elegy for lost love and lost empire

Jonathan Weisman’s elegant first novel explores the ways people are caught in the tides of history.

Jen Lancaster’s ‘The Best of Enemies’ is a cheeky take on girl friends

In this witty novel, it takes a crisis to bring together a perfectionist SAHM and a hard-bitten war correspondent.

‘Street Poison’ review: Why rappers owe a debt to writer Iceberg Slim

His memoir, “Pimp,” has sold millions and influenced numerous writers, filmmakers and rappers.

Uncle Sam wants YOU to read ‘popular’ scholarly books

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded grants to 36 scholars to encourage books for a general audience.

Author of ‘The Paris Wife’ reimagines the world of aviator Beryl Markham

Paula McLain offers a portrait of the iconoclastic pilot and her times.

What it’s like to fight a nuclear war every day of your life

In “Nagasaki,” Susan Southard describes what happened to A-bomb survivors of a targeted Japanese city.

Watergate reporter: Nixon is still tricky after all these years

The co-author of “All the President’s Men” says two new books are not quite the great narrative biographies Richard Nixon deserves.

What really happened the night Dylan plugged in his guitar?

Elijah Wald’s “Dylan Goes Electric!” explores the 1965 Newport Folk Festival and its aftermath.

Healing tiny, super fast-flying creatures

Terry Masear describes her grueling and emotional efforts rehabilitating rescued hummingbirds.

The torment and small gains of Burmese dissident groups

Delphine Schrank chronicles a dissident’s difficult life on Burma’s twisted road toward democracy.

No, that’s not a Jackson Pollock at a great price — it’s a FAKE

Anthony M. Amore details how art collectors get duped and how frauds are uncovered.

Food and the decline of good eating

In ‘The Dorito Effect,’ Mark Schatzker explains how industrial food is destroying flavor

Civil rights and outer space

‘We Could Not Fail’ looks at the African Americans who helped win the Space Race

How to show off your pricey new edition of Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’

The Folio Society has launched a competition on social media -- #OwnTheSpice

‘The Tale of Genji’: The work of a brilliant widow 1,000 years ago

A masterpiece of fiction by Murasaki Shikibu in a new translation by Dennis Washburn.

‘The Life and Death of Sophie Stark:’ A portrait of a woman’s sacrifices for art

Anna North’s novel tells the story of an iconoclastic filmmaker.

The National Book Festival wants YOU

The Library of Congress is looking for volunteers to help make the festival on Sept. 5 a success.

‘Steel’ review: Honoring the industry that once symbolized our strength

Brooke C. Stoddard’s book traces the rise and fall of iron and steel manufacturing through the centuries.

Astronomical sales for ‘Go Set a Watchman’ in D.C.

In its first week, Harper Lee’s novel sold more copies in D.C. than all the other books on the bestseller lists combined.

Here’s what E.L. Doctorow said at the National Book Festival last year

“I start writing to find out why I’ve had that feeling.“

A new ‘Dr. Who’ and other best sci-fi and fantasy for July

“Dr. Who: The Drosten’s Curse,” “Aurora” and “The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.”

In ‘Girl in Glass,’ mom of ‘distressed baby’ takes on Huffington, the system

Deanna Fei’s memoir is the moving personal tale of the premature child who sparked a debate.

‘Crooked’ review: Nixon narrates his story in this comic alt-history

Austin Grossman’s zany novel draws us into the operatic tragedy of Tricky Dick’s violently oscillating career.

‘Speaking in Bones’ review: A forensics expert on the trail of a missing teen

Kathy Reichs has created one of the most interesting female protagonists in American crime fiction.

Washington Post Bestsellers July 26, 2015

The books Washington has been reading.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Friendship under horrific conditions

The new issue of One Teen Story features ‘Locked In,’ a tale about two teens in the hospital — one dying, the other paralyzed.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

‘No. 4 Imperial Lane’: A powerful elegy for lost love and lost empire

Jonathan Weisman’s elegant first novel explores the ways people are caught in the tides of history.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Uncle Sam wants YOU to read ‘popular’ scholarly books

The National Endowment for the Humanities awarded grants to 36 scholars to encourage books for a general audience.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

New collection of Shirley Jackson writings is best left to devoted fans

Occasionally charming, “Let Me Tell You” should not be anyone’s introduction to the writer.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘The Decagon House Murders’ evokes Agatha Christie — in Japan

Yukito Ayatsuji’s mystery is a classic of misdirection.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

The literary history of duels, those absurdly formal fights to the death

They started with a slap and ended with a fatal blow, and they played an important role in many works.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

Did Ann Coulter’s new book help inspire Trump’s Mexican ‘rapists’ comments?

Coulter’s “Adios America” focuses on sex crimes by undocumented immigrants -- and she says Trump has read it cover to cover.

Carlos Lozada

Carlos Lozada

Inside the collected writings of Donald J. Trump

I just spent a week reading eight of Trump’s books. Here’s what I learned.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

I just binge-read eight books by Trump. Here’s what I learned.

Hoping to find a theory of the man, or at least a method in the Trumpness, is futile.

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.