Recent Reviews

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

The writer’s brand of Scandinavian stoicism is exemplified in his latest novel and a reissue of his 1987 debut.

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.

The story of the final — and unfinished — work of Orson Welles

Josh Karp’s “Orson Welles’s Last Movie” chronicles the Hollywood great’s ill-fated, still-hoped-for project

Jonathan Franzen, will you sign my Kindle?

A new Web site called Bound & Dedicated helps readers share the stories behind their favorite signed books.

‘B & Me: A True Story of Literary Arousal,’ by J.C. Hallman

A deep-felt, unconditional passion for Nicholson Baker.

Gallaudet University makes Shakespeare speak in fresh ways

The university’s “Eyes on Shakespeare” exhibit will emphasize the rich visual content of the Bard’s work in October 2016.

Laura Ingalls Wilder finds new stardom in an old-fashioned way

The surprise publishing hit “Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography” expands the “Little House” author’s memoir.

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.

Daughter’s new book reveals what Joan Rivers took to the grave

The comedian had “work” done 365 times, according to Melissa Rivers’s biography of her mom.

Frederic Morton, wartime refu­gee and then chronicler of Austria, dies at 90

Mr. Morton was known internationally for his works of popular history documenting Viennese society.

The world has a really bad hair day in ‘The Blondes’

In Emily Schultz’s social satire, flaxen-haired women — bottled or not — put the population at risk.

The best science fiction and fantasy novels for April

“A Crown for Cold Silver,” “The Grace of Kings” and “The Affinities.”

‘Forgiveness 4 You’ imagines a faster route to absolution

Ann Bauer’s novel stars an ex-priest being primed to become a “forgiveness hero.”

The story behind the woman who helped make healthy eating cool

In “My Organic Life,” Nora Pouillon dishes on food, feminism and the restaurant that made her name.

Spice-craving the 50th anniversary edition of Frank Herbert’s ‘Dune’

New Folio Society edition of Frank Herbert’s classic features an introduction by Michael Dirda and color illustrations.

A boisterous novel that imagines American history as a gay epic

“The American People: Search for My Heart” is the latest from AIDS activist Larry Kramer.

An investigation of campus rape reveals no easy solutions

Jon Krakauer explores sexual assault victims’ search for justice at the University of Montana.

A psychiatrist and a sociopath face off in Lisa Scottoline’s latest thriller

“Every Fifteen Minutes” is as teasingly irresistible as any of the prolific author’s novels.

The long, troubling consequences of India’s partition that created Pakistan

Dilip Hiro explores the tense, lasting confrontation between India and Pakistan.

In science, has evidence given way to ideology?

Alice Dreger contends that scientists bold enough to buck the status quo are often marginalized or banished.

Soon enough, women will run the world — and it will be a better place

Melvin Konner argues that as women gain influence society becomes more democratic, compassionate, equal.

Getting close up with Maya Angelou

Tavis Smiley recounts his joys and sorrows with his longtime friend Maya Angelou.

Hula dancing toward fulfillment

Leigh Ann Henion travels the world in a quest to reconnect with a personal sense of wonder.

A makeshift family journeys toward epiphany in ‘Mobile Library’

In David Whitehouse’s novel, a bookmobile turns into a means of escape.

‘Words Without Music’: A look inside Philip Glass’s creative genius

In his memoir, the groundbreaking composer illuminates his musical journey at expense of the personal.

Why one needs the other: ‘Two’ by Melissa Ann Pinney

Elizabeth Gilbert, Billy Collins, Susan Orlean and others illuminate a photo book on togetherness.

Elizabeth Brown Pryor, biographer of Robert E. Lee and Clara Barton, dies

Ms. Pryor, 64, had a long career with the State Department before becoming a historian.

It’s had some military success, but the Islamic State is no existential threat

Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger explore the origins and tactics of the group in a bid to understand its future.

‘The Knife,’ by Ross Ritchell

A debut war novel filled with enough adrenaline-fueled combat to satisfy any Hollywood producer.

How many more kudos will come Phil Klay’s way today?

This morning his “Redeployment” was named a finalist for a $25,000 PEN award, and this afternoon it was named a finalist for the $7,500 Chautauqua Prize.

Phil Klay and Claudia Rankine among finalists for PEN literary awards

The PEN American Center awards annual prizes in a number of categories, including essays, science writing, first books and books in translation.

T.S. Eliot’s American childhood

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

The best poetry for April

Mark Doty, Marge Piercy and Charles Simic offer notable new collections.

‘At the Water’s Edge,’ by Sara Gruen

Drama and intrigue fill the new novel from the author of “Like Water for Elephants.”

Washington Post Bestsellers April 19, 2015

The books Washington has been reading.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

‘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.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Jonathan Franzen, will you sign my Kindle?

A new Web site called Bound & Dedicated helps readers share the stories behind their favorite signed books.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Gallaudet University makes Shakespeare speak in fresh ways

The university’s “Eyes on Shakespeare” exhibit will emphasize the rich visual content of the Bard’s work in October 2016.

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.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

Never mind that all of the characters are dead, ‘The Dirty Dust’ is full of life

Set in an Irish cemetery, Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s comic novel brings colorful voices from the great beyond.

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.

Carlos Lozada

Carlos Lozada

Do we still need libraries?

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

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

When Google is your librarian and Starbucks your WiFi, do we still need public libraries?

When Google is your librarian and Starbucks your WiFi, do we still need libraries? Book review of “BiblioTech” by John Palfrey

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.