Recent Reviews

In ‘The Sunken Cathedral,’ Kate Walbert evokes Virginia Woolf

This novel follows the lives of two female octogenarians in a New York on the verge of catastrophe.

The best children’s books for June

‘My Pen,’ ‘The Blue Whale’ and ‘Return to Augie Hobble’

‘The Fifth Heart,’ by Dan Simmons

In this beguiling mystery, Sherlock Holmes teams up with Henry James.

Washington ranks No. 1 in print book purchases

Amazon announces annual list of the most well-read cities in America

An Algerian novelist takes on Camus in ‘The Meursault Investigation’

Kamel Daoud’s new book looks at “The Stranger” from the view of the murdered Arab’s fictional brother.

New ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from Christian’s point of view

EL James will publish a sequel to her bestselling trilogy on June 18.

Writers of New York great and small

Bill Keys writes poems for anyone about anything in Washington Square Park.

‘The Scarlet Gospels,’ by Clive Barker

Occult detective Harry D’Amour confronts another denizen of hell.

Rita Mae Brown, awarded as pioneer of lesbian literature, scoffs at the term

“I love language, I love literature, I love history, and I’m not even remotely interested in being gay.”

An Ivy League psychotherapist’s guide to healthier bromances

In “Breaking the Male Code,” Robert Garfield urges men to form closer friendships with one another.

Two good friends, and a third guy

Kevin M. Schultz explores the relationship between William F. Buckley and Norman Mailer.

Where women endured the horrors of the Nazi regime

Sarah Helm describes life in Hitler’s concentration camp for women.

Baseball’s best manager and most unpredictable man

Bill Pennington chronicles the brawling baseball life of the Yankees’ Billy Martin.

A near-perfect rescue

In “Rescue at Los Banos,” Bruce Henderson chronicles a little-known episode of military skill.

An education in gaming

In “The Game Believes in You,” Greg Toppo argues on behalf of video games as an educational tool.

Ruing the end of America’s glory days in space

Margaret Lazarus Dean meditates on the closing days of U.S. manned space flight.

‘Mark Rothko: Toward the Light in the Chapel,’ by Annie Cohen-Solal

An admirable attempt to construct a coherent framework around what is undeniably a complicated life.

A curious tour of office supplies in ‘The Perfection of the Paper Clip’

How the stapler came to be and other tales of invention and accidental genius in James Ward’s new book

Imagining a thirsty future in Paolo Bacigalupi’s ‘The Water Knife’

The author of ‘The Windup Girl’ provides another frightening vision of our future climate crisis.

‘Nabokov in America’ looks at how U.S. shaped novelist

Robert Roper’s new book focuses on Vladi­mir Nabokov’s time in the United States and how it influenced his work.

‘The Making of Zombie Wars’ goes beyond the undead

A brainy, madcap novel from Aleksandar Hemon.

A surgeon confesses his mistakes, and other best memoirs for May

Reviews of “Do No Harm,” “Under the Same Sky” and “Everything You Ever Wanted.”

Harold Bloom takes on 12 American greats in ‘The Daemon Knows’

At 84, the renowned literary scholar and critic delivers pronoucements on Emerson, Melville and other masters.

Worried that literature has no future? ‘Be chill. Don’t fret.’

The new issue of One Teen Story features a tale by 16-year-old Lily Dodd.

Book World: ‘Finders Keepers’ by Stephen King

From the master, a suspenseful, poignant tale about a dissatisfied reader who exacts revenge.

‘Spinglish,’ by Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf

A dictionary of the deliberately deceptive language of politicians, generals and other powerful people.

Why we may never have a millennial president

In ‘Running From Office,’ Jennifer L. Lawless and Richard L. Fox explain why young people disdain politics.

Amid horrors in captivity, two women find hope

Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus recount their years of abuse after their kidnapping by Ariel Castro.

Playing crucial roles in Northern Ireland, Middle East and the MLB

George Mitchell recounts his life as senator and key negotiator on important issues in 1980s and ‘90s.

The land-grabber

In “Jacksonland,” Steve Inskeep tells the story of how Andrew Jackson turned on his former Cherokee allies.

The Law of the land

How geographical differences influence our views on the Constitution.

Westerners with sharp pens

In ‘All the Wild That Remains,’ David Gessner illuminates two great writers on the American West.

‘Billie Holiday: The Musician and the Myth’ by John Szwed

A music scholar takes a new look at the troubled life and the beautiful art of an American master.

‘The Silver Swan,” by Elena Delbanco

A perfectly tuned story about classical music and those who play it.

Behind the making of a super bomb

Kenneth W. Ford recounts his role in the invention of the hydrogen bomb.

‘Only the Strong,’ by Jabari Asim

An affecting, touching story about the way black people live in St. Louis.

A great leadership reading list — without any business books on it

Here’s a rundown of books that prominent leaders recommend, none of which you’ll find on the business shelf.

‘Born Bad’: How the idea that we’re all sinners has shaped Western culture

James Boyce’s comprehensive social history traces original sin through the ages.

‘The Richard Peabody Reader’

His journal Gargoyle served as an incubator for two generations of writers.

Kent Haruf’s posthumous novel offers a tender look at love in the twilight

“Our Souls at Night”: A quiet yet bold tale about what older folks are allowed to expect from their lives

Washington Post Bestsellers May 31, 2015

The books Washington has been reading.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

In ‘The Sunken Cathedral,’ Kate Walbert evokes Virginia Woolf

This novel follows the lives of two female octogenarians in a New York on the verge of catastrophe.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Washington ranks No. 1 in print book purchases

Amazon announces annual list of the most well-read cities in America

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

New ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ from Christian’s point of view

EL James will publish a sequel to her bestselling trilogy on June 18.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘Nabokov in America’ looks at how U.S. shaped novelist

Robert Roper’s new book focuses on Vladi­mir Nabokov’s time in the United States and how it influenced his work.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘Born Bad’: How the idea that we’re all sinners has shaped Western culture

James Boyce’s comprehensive social history traces original sin through the ages.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

The coldly brilliant crime novel ‘GBH,’ by Ted Lewis

A rediscovered work by the British noir writer is as alluring as it is disturbing.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

The time George H.W. Bush got bored at a conference and made up dirty limericks about world leaders

During a 1990 Paris meeting, the president penned limericks about Helmut Kohl, Margaret Thatcher and others, writes his former chief of staff.

Carlos Lozada

Carlos Lozada

An Ivy League psychotherapist’s guide to healthier bromances

In “Breaking the Male Code,” Robert Garfield urges men to form closer friendships with one another.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

What Dennis Hastert’s memoir reveals about his years as a high school teacher and coach

In his 2004 book, the former House speaker recalls teaching values, traveling with the wrestling team, and the consequences of lying.

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.