Recent Reviews

‘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

The best sci-fi and fantasy books for May

‘Uprooted,’ by Naomi Novik; ‘Seveneves,’ by Neal Stephenson; and ‘Gracekeepers,’ by Kirsty Logan.

Deborah Eisenberg wins PEN/Malamud Award

The annual $5,000 prize is given in honor of Bernard Malamud by the PEN/Faulkner Foundation in Washington.

A comprehensive study of a Nobel laureate

Zachary Leader’s “The Life of Saul Bellow” is stuffed with a staggering amount of detail about the novelist.

How to survive locking yourself out of your hotel room naked

A visual guide to laughing in the face of adversity.

Book review: Philip Kerr’s ‘The Lady from Zagreb’

Bernie Gunther, an investigator for the Nazis, returns in another superb thriller set in war-torn Europe.

Franz Wright, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, dies at 62

Mr. Wright, the son of renowned poet James Wright, wrote of his struggles with addiction and mental illness.

How Reagan created the age of Reagan

H.W. Brands shows how Reagan has driven public policy and shaped attitudes toward government’s role.

An address to the Commencement Speakers’ Class of 2015

Eight tips for delivering a uniquely forgettable and innocuous speech — just like the pros.

Details of Waterloo: Scenes of fighting, cooking and scavenging

Three books take a micro, colorful look at Napoleon’s final defeat at Waterloo.

When cancer levels life’s playing field

Tom Brokaw recounts his diagnosis and treatment of multiple myeloma.

The man who mistook his life for a blunder

Oliver Sacks chronicles the hilarious errors of his professional life and the fumbles in his private life.

Naturalists in paradise

John Hemming follows three British scientists who made significant discoveries in the Amazon.

The ghost at the New Mexico hotel

Hannah Nordhaus explores why her great-great-grandmother haunts a Santa Fe hotel

A musician slips into a kind of hipster retirement in ‘Know Your Beholder’

Adam Rapp’s novel follows the darkly comedic travails of a rocker turned attic-dwelling landlord.

How much more is there to know about the Grateful Dead?

David Browne’s “So Many Roads” reads like a live bootleg, digging into the band’s state of mind.

In ‘The Folded Clock,’ Heidi Julavits takes you inside her real/fake diary

More than a record of daily events, the book explores unexpected connections and coincidences

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

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

William Zinsser, author of the classic guide ‘On Writing Well,’ dies at 92

Mr. Zinsser, a onetime journalist and longtime teacher, taught generations how to write with clarity and vigor.

How can poems transform the world? A chat with poet Jane Hirshfield.

Poems ‘create larger fields of possibilities,’ says the author of ‘Ten Windows’ and ‘The Beauty.’

‘Mislaid’: Nell Zink’s subversive novel takes on racism and sexuality

A zany-brainy tale of a teenage lesbian who sleeps with a gay man. And that’s just the beginning.

Washington Post Bestsellers May 24, 2015

The books Washington has been reading.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

‘The Making of Zombie Wars’ goes beyond the undead

A brainy, madcap novel from Aleksandar Hemon.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

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.

Ron Charles

Ron Charles

‘Spinglish,’ by Henry Beard and Christopher Cerf

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

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.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘Man in Profile’ stirs controversy over the work of a New Yorker great

Thomas Kunkel’s biography of Joseph Mitchell suggests the writer embellished some of his nonfiction.

Carlos Lozada

Carlos Lozada

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.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

In a 2014 book, Josh Duggar admitted failures, temptations and ‘wrong thoughts’ as a teen

The reality TV star has apologized amid claims that he molested underage girls.

Book Party

Carlos Lozada

Mika Brzezinski has makeup tips for millennials

In her new book “Grow Your Value,” the MSNBC co-host tells the next generation how to make a better first impression.

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.