Recent Reviews

Lily King wins first Kirkus Fiction Prize

New Yorker Cartoonist Roz Chast takes the nonfiction prize.

On behalf of wronged defendants

In a new memoir, Bryan Stevenson recounts his efforts to reverse glaring mistakes in criminal justice cases.

Book World: ‘Beautiful You’ by Chuck Palahniuk

From the author of “Fight Club,” a new novel on female sexual pleasure — and how it can be manipulated.

Jodi Picoult: Elephants should not be in zoos -- period.

The bestselling author of “Leaving Time” joins with PETA to raise alarm about the treatment of elephants.

Finalists for $75,000 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature

Gary Bass, Richard Overy and David Von Reybrouck are competing for the $75,000 award.

Michael Dirda reviews ‘Limonov’ by Emmanuel Carrère

The adventures of Eduard Limonov: best-selling writer, butler, tailor and “professional revolutionary.”

‘Us’: A fractured family’s trip into parenthood’s regrets

Author David Nicholls paints a picture of a summer holiday sprinkled with as much humor as tragedy.

Scott McCloud a gifted emcee for ‘Best American Comics’

The guest editor corrals the industry’s “usual suspects” and new stars alike while illuminating cultural shifts.

Three new sci-fi books to rattle your October

Novels by Jonathan Carroll, John Twelve Hawks and R.S. Belcher

A literary quest by the author of ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’

‘Read it,’ writes Jane Smiley, ‘it will do you good.’

Lincoln through editors’ eyes

Harold Holzer examines the newspapers’ role in Lincoln’s rise

Book review: John Grisham’s ‘Gray Mountain’

A lawyer must choose between nonprofit legal work in Appalachia and a high-priced firm in New York.

Book review: ‘One Lucky Bastard’ by Roger Moore

In a new memoir, the former James Bond kisses and tells (kind of).

The view from inside the crematory

Caitlin Doughty describes her horrible and humorous life as a worker inside a crematory.

An elusive Senate leader

Alec MacGillis portrays Sen. Mitch McConnell’s hard-ball tactics and intense Republican partisanship.

The confusion of an historic hurricane

Adam Sobel and Kathryn Miles reveal the science and human tragedies of Hurricane Sandy in separate books.

Beer drinking your way through ages

William Bostwick takes readers on a personal tour of beer-making and tasting over the past 5000 years.

Soldier’s best friend

In “War Dogs,” Rebecca Frankel writes about dogs at war and the humans who handle them.

How women gained control of pregnancy

Jonathan Eig explores the medical and cultural journey toward the creation of the birth-control pill.

Book Review: ‘Tinseltown’ by William J. Mann

New clues — and new theories — in a long unsolved Hollywood murder mystery.

The wicked new alphabet book you must get

Oliver Jeffers’s “Once Upon an Alphabet” spells i-r-r-e-s-i-s-t-i-b-l-e.

Book review: ‘The Day of Atonement’ by David Liss

Pupil of one of historical fiction’s ‘most compelling action heroes’ stars in a twisty tale in 18th-century Lisbon.

No, “The Hurt Locker” movie is not based on that poem

War poet Brian Turner has never claimed credit for the movie’s title, but people keep insisting his poem was the inspiration.

Grab a seat at the table for an “Immortal Evening”

Stanley Plumly’s new book lets readers in on a dinner whose guests include Keats and Wordsworth.

Opening the lid on the Container Store

CEO Kip Tindell: “Life’s too short for opaque people.“

National Book Awards finalists announced

The finalists include Pulitzer Prize winners Marilynne Robinson and E.O. Wilson and former U.S. Poet Laureate Louise Glück.

Book review: ‘J’ by Howard Jacobson a vision of anti-Semitism without end

This chilling tale of our anti-Semitic future was shortlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize.

Zilpha Keatley Snyder, celebrated children’s author, dies

“The Egypt Game” and other prize-winning books led readers into the terrain between fantasy and reality.

Short story collections to dive into this fall

Paul Theroux, David Guterson and Tony Earley have each turned out accomplished literary anthologies

Book review: ‘Leaving Time’ by Jodi Picoult

The bestselling author’s new novel explores maternal love, loss — and elephants.

Richard Flanagan wins Man Booker Prize

“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” describes the building of the Thailand-Burma Death Railway during World War II.

James Salter to be honored at Fitzgerald Festival

This year’s theme is “Literature and War.”

‘The Lives of Others,’ by Neel Mukherjee

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, Mukherjee’s novel describes an Indian family shaken by revolution.

How these 10 fossils explain life on Earth

In a new book, the origin of life on our planet is revealed through fossils.

New $25,000 prize for Catholic literary arts

The George W. Hunt Prize is funded by former Major League Baseball commissioner Fay Vincent.

‘Tehran Noir’ is more gray than black

In this anthology of short stories from Iran, the strongest contributors happen to be women.

Carolyn Kizer, poet with feminist point of view, dies at 89

Ms. Kizer, who won the Pulitzer Prize, often wrote about women’s concerns in her formally precise poetry.

Fundraiser put on highway to the danger zone

Celebrated writers delivered a short reading on the perilous theme during the PEN/Faulkner event.

How market fundamentalists got it all wrong

Edward Kleinbard and Jeff Madrick offer differing views to debunk the belief in the market-guided fixes.

Washington Post Bestsellers Oct. 12,2014

The books Washington has been reading.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Lily King wins first Kirkus Fiction Prize

New Yorker Cartoonist Roz Chast takes the nonfiction prize.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Jodi Picoult: Elephants should not be in zoos -- period.

The bestselling author of “Leaving Time” joins with PETA to raise alarm about the treatment of elephants.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

Finalists for $75,000 Cundill Prize in Historical Literature

Gary Bass, Richard Overy and David Von Reybrouck are competing for the $75,000 award.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda reviews ‘Limonov’ by Emmanuel Carrère

The adventures of Eduard Limonov: best-selling writer, butler, tailor and “professional revolutionary.”

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

Grab a seat at the table for an “Immortal Evening”

Stanley Plumly’s new book lets readers in on a dinner whose guests include Keats and Wordsworth.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘The Complete Cosmicomics,’ by Italo Calvino

The early history of the universe is retold as a series of unhappy love affairs and old family legends.

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

Soldier’s best friend

In “War Dogs,” Rebecca Frankel writes about dogs at war and the humans who handle them.

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

The beginning of the tabloid age in politics

In “All the Truth Is Out,” Matt Bai chronicles the rise of the modern political scandal.

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

‘Embattled Rebel:’ A leader in defeat

James M. McPherson examines Jefferson Davis’s record as Confederate commander in chief.

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.