Recent Reviews

The ministry of hilarity

John Cleese recounts his life and career up to and including the Monty Python phenomenon.

Young America’s love of the French

Francois Furstenberg recounts the tale of Frenchmen who influenced life in early America.

What makes Berlin Berlin?

Three books on the people who have shaped and reshaped the city.

For the love of data

Talking romance and algorithms with OKCupid co-founder and president Christian Rudder.

Elsa Schiaparelli, after a fashion

Fact-laden biography gives little insight into the woman and even less into her designs.

BREAKING: Hogwarts Professor Umbridge is half-Muggle

This morning, J.K. Rowling posted several new items on her Pottermore website.

Denis Johnson remakes thrill in ‘The Laughing Monsters’

A NATO intelligence agent and a soldier of fortune team up in a tangled ad­ven­ture in West Africa.

We quoth ‘The Raven’ evermore

Edgar Allan Poe’s creepy poem has been flying high for almost 170 years.

‘The Poet and the Vampyre’

“The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature’s Greatest Monsters,”

‘Yes Please,’ by Amy Poehler

A memoir by the always honest, always hilarious star of ‘Parks and Recreation’

August Kleinzahler is coming to D.C.

He’ll be the next guest for “The Life of a Poet” at the Hill Center on Nov. 4.

Amy Poehler, Tina Fey and Mindy Kaling’s thoughts on stress

All three addressed the in ways that seem very in tune with their personalities.

‘Horrorstör’ a tale of terror in flat-pack furniture land

Can the frightened employees of this haunted Scandinavian-inspired store survive the night?

Old horror stories with the power to haunt modern readers

In time for Halloween, three new anthologies of 19th-century ghost stories and detective tales.

Review: ‘Prince Lestat,’ by Anne Rice

Anne Rice returns to her lush world of beautiful, hedonistic undead.

10 signs that she’s a witch

A helpful quiz to find out if there’s a witch in your midst.

An optimistic future in William Gibson’s ‘The Peripheral’

From the author of “Spook Country,” a fictional future starring a plucky female gamer with 3D printing skills.

Book review: ‘The New Annotated H.P. Lovecraft’

Twenty-two tales from the master of horror.

Mallory Ortberg on ‘Texts from Jane Eyre’

OMG! An interview with satirist Mallory Ortberg.

Levar Burton reads the most expletive-filled bedtime story you’ve ever heard

Burton brought his unique charm to a request leveled, in one way or another, by all sleep-deprived parents.

History of English murder is a light read

“The Art of the English Murder” is entertaining, but Lucy Worsley could have used more historical sources.

Glory was his own reward

Laura Auricchio recounts the life of Lafayette, his desire for glory, and his contributions to the American cause.

What makes nations succeed and fail?

Francis Fukuyama explores the essential characteristics of a successful liberal democracy.

Living in the vice district of Storyville

Gary Krist brings to life the New Orleans’ prostitutes, musicians and murderous dangers in early 1900s.

Gauging Latinos’ political clout

Matt Barreto and Gary Segura provide a data-driven analysis of the emerging Latino voting bloc.

In search of the origins of ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’

As the Halloween classic turns 48, we learn the inside scoop on the “Peanuts” gang.

Harry Potter nemesis to get new life on Halloween

Dolores Umbridge will be the subject of a new short story from J.K. Rowling

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.

Washington Post Bestsellers Oct. 26, 2014

The books Washington has been reading.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

BREAKING: Hogwarts Professor Umbridge is half-Muggle

This morning, J.K. Rowling posted several new items on her Pottermore website.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

We quoth ‘The Raven’ evermore

Edgar Allan Poe’s creepy poem has been flying high for almost 170 years.

The Style Blog

Ron Charles

August Kleinzahler is coming to D.C.

He’ll be the next guest for “The Life of a Poet” at the Hill Center on Nov. 4.

Michael Dirda

Michael Dirda

‘The Poet and the Vampyre’

“The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature’s Greatest Monsters,”

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.

Jonathan Yardley

Jonathan Yardley

Glory was his own reward

Laura Auricchio recounts the life of Lafayette, his desire for glory, and his contributions to the American cause.

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.

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.