Current Events

An American Sickness
How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back

By Elisabeth Rosenthal

An authoritative account of the distorted financial incentives that now drive medical care in the United States.

Penguin Press

Review: Gruesome tales from a dysfunctional health-care system


American War

By Omar El Akkad

When climate change sparks a devastating civil war in the United States in the late 21st century, one young woman fights to avenge her family's destruction.


Review: ‘American War’ follows today’s vitriol to a dystopian future


Anything Is Possible

By Elizabeth Strout

In these short stories, Strout returns to Amgash, Ill., where the protagonist of her 2016 novel, “My Name Is Lucy Barton,” was raised.

Random House

Review: ‘Anything Is Possible’ demonstrates what Elizabeth Strout does best


The Blood of Emmett Till

By Timothy B. Tyson

Tyson clears away the myths that have accumulated over the decades and restores the immediacy of this quintessentially American tragedy.

Simon & Schuster

Review: Finally we hear from the white woman who drew Emmett Till’s wolf whistle


A Book of American Martyrs

By Joyce Carol Oates

An explosive story about the family of an abortion doctor and the family of the man who murdered him.


Review: Joyce Carol Oates’s new novel arrives splattered with our country’s hot blood



By Jeff VanderMeer

In a ruined city littered with discarded biotech experiments, a young woman finds a strange life form that she decides to raise.


Review: ‘Borne’ is the latest dazzling novel from New Weird author Jeff VanderMeer


The Bright Hour
A Memoir of Living and Dying

By Nina Riggs

Written in the final two years of her life, a mother's poignant memoir about her life, family and last days.

Simon & Schuster

Review: A dying mother’s memoir is this year’s ‘When Breath Becomes Air’


Ernest Hemingway
A Biography

By Mary V. Dearborn

This thorough reexamination of Hemingway shows the writer to be a more troubled, complex and tragic figure than most previous biographies have allowed.


Review: Ernest Hemingway: The man behind the cultivated image of hyper-masculinity


The Evangelicals
The Struggle to Shape America

By Frances FitzGerald

FitzGerald shows how a movement that began in reaction to the Calvinist establishment of New England shaped American identity in the first decades of the 19th century.

Simon & Schuster

Review: How Trump breathed new life into the cultural war waged by evangelicals


Exit West

By Mohsin Hamid

Two Middle Eastern lovers fleeing the migrant crisis arrive in California, where they must contend with natives, other refugees and their grief for what they have left behind.


Review: ‘Exit West,’ by Mohsin Hamid, is a tale of love in the time of migration

Social Science

Homo Deus
A Brief History of Tomorrow

By Yuval Noah Harari

Harari presents three possible futures: In one, humans are expendable. In a second, the elite upgrade themselves, becoming another species that sees everyone else as expendable. In a third, we all join the hive mind.


Review: In a robot showdown, humanity may happily surrender


A Memoir of (My) Body

By Roxane Gay

From the author of "Bad Feminist," a long-awaited memoir about her struggles with weight and childhood traumas.


Review: Roxane Gay decided to write about being overweight. It took her to some painful places.

Current Events

An American Story

By Amy Goldstein

A poignant account of how the people of Janesville, Wis., reacted to the closure of their local General Motors plant.

Simon & Schuster

Review: How workers coped after GM shuttered its Janesville plant


Architect of American Liberty

By John B. Boles

Perhaps the finest one-volume biography of an American president.


Review: The complex Thomas Jefferson in his place and time


Killers of the Flower Moon
The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI

By David Grann

For present-day Osage communities, the events related in “Killers of the Flower Moon” are not last century’s news but yesterday’s. Many members of the tribe still wonder what exactly happened to their relatives.


Review: David Grann solves outrages against native Americans on Osage lands

Pop Culture

The Last Giant of Late Night

By Jason Zinoman

A definitive and enjoyable biography of the late-night legend and why he was better at his job than Jay Leno.


Review: Why Letterman surpassed Leno as a comic and talk show host


Lincoln in the Bardo

By George Saunders

When President Lincoln's 11-year-old son, Willie, is laid to rest in Georgetown’s Oak Hill Cemetery, the ghosts engage in a spirited debate about how to move the boy along to the next level of existence.

Random House

Review: ‘Lincoln in the Bardo’ arises from a tragic footnote in American history

Mysteries & Thrillers

The Long Drop

By Denise Mina

Based on the true story of Scotland’s most infamous serial killer, a chilling novel set in 1950s Glasgow.

Litttle, Brown

Review: Denise Mina looks inside the mind of a psychopath in her chilling novel ‘The Long Drop’


Madame President
The Extraordinary Journey of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

By Helene Cooper

A penetrating history of Liberia and the story of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who became the first woman elected president of an African nation.

Simon & Schuster

Review: Madame President': The Rise of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf


The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

By Arundhati Roy

In her first novel since "The God of Small Things" (1997), Roy draws us through a kaleidoscopic story about the struggle for Kashmir's independence.


Review: We waited 20 years for her follow-up to ‘The God of Small Things.’ It was worth it.

Current Events

No One Cares About Crazy People
The Chaos and Heartbreak of Mental Health in America

By Ron Powers

Powers argues that the future of mental health in the United States is being shaped along two trajectories: a flourishing research enterprise juxtaposed with a chaotic system of delivering care.


Review: A family's and a nation's struggle with mental illness


No One Is Coming to Save Us

By Stephanie Powell Watts

In a North Carolina town ground down by factory closings, an African American family struggles to survive. Then a handsome young man returns home promising to make a new life and lift them up.


Review: ‘No One Is Coming to Save Us’: ‘Gatsby’ gets a revolutionary reboot


Norse Mythology

By Neil Gaiman

Gaiman transmutes the tales of ancient Scandinavia into expertly paced short stories for the 21st century.


Review: Neil Gaiman's suspenseful and surprising 'Norse Mythology'

Mysteries & Thrillers

Not a Sound

By Heather Gudenkauf

Two years after losing her hearing, a nurse discovers the corpse of a co-worker in the woods near her Minnesota cabin -- and realizes her life is in jeopardy.

Park Row

Review: ‘Not a Sound’: A thriller worth staying up all night to finish

Current Events

On Tyranny
Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century

By Timothy Snyder

Steeped in the history of interwar Germany, Snyder writes with bracing immediacy about how to prevent, or at least forestall, the repression of lives and minds.

Tim Duggan

Review: 20 ways to recognize tyranny -- and fight it


Option B
Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy

By Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant

Sandberg, whose husband died in 2015, illustrates with heartbreaking honesty that nothing can inoculate you against the pain of grief.


Review: Sheryl Sandberg becomes a most unlikely Every Widow

Pop Culture

The Poetry of Pop

By Adam Bradley

Are pop music lyrics poetry? A tour of musical history that gets to the bottom of this age-old question.


Review: What makes song lyrics poetry?



By Patricia Lockwood

Poet Patricia Lockwood's darkly comic memoir about returning home to her parents’ house in Kansas, where she is forced to reassess her relationship with her eccentric father, a married Catholic priest.


Review: Best memoirs to read this month


Richard Nixon
The Life

By John A. Farrell

By employing recently released government documents and oral histories, Farrell has written the best one-volume, cradle-to-grave biography that we could expect about such a famously elusive subject.


Review: Deepening the complexity of Richard Nixon from newly released material


Rising Star
The Making of Barack Obama

By David Garrow

Garrow shows us the calculations Obama made in the decades leading up to his winning the presidency.

William Morrow

Review: Before Michelle, Barack Obama asked another woman to marry him. Then politics got in the way.


Robert Lowell
Setting the River on Fire

By Kay Redfield Jamison

There are no half measures to Kay Redfield Jamison’s medico-biographical study of poet Robert Lowell. It is impassioned, intellectually thrilling and often beautifully written.


Review: Kay Redfield Jamison puts Robert Lowell on the couch in an exhilarating biography


Saints for All Occasions

By J. Courtney Sullivan

Two Irish sisters come to America. One begins a family and the other becomes a cloistered nun, but their very different lives remain tethered by a fateful deception.


Review: J. Courtney Sullivan’s ‘Saints for All Occasions’ is this year’s best book about family

Mysteries & Thrillers

Since We Fell

By Dennis Lehane

Lehane’s 14th novel, which takes the author back to his old New England stomping grounds of “Mystic River,” is a pleasantly twisted character study of a disgraced television journalist who shoots her second husband in the first scene.


Review: Dennis Lehane’s ‘Since We Fell’ takes us into the heart of a tormented woman


The Skin Above My Knee

By Marcia Butler

How did this distinguished oboist save herself from a detached, withholding mother and a sexually abusive father? In this insightful memoir, she reveals the answer and more.

Little, Brown

Review: ‘The Skin Above My Knee,’ by Marcia Butler


Standard Deviation

By Katherine Heiny

At the center of this witty novel on family life is a mother with an outsize personality who must deal with things such as a son who's an origami prodigy.


Review: Looking for a blissful summer novel? Here it is: ‘Standard Deviation’


The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley

By Hannah Tinti

A widower with a violent criminal past moves into a small Maine fishing town hoping to establish a safe space for his daughter, who gradually learns the stories behind her father's 12 bullet scars.


Review: A thriller with heart: Hannah Tinti’s ‘The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley’


Woman No. 17

By Edan Lepucki

A mother of two boys hires a nanny so that she can work on her memoir, but the nanny has a secret project of her own.


Review: The trouble with the bad mother memoir

Editors’ picks

John Grisham buries rare books in his backyard.

The best-selling thriller writer looks back after publishing 30 novels.

Your favorite authors reveal what they're reading this summer.

Picks by Ann Patchett, Colson Whitehead, Jodi Piccoult, Tana French and more.

Amor Towles tries to get 'Middlemarch' past airport security.

A book tour encompassing 25 states and scores of flights sweetens the anticipation of lounging and drifting away into fiction.

Audiobooks to keep the kids from driving you crazy in the car.

A librarian’s picks for the best on-the-road listening adventures.

7 graphic novels you'll love this summer.

Archie,’ ‘Wonder Woman’ and other recommendations from Michael Cavna.

Retreats where you can write your own bestseller.

When you’re ready to move from summer reading to summer writing