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Ghosts

Roger Clarke tells this and many other gloriously weird stories with real verve, and also a kind of narrative authority that tends to constrain the skeptical voice within.


The Poet and the Vampyre: The Curse of Byron and the Birth of Literature's Greatest Monsters

Stott’s narrative is fluid, informative and stylish, offering uncommon insight into Claire and Polidori, who were misguided and overmatched.


The Immortal Evening: A Legendary Dinner with Keats, Wordsworth, and Lamb

In Plumly’s graceful prose and propulsive storytelling, the Romantics come alive for us as creative forces and, perhaps more remarkably, as endearing, complex, authentic individuals.


A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel

“A Brief History of Seven Killings” eventually takes on a mesmerizing power. It makes its own kind of music, not like Marley’s, but like the tumult he couldn’t stop.


The Children Act

Death, youth and music are the subjects of this beautifully compact novel.


Three Hundred Million

Fiction’s ability to reveal the fallibility of language is nothing new. What Butler offers is, curiously enough, something religion posits: language is inadequate to capture existence.


The Betrayers: A Novel

Altogether, this is a very good read, confirming David Bezmozgis as a writer to follow with interest.


The Secret History of Wonder Woman

It’s a lot to pack in. But Ms. Lepore, as if piloting an invisible jet of her own in gusty weather, brings everything in for an only slightly bumpy landing.


J: A Novel

It’s never dull and always has the reader turning the pages. It ask us to look ourselves and who we are and our place in the world.


Hitler's First Victims: The Quest for Justice

Hitler’s First Victims is meticulously researched and highly respectful of the victims described and the man behind the argument of collective guilt.


The Republic of Imagination: America in Three Books

The Republic of Imagination is at its best with Nafisi's vociferous arguments for the importance of literature.


A Possibility of Violence

This is a fairly straightforward story, undramatic but compelling.


Land of Dreams

Land of Dreams is a nice close to Ellie's tale but I do recommend reading at least City of Hope beforehand.


Nobody's Child

Nobody's Child is a moving read, at once both the personal story of Adie and her interviewees, and also a damning account of the difficulties foundlings have faced, and still continue to face. It's a book to make you angry, but also one filled with hope.


The Art of the English Murder: From Jack the Ripper and Sherlock Holmes to Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock

The Art of the English Murder is a great way to sit down and reflect on the ever-changing novel and society’s influence on those changes.


Lila

Lila might not quite match Gilead or Housekeeping, but it’s a gentle, peaceful read nonetheless.


Ebola: The Natural and Human History of a Deadly Virus

Mr. Quammen — like the journalist Laurie Garrett in her illuminating and encyclopedic book “The Coming Plague” — shows in these pages that the reality of the virus is horrifying without any apocalyptic embellishment.


Florence Gordon

He manages to be moving without ever being sappy, showing how people can affect each other deeply while remaining stubbornly — wonderfully — themselves.


Not My Father's Son

There is no discounting the visceral punch of Cumming’s father-son face-offs, but one wishes the author had devoted a portion of “Not My Father’s Son” to exploring the roots of his father’s pathology.