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Bad Luck Girl

Callie's age puts this series a bit on the younger side of teen fantasy, in my opinion, but it's no less enjoyable even for someone my age.


Wonderland

Her novel is a reminder of how much art is awash in insecurity and instability.


Michael Jackson, Inc.: The Rise, Fall, and Rebirth of a Billion-Dollar Empire

The story comes to an abrupt end, with an unsatisfying coda — but that’s more the fault of Michael Jackson’s life and times than of his latest biographer.


A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man

Here’s hoping “A Man Called Destruction” can join the 2012 documentary “Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me” to restore Chilton to his rightful place in the rock-and-roll firmament.


The Scorpion's Sting: Antislavery and the Coming of the Civil War

“The Scorpion’s Sting” offers the best explication of the long history by which Americans embraced the legitimacy of military emancipation, and it offers great insight into the debate over which took precedence: the natural right to property or the natural right to freedom.


Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace

“Cubed” still ends up feeling more like a grind than a pleasure.


The Second Amendment: A Biography

Radical gun advocates, I think, believe their vision of liberty is worth this price in fear and blood. They claim that their preference is rooted in America’s history, but it is not: Their minds would not be changed even by a book better than this one.


Mr Mercedes

It is a rich, resonant, exceptionally readable accomplishment by a man who can write in whatever genre he chooses. James M. Cain, who knew a thing or two about this sort of story, would probably have agreed.


Delicious!: A Novel

The characters in “Delicious!” seem to know how to find pleasure in the face of struggles, darkness and loss.


Here Comes the Night: The Dark Soul of Bert Berns and the Dirty Business of Rhythm and Blues

Selvin’s tale may be too crowded with characters, but he tells a lot of good stories. He also rights a historical injustice, shining a light on an overshadowed great man and deepening our understanding of a history we continue to dance to.


The Lost Art of Dress: The Women Who Once Made America Stylish

Her remedial book is most delightfully and fragrantly packed.


The Divorce Papers: A Novel

In a story told entirely through correspondence, the tone of affectation can be monotonous and overbearing, no matter how witty the quips.


Love, Nina: A Nanny Writes Home

This book seems to have been written specifically for me.


Save the Date: The Occasional Mortifications of a Serial Wedding Guest

Doll’s own story — a good one — lays out a disruptive new path, even if it’s wrapped in a traditional package.


Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World-from the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief

Tom Zoellner’s “Train: Riding the Rails That Created the Modern World — From the Trans-Siberian to the Southwest Chief” is an engaging attempt to recapture the power and poetry of train travel.


But Enough About You: Essays

Perhaps he spends hours meticulously crafting each bon mot, but what he conveys in his work is the image of an assured writer amusing himself at the keyboard, expansively waving the reader over to join in the fun.


Casebook: A novel

For readers of Simpson’s more skillful novels, who presumably learned these particular lessons long ago, it’s not clear what “Casebook” has to teach.


Do Fathers Matter?

He writes clearly, untangling cause from effect, noting probabilities and inserting caveats. Preferring to claim too little rather than too much, he is an ideal guide to tricky, uncertain research in a nascent field.


Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China

His "Age of Ambition" is by far the most thoughtful and well-crafted work on China written by an American journalist in recent years.


My Struggle: Book 3

Clear and quick, these childhood anecdotes are riveting in spite of occasionally repetitious wording. If Knausgaard keeps this up, the series' final three volumes will be fit for devouring.