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Louisa Catherine: The Other Mrs. Adams

Readers will nonetheless be grateful for this fascinating, if partial, portrait of an exceptional woman, and regret that its talented author fell ­silent too soon.

The Hard Way on Purpose: Essays and Dispatches from the Rust Belt

A region on the mend has found its voice, and he’s wearing an ironic bowling shirt — with his actual name embroidered on the patch.

And the Dark Sacred Night: A Novel

“And the Dark Sacred Night” echoes a culture that has taken perhaps too many photos of itself near bodies of water, grouped around roasted birds, amid carpets full of spent wrapping paper, flanking someone in a mortar board — a pre-formatted, self-congratulatory notion of family


Readable and enjoyable as it is, “Decoded” cannot compare in moral profundity to the short fiction of Lu Xun, the novellas of Eileen Chang or, more recently, the poetry of Liu Xiaobo.

Frog Music: A Novel

“Frog Music” refuses to come to life, quietly collapsing under the weight of its own tedium.

Love and Treasure

Waldman’s book employs a talismanic object as a silent witness to history’s atrocities. Perhaps because of this, despite the novel’s admirable narrative velocity, the quietest moments of “Love and Treasure” are its most powerful.

Acts of God

The stories in “Acts of God” are great postcards from the world of Ellen Gilchrist. It’s a world of war and strife and surprises, and it is, yes, marvelous to behold.

John Quincy Adams

This is a valuable book about an important American figure whose persistent high dudgeon may have lessened his capacity to play the conventional political game of his time but ultimately rendered him a formidable personage of American political philosophy.

The Word Exchange: A Novel

As much fun as Graedon has with her Borgesian doomsday scenario, her novel folds serious meditations on language and society into its manhunt.

All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel

This new novel imagines the unseen grace, the unseen light that, occasionally, surprisingly, breaks to the surface even in the worst of times.

Thunderstruck & Other Stories

Let's not forget the meticulous qualities of McCracken's sinuous prose, or the ingenuity of her plots.

Casebook: A novel

"Casebook" is about a mother's legacy to her son - important life lessons, well learned.

Forcing the Spring: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality

Like the litigation it chronicles, "Forcing the Spring" delivers a lot but ultimately falls short of its promise. It is less the tale of a revolution than the definitive account of one memorable sally in an unfinished crusade.

The Last Pirate: A Father, His Son, and the Golden Age of Marijuana

Dokoupil ultimately starts to learn the lesson that every disappointed son learns about his dad, whether that dad moved mountains of marijuana into this country or not: that his failings, however unforgivable, are what make him a human being.

Can't and Won't

There’s a fine line between boredom and enlightenment, however, and Davis walks it beguilingly.

Love Life

Read Rob Lowe’s second autobiography, and you will be well entertained.

The Noble Hustle: Poker, Beef Jerky, and Death

It’s clever and entertaining, and Whitehead employs entertaining throw-away lines that make you think but not too hard: “Memory is the past with volume control, turn it up, turn it down.”

All That Is Solid Melts into Air

A leisurely paced novel intended for those who like serious and thoughtful fiction.

Kirkus Reviews : Fallout (April 30, 2014)

Skillful, intelligent, always readable but this time less-persuasive work from an appealing author.

The Book of You

Nicely written novel with a plot that will strain reader credulity.