Claire Vaye Watkins
ISBN 978-1594634239
342 pages

Reviewed by Ron Charles

Feeling parched yet? Just wait. Earlier this year, NASA reported that more than half the world's largest aquifers are running down. ...Read more


Joby Warrick
ISBN 978-0385538213
344 pages

Reviewed by Jessica Stern

Much of the world awakened to the threat of the Islamic State in August 2014, after the organization began beheading foreign hostages on ...Read more

RECLAIMING CONVERSATION: The Power of Talk in a Digital Age

Sherry Turkle
ISBN 978-1594205552
436 pages

Reviewed by Carlos Lozada

You're at the dinner table, or in a meeting, or at a baseball game, or in the classroom, or in your bedroom, or at a bar or, yes, in the ...Read more

DEEP SOUTH: Four Seasons on Back Roads

Paul Theroux
Houghton Mifflin Harcout
ISBN 978-0544323520
441 pages

Reviewed by Jack Hitt

In Paul Theroux's new book,"Deep South," the superficial stereotypes pile up at once. In the first scene, it's a "hot Sunday ...Read more

DEATH IN FLORENCE: The Medici, Savonarola, and the Battle for the Soul of a Renaissance City

Paul Strathern
ISBN 978-1605988269
428 pages

Reviewed by Bruce Holsinger

Girolamo Savonarola, the great Dominican preacher of the 15th century and the scourge of the early modern papacy, has endured a mixed ...Read more

MY KITCHEN YEAR: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life

MY KITCHEN YEAR: 136 Recipes That Saved My LifeRuth Reichl
Random House
ISBN 978-1400069989
327 pages

HOW TO COOK A MOOSE: A Culinary MemoirKate Christensen
Islandport Press
ISBN 978-...Read more

NUTELLA WORLD: 50 Years of Innovation

Gigi Padovani
Rizzoli Ex Libris
ISBN 978-0847845859
308 pages

Reviewed by James Norton

There are certain brands that transcend mere product-hood. Through their intrinsic qualities and skillful marketing, they command...Read more

SHAKY GROUND: The Strange Saga of the U.S. Mortgage Giants

Bethany McLean
Columbia Global Reports
ISBN 978-0990976301
148 pages

Reviewed by Simon Johnson

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac haunt our financial system and threaten our economy. Or do they?

Bethany McLean has ...Read more

BUILDING ART: The Life and Work of Frank Gehry

Paul Goldberger
ISBN 978-0307701534
511 pages

Reviewed by Eric Wills

Last October, when a journalist at a news conference in Spain asked Frank Gehry whether his buildings were more about spectacle than function, ...Read more

KISSINGER: 1923-1968: The Idealist Volume 1

Niall Ferguson
Penguin Press
ISBN 978-0713998702
986 pages

Reviewed by Mario Del Pero

Niall Ferguson wants us to reject the stereotyped image of Henry Kissinger as a cynical, amoral realist. He'd like us to believe ...Read more

Captain Comics: 50 years of S.H.I.E.L.D., Nick Fury and over-the-top fandom

Books / Comic Books /

Happy birthday, S.H.I.E.L.D.!

Fifty years ago, Marvel's Stan Lee and Jack Kirby rode the wave of James Bond mania by taking an old World War II character, wrapping an espionage agency around him, and coming up with their own super-spy, "Nick Fury, Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D." The acronym stood for Supreme Headquarters International Espionage Law ...Read more


Ron Rash
ISBN 978-0062349316
252 pages

Reviewed by Howard Frank Mosher, whose new novel, "God's Kingdom," will be published in October.

When I turned 4, my father and my uncle, both teachers, began taking me ...Read more


Edited by Ann Goldstein. Translated from the Italian by Stuart Woolf, Ann Goldstein and others.
ISBN 978-0871404565
3008 pages

Reviewed by Michael Dirda, who is a regular book reviewer for The Washington Post ...Read more


Saul Black
St. Martin's
ISBN 978-1250057341
392 pages

Reviewed by Patrick Anderson, who frequently reviews mysteries and thrillers for The Washington Post's Book World.

After I summarized the plot of Saul Black's "...Read more


John Banville
ISBN 978-0385354264
256 pages

Reviewed by Jon Michaud, who is a novelist and the head librarian at the Center for Fiction.

Regular readers of the work of John Banville could be forgiven for ...Read more


Margaret Atwood
Nan A. Talese/Doubleday
ISBN 978-0385540353
308 pages

Reviewed by Ron Charles, who is the editor of The Washington Post's Book World. You can follow him on Twitter @RonCharles. His email address is ron....Read more

Peter Collier's 'Choosing Courage': Ordinary people, extraordinary things

Books / Books News /

"Choosing Courage Inspiring Stories of What It Means to Be a Hero" by Peter Collier; Artisan (226 pages, $18.95)

Open to any page of "Choosing Courage" and prepare to be awed at the ability of ordinary people to do extraordinary things. These tales of heroism take the reader from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan and to U.S. shores, where ...Read more

Get the paddles: Margaret Atwood's new novel in need of defibrillation

Books / Books News /

"The Heart Goes Last: A Novel" by Margaret Atwood; Nan A. Talese (320 pages, $26.95)

In the gritty initial chapters of Margaret Atwood's "The Heart Goes Last," an epic "financial-crash business-wrecking meltdown" has triggered an equally devastating implosion of civil society.

Homelessness is endemic. Marauding bands rape, rob and kill. ...Read more

Review: 'After You' by Jojo Moyes

Books / Books News /

"After You" by Jojo Moyes; Pamela Dorman Books/Viking (352 pages, $26.95)

The agile Jojo Moyes can make you laugh or make you cry, and in her novel "Me Before You," she hit both ends of the emotional spectrum (don't lie -- you know you wept, possibly in loud, gushing sobs the way I did).

The same can be said of "After You," the sequel Moyes ...Read more

'Ladies of the Canyons' the story of extraordinary women who blossomed in the Southwest

Books / Books News /

"Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and Their Adventures in the American Southwest" by Lesley Poling-Kempes; University of Arizona Press (384 pages, 24.95 paper)

In May 1903, Natalie Curtis stepped into the Arizona heat for the first time. She was accompanied by her brother George, who'd been working in the region as a ranch...Read more