Captain Comics: How 'Ultron' is transformed by big-screen Avengers

Books / Comic Books /

"Avengers: Age of Ultron," premiering May 1, introduces four major villains -- three of them destined to be Avengers themselves.

In the comics, anyway. What happens in the movie is yet to be seen. But from the avalanche of advance material, it seems that director Joss Whedon will channel the spirit of the comics, if not the specifics.


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David Walton Pyr
301 pp
ISBN 978-1633880122
301 pages

Reviewed by Steven Levingston, who is the nonfiction editor of The Washington Post Book World. His email address is

It's not the kind...Read more


Andrew O'Hagan
Farrar Straus Giroux
ISBN 978-0374174569
293 pages

Reviewed by Adam Kirsch, who is the author most recently of "Rocket and Lightship: Essays on Literature and Ideas."

Most Americans' lives are totally ...Read more


Jeffrey Lent
ISBN 978-1620404966
357 pages

Reviewed by Wendy Smith, who is a contributing editor at the American Scholar and reviews books frequently for the Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington ...Read more


Reif Larsen
Penguin Press
ISBN 978-1594206160
656 pages

Reviewed by Steven Moore, who is a critic. His latest book is "William Gaddis: Expanded Edition."

In 2009, Reif Larsen wowed the literary world with "The ...Read more


Mairtin O. Cadhain. Translated by Alan Titley
ISBN 978-0300198492
309 pages

Reviewed by Michael Dirda, who reviews books for The Washington Post on Thursdays.

Almost every novel carries dust-jacket endorsements ...Read more

'Marching Home': Veterans of Civil War had similar struggles to today's soldiers

Books / Books News /

"Marching Home: Union Veterans and their Unending Civil War" by Brian Matthew Jordan; Liveright (384 pages, $28.95)

Although the Civil War ended 150 years ago, interest in the conflict has never faded. Perhaps this is not surprising. Those who lived through the war and its aftermath dealt with issues that are still central to the nation's life....Read more

Michelle Obama biography embodies highly specific version of the American Dream

Books / Books News /

If the Barack Obama story is about carving out an identity from a multicultural, biracial upbringing with an absent father, then the Michelle LaVaughn Robinson story is about how to be black and successful in America, as well as how to be successful and black. In other words: How does a black girl from South Side of Chicago get to Harvard Law ...Read more

In sparkling 'The Turner House,' no escape from haunted Detroit

Books / Books News /

In the opening pages of "The Turner House" -- Angela Flournoy's wonderful debut novel about an African-American family with 13 children set in 2008 Detroit -- the eldest of them is tussling with a ghostly haint, come to pull him out the window of the Turner family home.

It's 1958; Cha-Cha, as he's known, is then just 14. But this specter isn't ...Read more

Scottoline keeps a thrilling pace in 'Every Fifteen Minutes'

Books / Books News /

"Every Fifteen Minutes" by Lisa Scottoline; St. Martin's (448 pages, $27.99)

Lisa Scottoline, who seems to own permanent spots on best-sellers lists, made her career with engrossing legal thrillers featuring strong characters and hefty plots. That approached earned her the nickname of "the female John Grisham."

Scottoline shows she's just as ...Read more