Edition: U.S. / Global

Saturday, January 11, 2014


Sunday Book Review

‘Andrew’s Brain’

Jonathon Rosen

In E. L. Doctorow’s new novel, a scientist tells the story of his puzzling life.

Sue Monk Kidd: By the Book

The author of “The Secret Life of Bees” and, most recently, “The Invention of Wings” tries to read a poem every morning along with her coffee: “It’s the most important meal of the day.”

Author's Note

I Read You Loud and Clear

An author drops in on a book club discussing his novel.

‘Starting Over: Stories’

At 92, the novelist and short-story writer Elizabeth Spencer remains a distinguished regional voice.


In Richard Powers’s novel, a composer’s experiment with sound and microbiology attracts the attention of Homeland Security.

‘Flyover Lives: A Memoir’

Diane Johnson, who writes frequently about France, discovers the appeal of her native Midwest.

‘The Exiles Return’

Elisabeth de Waal’s novel of betrayal and loss in postwar Vienna.

‘The Scent of Pine’

Chasing love at a Soviet youth camp.

‘The Bird Skinner’

An unexpected arrival stirs memories of war.

‘The Empire of Necessity’

Greg Grandin tells the story of the slave uprising that inspired Melville’s “Benito Cereno.”

‘A Highly Unlikely Scenario’

In Rachel Cantor’s novel, rival fast-food factions pursue philosophical truths.

‘The Light and the Dark’

In a postmodern Russian epistolary novel, two lovers are separated both by distance and by time.

Children's Books
Maira Kalman's

Maira Kalman's "Thomas Jefferson."

Children's Books

The Making of the Presidents

In poetry and prose, these books shed light on the fascinating, complicated lives of our commanders in chief.

Children's Books

Hitting the Road

Punk rockers and a pair of misfits unite for cross-country trips in two young adult novels.

Children's Books


In two middle-grade novels, horses possess fantastical abilities, including the power of speech.

Children's Books

‘The Impossible Knife of Memory’

The daughter of a traumatized war veteran must care for her father and survive senior year in Laurie Halse Anderson’s novel.

Books News & Reviews
Mr. Baraka at home in Newark in 2007. He was a lecturer and poet whose words were celebrated by some, but considered hateful by others.
Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

Mr. Baraka at home in Newark in 2007. He was a lecturer and poet whose words were celebrated by some, but considered hateful by others.

Mr. Baraka’s work was widely anthologized, and he was also long famous as a political firebrand, with critical opinion divided in every arena.

Books of The Times

‘Words Will Break Cement’

In “Words Will Break Cement,” Masha Gessen explores the impact of the Russian musical activist group Pussy Riot.

The Murderer and the Manuscript

The winner of the novel-writing contest was a complete unknown, right down to the fact that he was serving a life sentence.

Holiday Sales Slide 60% at Struggling Barnes & Noble Nook Unit

Revenue in the Nook division, which includes digital content and devices, fell 60 percent, while sales in its bookstores dropped 6.6 percent, the company said.

Old Breakfast Buddies, From Tarzan to Snoopy

Sunday afternoon with the funnies: retro comic strips can make a comeback in a digital world, with new collections published as books.

Santiago Journal

A Chilean Dictator’s Secret Book Collection: Heavy on Napoleon, Light on Fiction

General Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, known for his brutal 17-year rule, amassed about 50,000 volumes for his private library, using public money.

Books of The Times

‘Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War’

In his fascinating new memoir “Duty,” former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates provides highly revealing insights about decision making in both the Obama and Bush White Houses.

Bipartisan Critic Turns His Gaze Toward Obama

Former Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates’s new memoir is the first describing the Obama administration’s policy deliberations written from inside the cabinet.

Books of The Times

‘The Kept’

Dark themes are explored after most of a family is shot dead in “The Kept,” James Scott’s first novel.

Children’s Books

Part of Something Big

“The Cart That Carried Martin” is about the day of Martin Luther King Jr.’s funeral, and “We Shall Overcome” tells the story of the civil rights movement through a popular song.

Books of The Times

‘Little Failure’

Gary Shteyngart’s memoir, “Little Failure,” tracks his family’s immigration to the United States from the Soviet Union.

C. T. Hsia, Who Brought Chinese Literature to the West, Dies at 92

Dr. Hsia helped introduce modern Chinese literature to the West in the 1960s while teaching at Columbia University.

Elizabeth Jane Howard, Novelist of Mid-Century British Life, Dies at 90

Ms. Howard’s five-part series, The Cazalet Chronicles, traces a British family before, during and after World War II.

Giving Voice, and Finding Her Own

Race and the South have helped shape the novelist Sue Monk Kidd, whose new work, “The Invention of Wings,” is out this week.

Books of The Times

‘The Trip to Echo Spring’

In “The Trip to Echo Spring,” Olivia Laing combines literary analysis, memoir and travelogue in examining six writers and their alcoholism.

A King’s Counselor, Whittled to Size

Hilary Mantel’s two Man Booker-winning historical novels, “Wolf Hall” and “Bring Up the Bodies,” are being adapted and condensed for the stage in Britain.


The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Reader

The convergence of several trends leaves the book-buying public out in the cold.

George Jacobs, Memoirist and Valet for Sinatra, Dies at 86

Mr. Jacobs had a close-up of Frank Sinatra’s inner circle in the 1950s and ’60s and wrote about it in a 2003 book.

The Times's Critics

Recent reviews by:

James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot: Why Do We Keep Resurrecting the Same Literary Characters?

James Parker and Pankaj Mishra discuss why certain characters keep returning to life.

Open Book
Poems, Protests and Prayers

James Parker joins the list of Bookends contributors.

The Shortlist
Global Warming

New books by William Nordhaus, Linda Marsa, Christopher White and J. B. MacKinnon.

Bookshelf: Friends in Fur

New picture books about bears include “Cub’s Big World,” by Sarah L. Thomson.

Book Review Features

Inside the List

Jack Higgins, whose novel “The Death Trade” is No. 11 on the hardcover fiction list, does much of his writing at a restaurant near his home in the Channel Islands.

Paperback Row

Paperback books of particular interest.

Editors’ Choice

Recently reviewed books of particular interest.

Inside The New York Times Book Review Podcast

This week, Greg Grandin talks about “Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom, and Deception in the New World”; Julie Bosman has notes from the field; Coral Davenport discusses new books about global warming; and Gregory Cowles has best-seller news. Pamela Paul is the host.

Author Interviews

A collection of author interviews published on ArtsBeat.

Off the Shelf

Making the Most of Financial Resources at Hand

Those who have resolved to put their financial house on sounder footing this year may benefit from two new books.


Immigrants and Red Scare Case Studies

Essays on immigrants in New York and Amsterdam, a history of Italian-American food, and the human costs of McCarthyism.


What Your Cat Is Thinking

What’s the meaning of that dead rodent in the house? This guide to our feline friends unravels the mysteries.


Times Topics: Featured Authors