February 10, 2013 In her new book, The Real Jane Austen: A Life in Small Things, author Paula Byrne shows how everyday objects helped shape Austen's life and literature. One example, a topaz cross, a cherished gift to Austen from her brother, plays an important role in Mansfield Park.
February 10, 2013 In 1963 Betty Friedan published a groundbreaking work that empowered a generation of women. With World War II over, women who had been working were told to find fulfillment at home. "The moment was so pregnant and ready for an explosion," says New York Times columnist Gail Collins.
February 10, 2013 "Mister hit Josephine with the palm of his hand across her left cheek and it was then she knew she would run." So begins Tara Conklin's debut novel, The House Girl, which links the stories of an artistically talented 19th-century slave and an ambitious 21st-century lawyer.
February 10, 2013 Brian Moore's The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, a book about an alcoholic looking for love, is the novel that author Ann Leary always turns to when she's depressed. What books do you read when you're sad? Tell us in the comments.
February 9, 2013 Swamplandia! author Karen Russell is back with a new collection of short stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. The title story features two elderly vampires, married for more than a century, who wonder what "till death do us part" means when you can't die.
February 9, 2013 The magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. It's famous for its rigorous writing and ability to attract literary stars — but also for its quirky personal ads, where "squalid Sydney wombats" and "Antediluvian Mariners" seek "foxy cougars" and "street-credible jacobins."
February 9, 2013 Margot Berwin's new novel Scent of Darkness follows a young woman rendered irresistible by a magical perfume. Reviewer Mary Bly says the problem isn't the magical-realism aspects of the story, but the dull and complacent heroine.
February 8, 2013 In the '40s and '50s, Cristobal Balenciaga was an international fashion star — but a lot has changed since then. Fashion writer Robin Givhan says today's fashion world demands that designers "have the personality of a celebrity." That may not have gone over well with the secretive Spaniard.
February 8, 2013 Speaking From Among the Bones, Alan Bradley's fifth Flavia de Luce mystery, debuts at No. 6.