May 8, 2013 Jeffrey Selingo, an editor with The Chronicle of Higher Education, argues that American colleges have lost their way. In College (Un)bound, he describes the challenges facing American higher education and takes a close look at what college students are getting in return for their tuition.
May 7, 2013 Even as a child, Patricia Volk knew she would never measure up to her strikingly beautiful mother. But after reading the memoir of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, Volk found a new understanding of beauty that had more to do with personality than a pretty face.
May 7, 2013 A new book features a dog who tells you quite honestly that he read a book he should not have read.
May 7, 2013 A new book from the original MTV VJs underscores how revolutionary spinning records on television wasn't.
May 7, 2013 Also: Margaret Atwood on dreams; Martin Amis and Brooklyn hipsters; and previously unseen Hemingway papers.
May 7, 2013 Full of sex, intrigue and clues based on Victorian poetry, Elanor Dymott's Every Contact Leaves a Trace is a literary mystery about a murder at Oxford University. This tale of a clueless husband who discovers his wife's true nature too late reminds critic Maureen Corrigan a little of Gone Girl.
May 6, 2013 Anthony Marra's debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, takes place in war-torn Chechnya — a world of perpetual violence, fear and exploding land mines. But reviewer Meg Wolitzer says the characters are so vivid and the language so brilliant you want to stay there.
May 6, 2013 The latest novel from three-time National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin takes inspiration from Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge.
May 6, 2013 Television talk show host Wendy Williams is known for pushing the envelope and dishing the dirt on celebs. But her rise to fame wasn't always glamorous. Host Michel Martin speaks with Williams about her career, battle with addiction and new book Ask Wendy.
May 6, 2013 In softcover fiction, Hilary Mantel imagines Anne Boleyn's downfall, Martin Amis satirizes England, Paul Theroux sends a narrator back to the village he volunteered in, and Peter Heller depicts a post-apocalyptic life. In nonfiction, Robert Caro continues his LBJ biography.
May 6, 2013 The Pennsylvania Dutch didn't invent the whoopie pie and other dubious tourist fare. Instead, they developed a complex, largely unknown cuisine that reflects the pressures and possibilities of becoming American.
May 6, 2013 Also: Historian Niall Ferguson apologizes for John Maynard Keynes comments; the best books coming out this week.
May 5, 2013 Bill Cheng's debut novel, Southern Cross the Dog, is full of mythical characters who feel like they rose right out of the Mississippi Swamp, and narratives that churn and swirl like the river itself. Cheng calls the novel "a love note to those old blues players."
May 5, 2013 Ahmadou Kourouma's Allah Is Not Obliged recounts the story of a child soldier in Liberia. Author A. Igoni Barrett says in this book, horror and humor become bedfellows, making for a heartbreaking yet laughter-filled read.