August 21, 2012 Auster's latest delivers six decades worth of thoughtful anecdotes in second-person narration. The memoir is as unconventional as his first, The Invention of Solitude, and covers everything from his relationship with his mother to the houses where he's lived.
August 14, 2012 In former television writer Maria Semple's second novel, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, 15-year-old Bee searches for her missing mother, an eccentric former architect. Semple mixes police and FBI reports, school documents and catty emails, all with commentary from Bee.
July 17, 2012 Who says humor books can't be serious? Critic Heller McAlpin recommends some light but not weightless reads on mostly modern dilemmas: the pitfalls of class snobbery, what to do with those expensive higher degrees, the challenges of long marriages, and why otherwise rational women wear high heels.
July 5, 2012 In Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety, Daniel Smith delves into his own experiences with crippling neuroses, which he believes can be controlled if not cured. Anxiety afflicts 18 percent of the adult U.S. population, so Smith's candid self-exploration may prove helpful to many.
July 3, 2012 Gear up for this summer's Games with Chris Cleave's new novel about three Olympic cyclists. With careful pacing, complex characters and an ambitious plot, the author of Little Bee crafts a tale of sports racing that explores themes of time, ambition and love.
June 13, 2012 In Mark Haddon's new book, two estranged siblings — and their disjointed families — share a holiday just after their mother's funeral. There's tension and tenderness, but the novel's several perspectives result in the literary equivalent of a dropped cellphone call.
June 4, 2012 The latest from Andrei Makine — often described as a Russian Proust — tells the story of Ivan Shutov, a disillusioned writer who tries to reconnect with his native Russia after decades as an expat. The country has moved on, but Shutov makes an unlikely connection with a grizzled veteran.
May 16, 2012 After a museum conservator's lover dies, she becomes consumed with reanimating a 19th-century silver swan automaton. Critic Heller McAlpin says that Peter Carey's new novel is part historical, part fanciful and completely wonderful.
May 15, 2012 Toni Morrison's latest novel revisits the story of the prodigal son, as a Korean War veteran returns to his hometown in the pre-civil rights era South. Critic Heller McAlpin says Home is as accessible and visceral as anything Morrison has written.
May 3, 2012 In Nell Freudenberger's new novel, a young Bangladeshi woman marries an American man she meets online and struggles to adjust to life in Rochester, N.Y.
May 1, 2012 Alison Bechdel follows up her smash success Fun Home, a graphic memoir about her closeted gay father, with Are You My Mother? another beautifully crafted "comic drama," this time focusing on her emotionally distant mother.
April 24, 2012 In her new book Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake, Anna Quindlen says she "wouldn't be 25 again on a bet, or even 40." Her humorous memoir celebrates the confidence and contentment of women in their 50s.
April 4, 2012 In her 19th novel, Anne Tyler returns to familiar themes, but with a supernatural twist. A grieving widower comes to grips with his wife's recent death with the help of her ghost.
March 29, 2012 What do you do when your 19-year-old son becomes a father? You roll with the punches. Anne Lamott's new book, Some Assembly Required, is a witty and refreshingly honest record of the joys and stresses of becoming a first-time grandmother.