May 24, 2012 Critic Michael Schaub offers a sneak peek at some of the most hotly anticipated books of the summer: An Obama bio. A sparkling debut. Thrillers of both the fictional and body-science kind. Even Lincoln is reborn in this season of sun, sand, renewal — and reading.
May 23, 2012 The second novel in Hilary Mantel's trilogy positions Thomas Cromwell as Henry VIII's trusted consigliere and a specialist at getting unwanted wives out of the way. But if the machinations in Bring Up the Bodies are of the cruelest kind, Mantel's language couldn't be more sublime.
May 2, 2012 Robert A. Caro's multipart study of President Lyndon B. Johnson is hailed as one of the greatest biographies of the 20th century. Reviewing his latest, critic Michael Schaub writes, "Even at more than 700 pages, there's not a wasted word, not a needless anecdote."
April 12, 2012 After a cataclysm decimates the planet, a man wakes up paralyzed and without any memory of the past. Critic Michael Schaub says Immobility is the terrifying tale Brian Evenson was born to write.
March 27, 2012 After losing her mother to cancer and separating from her husband, Cheryl Strayed embarked on an arduous trek along the Pacific Crest Trail. Critic Michael Schaub calls Wild, her account of the journey, "one of the most original, heartbreaking and beautiful American memoirs in years."
March 22, 2012 The young poet Christina Rossetti is haunted by the ghost of her uncle in steampunk pioneer Tim Powers' latest, an elegant supernatural thriller rife with literary references.
February 6, 2012 Dan Chaon's short stories depict the weight and strain of mourning with impressive sensitivity and authenticity.
February 2, 2012 The late British-American writer blends personal and political history in this brilliant final take on a century rife with ideological clashes.
January 30, 2012 Richie Palumbo, a middle-class Massachusetts father, follows the mysterious promptings of his heart and moves his family into his dream house in 1969. This lush, intimate novel by Anthony Giardina follows the Palumbo family fortunes for the next 40 years.
January 12, 2012 Chan Koonchung's smart, incendiary new novel takes place in a dystopian (but all too believable) future, after the collapse of the global economy. Only China has emerged unscathed — and mysteriously, an entire month has been erased from the public memory.
January 10, 2012 Gil Scott-Heron's posthumously published memoir, The Last Holiday, is a triumphant and moving account of a life dedicated to art and activism.
December 20, 2011 These five books take us inside the minds of a founding father and the father of the iPod; the vexing artists who brought us Starry Night and Slaughterhouse-Five; and the couple whose scientific discoveries changed the world in awesome, and awful, ways.
November 17, 2011 Not long after Chilean novelist Roberto Bolano died in 2003, his heirs found an unpublished manuscript written more than 20 years ago. The Third Reich chronicles a month in the life of Udo Berger, a young German war game prodigy — and explores the origins of the brutality that lurks within us all.
November 8, 2011 In King's latest novel, 11/22/63, a high school teacher is recruited to travel back in time to prevent the assassination of John F. Kennedy. The masterful science fiction writer revisits a real American horror story — a day when truth was scarier than fiction.
October 20, 2011 Fight Club author Chuck Palahniuk does his best twisted Judy Blume impression in Damned, a Breakfast Club for the condemned. As a young adult novel, Damned is surprisingly sweet, hopeful and empowering; as a satire, it's funny, irreverent and hugely entertaining.