September 19, 2012 Tom Reiss places Thomas-Alexandre Dumas, a general in Revolutionary France and the father of the Count of Monte Cristo author, atop a high pedestal. With clear admiration, Reiss explains that the triumphs and travails of the elder Dumas inspired his son's adventure novels.
September 18, 2012 Author Shani Boianjiu's debut novel draws on her own military experience to tell the story of three young women in the Israel Defense Forces. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says the book has a refreshing frankness that's initially very appealing — but its episodic nature wears thin after a while.
September 13, 2012 Atlantic writer Hanna Rosin has expanded her cover story on women's new economic dominance into a full-length book. Reviewer Annalee Newitz says it's a good snapshot of a major cultural shift — but frustratingly contradictory in its approach.
September 13, 2012 Junot Diaz's third book, This Is How You Lose Her, is a collection of stories, many narrated by recurring character Yunior. Diaz's voice-driven prose describes characters who are simultaneously appealing and appalling, says NPR critic Carmen Gimenez Smith.
September 12, 2012 Marco Roth grew up on New York's Upper West Side in the 1980s, where a liberal Jewish culture infused with European tastes was breathing its last gasps. In his memoir, Roth describes how he learned — years after his father died from AIDS — that his father was probably gay.
September 12, 2012 Breed offers a new and horrifying picture of New York's upper echelon, the barren rich, with full wallets and empty cribs. Desperate for a child, one couple find treatment in a sketchy fertility clinic, where they successfully become fertile — and feral.
September 11, 2012 Michael Chabon's new novel, set on the border between Berkeley and Oakland, Calif., takes stylistic cues from jazz, soul and funk music. It's formally playful, and even when it misses the mark, it's still satisfying to watch Chabon work, says NPR critic Glen Weldon.
September 6, 2012 Centuries into the future, cranky technophobe Huw gets dragged into a massive conspiracy after someone at a party infects him with a technological parasite. Rapture of the Nerds is the latest from science-fiction stars Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow, but it may be tough going for non-nerds.
September 5, 2012 Iconoclastic journalist Christopher Hitchens, who died from esophageal cancer in December 2011, chronicled his battle with the disease — his 18 months "of living dyingly" — in Mortality. Critic Heller McAlpin says the tragically posthumous work is full of his pugnacious, ever-bright prose.
September 4, 2012 In his latest true-crime account, Errol Morris argues that a man found guilty of a triple murder never should have been convicted. Morris makes the case for Jeffrey MacDonald's innocence by questioning the character and competence of the investigators.