Mysteries: ‘The Diamond Eye’ by Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn has excelled in previous novels at transforming real-life historical biography into page-turning fiction. With “The Diamond Eye,” she works her magic with the true story of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, a young woman who earned fame during World War II as a Red Army sniper credited with the deaths of over 300 Nazi soldiers. In … Read more

Fiction: ‘Trust’ by Hernan Diaz

‘Money. What is money?’ a character asks, rhetorically, in Hernan Diaz’s novel “Trust.” “Commodities in a purely fantastic form . . . You can’t eat or wear money, but it represents all the food and clothes in the world. That is why it’s a fiction.” These words are spoken in 1938 by an Italian-American anarchist … Read more

Children’s Books: Hurry Up and Wait

In Chris Van Dusen’s distinctive illustrations, everything has a smooth, sugar-glazed look, as if his pictures were made of frosted cookies that you could eat. It’s a style children may recall from Kate DiCamillo’s “Mercy Watson” books, which he illustrated, or from his many solo projects, such as “If I Built a School” (2019) and … Read more

Bestselling Books Week Ended April 23

April 28, 2022 3:17 pm ET Title Author/Publisher This Week Last Week Own Your Past Change Your Future: A Not-So-Complicated Approach to Relationships, Mental Health & Wellness John Delony/Ramsey 1 New Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones James Clear/Avery 2 2 The Mothers and Daughters of … Read more

‘America’s Book’ Review: The Word Out of Season

Many Americans born after 1960 have trouble imagining that for much of the country’s history the Bible was a chief source of national identity. Older Hollywood directors sometimes get it right. Take “Liberty Heights” (1999), written and directed by Barry Levinson (born 1942). The film explores relations among Jews, blacks and WASPs during the 1950s … Read more

Mysteries: Don Winslow’s ‘City on Fire’ Review

Don Winslow’s latest combustible crime chronicle, “City on Fire,” takes place in Providence, R.I., in the 1980s. Here a crew of Irish crooks and a family of Italian criminals maintain a cooperative business arrangement; they conduct their affairs in the watchful shadow of Boston and New York syndicates who would love to take over their … Read more

An Out-of-This-World Compound in Upstate New York

In a spot overlooking a meadow in upstate New York, Thomas Phifer and his wife, Jean, have set up house in a handful of black cabins as tightly shingled as the wing feathers of a starling. The cedar shakes, rows and rows of them, hide all but 3 inches of their 30-inch lengths. “There was … Read more

17 Books We Read This Week

April 22, 2022 3:56 pm ET ‘The Palace Papers’ Review: Royal Reality Show If the Windsors have weathered a cavalcade of misfortunes and scandals, credit their determined family manager: the Queen. Review by Anna Mundow Read the review ‘Liberty’s Chain’ Review: Making Abolition a Family Affair John Jay felt a moral unease with slavery; his … Read more

Children’s Books: For Shakespeare’s Birthday, a Bard for All Ages

To be or not to be a purveyor of straight Shakespeare, it is a serious question: whether ’tis nobler to introduce children to the Bard by way of his own words in all their archaic beauty and risk making a chore of the business; or to take recourse in simplified retellings in the hope of … Read more

‘Dilettante’ Review: In the Golden Age of Magazines, All Was Vanity

Dana Brown, a 21-year-old college dropout, was stocking bottles behind the bar in a Midtown New York restaurant when he met Graydon Carter. This chance encounter in 1994 with the powerful editor of Vanity Fair changed the course of his life. One day, on a whim, Mr. Carter hired him as his assistant. Now, 28 … Read more