Led Zeppelin Gets Into Your Soul

Still, such indebtedness can rub pride thin. It was always a bit embarrassing, if you grew up in Britain in the nineteen-seventies, that the local rock stars one so admired seemed compelled to sing with fake American accents. Why was this guy even singing about a levee? Sometimes I used to catch myself thinking, Do they … Read more

19 Books We Read This Week

By WSJ Books Staff Jan. 21, 2022 2:17 pm ET ‘Home in the World’ Review: Amartya Sen Speaks A memoir of the economist’s journey from Calcutta to Cambridge, and onto the world stage as an advocate for the downtrodden. Review by Tunku Varadarajan Read the review ‘The French Revolution’ Review: Thomas Carlyle’s Masterpiece, Complete A … Read more

Fiction: ‘The Hummingbird’ by Sandro Veronesi

Sandro Veronesi won Italy’s major book award, the Strega Prize, in 2006 for his powerful novel “Quiet Chaos,” about the existential grappling of a newly widowed father, and he won again in 2020 for “The Hummingbird,” which now appears in English courtesy of translator Elena Pala. Mr. Veronesi is clearly on to something, as far … Read more

‘Seasons of Purgatory’ Review: An Iranian Writer’s Art in Exile

Sometimes we never see the wrongs that blight our lives. Or else we glimpse them once—before the end. In Shahriar Mandanipour’s story “Mummy and Honey,” a viper slips into a house in mourning. It takes up residence, at first “gently coiled around the bitter orange tree.” Grandfather, ruler of the family, has passed. Now Father … Read more

Alison Bechdel, Mohsin Hamid: The Books Briefing

Reading and writing are exercise for the mind, but sometimes authors choose to train their attention on more literal forms of fitness. In her new book, Let’s Get Physical: How Women Discovered Exercise and Reshaped the World, Danielle Friedman explores how women’s relationship to fitness has evolved over the years. Working out is a source … Read more

Justice Sonia Sotomayor Encourages Children to Help Others in New Kids’ Book

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s new children’s book, called “Just Help! How to Build a Better World,” will be released early next week, telling the story of a neighborhood where people help each other. The book was inspired by Ms. Sotomayor’s “own family’s desire to help others,” according to a publisher’s description of the book, … Read more

‘Dream-Child’ Review: Madness, Poetry and Dinner With the Lambs

For much of his literary life, Charles Lamb was a jack of all trades and a master of none. He wrote poetry like his Romantic contemporaries and good friends Samuel Taylor Coleridge and William Wordsworth though his verse was of a lesser caliber. He produced a sentimental novel that underwhelmed and a farcical play that … Read more

15 Books That Deserve a Second Read

Hundreds of thousands of books are published in the United States each year, and this dramatic influx of titles largely runs the calendars of the publishing and media industries—usually to the detriment of any work that isn’t brand new. Even best sellers or novels by famous authors get lost in the deluge, and books that … Read more