The Cult of Saint Joan

Daphne Merkin examines her complicated feelings about Joan Didion’s writing, iconic status and legacy.


Before He Died, the Writer Roberto Calasso Had the Old Testament on His Mind

In “The Book of All Books,” the great Italian polymath offers his interpretation of biblical stories.


They Wanted to Write the History of Modern China. But How?

In the historian Jing Tsu’s “Kingdom of Characters,” the evolution of Chinese writing tells the story of the country’s past, present — and future.


In a Virus-Stricken Future, Humanity Endures Amid the Grief

Sequoia Nagamatsu’s debut novel, “How High We Go in the Dark,” is an expansive mosaic set in the wake of a devastating virus.


Tom McCarthy Thinks the Wrong Kurt Vonnegut Book Is Famous

“I was really disappointed when I read ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’” says the author of “The Making of Incarnation” and other novels. “But then I read his ‘Mother Night,’ and thought it was brilliant.”


A Recovery Journey That Isn’t

David Sanchez’ debut novel, “All Day Is a Long Time,” paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of life with addiction.


9 New Books We Recommend This Week

Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.


Robert Gottlieb on ‘Garbo’ and ‘Babbitt’

Gottlieb talks about his own new biography and the work of Sinclair Lewis, and Carl Bernstein discusses “Chasing History.”


The Too-Short Evolution of Mac Miller

“Most Dope,” a biography by Paul Cantor, offers a tender remembrance of a precocious talent.


Two High-Powered Black Attorneys Confront a Justice System’s Flaws

“Just Pursuit,” by Laura Coates, a former federal prosecutor, and “The Rage of Innocence,” by Kristin Henning, a longtime juvenile defense lawyer, detail the moral quandaries and bias they encountered in their work.


Book Review: ‘Manifesto,’ by Bernardine Evaristo

In “Manifesto,” the author reflects on art, romance and her multiracial upbringing.


Does Art Have to Be Relevant? One Prominent Critic Says No.

The composer John Adams reviews a new book by Jed Perl, “Authority and Freedom: A Defense of the Arts.”


What Unites Buddhism and Psychotherapy? One Therapist Has the Answer.

In “The Zen of Therapy,” Mark Epstein weaves together two ways of understanding how humans can feel more settled in their lives.


11 New Books We Recommend This Week

Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.


These Old Hands Have Written New Best Sellers

What do Jacqueline Woodson and Elizabeth George have in common? They’re both veteran authors whose books fly off the shelves.


They Made the Most of the Opioid Crisis. Until They Didn’t.

In “The Hard Sell,” the journalist Evan Hughes tells the story of the rise and fall of Insys Therapeutics — and the larger pharmaceutical industry.


Thoreau, Emerson and the Town Where Their Thoughts Took Root

“The Transcendentalists and Their World,” by Robert A. Gross, focuses on Concord, Mass.


How the English Language Conquered the World

Rosemary Salomone’s “The Rise of English” looks at the economic, social and cultural impact of English around the world.


Is Civil War Coming to America?

Two books, “How Civil Wars Start,” by Barbara F. Walter, and “The Next Civil War,” by Stephen Marche, examine if the United States is facing upheaval.


Book Review: Did John F. Kennedy and the Democrats Steal the 1960 Election?

“Campaign of the Century,” a new book by Irwin F. Gellman, revives an old contention that Richard Nixon actually won the presidency in 1960.


‘Admissions,’ by Kendra James

Kendra James was a legacy student at Taft, but wasn’t made to feel like a member of a proud tradition while she was there.


What It’s Like to Live Through a Rupture in History

“Free,” by Lea Ypi, is a memoir about growing up in Albania amid the fall of communism.


How a Boy in Rural Iceland Became a Tool for Global Fascism

“Red Milk,” a novel by Sjón, examines a young man’s path to neo-Nazism.


Newly Published, From Che Guevara to Sapiens

A selection of books published this week.


Markov Chains, Sinclair Lewis and Other Letters to the Editor

Readers respond to recent issues of the Sunday Book Review.

 

Michael Schur’s Unending Quest to Be Perfect

The comedy writer, known for shows like “Parks and Recreation” and “The Good Place,” has a surprising new project: a book about moral philosophy that explores how to be a good person.


In ‘Last Resort,’ a Writer Turns a Friend’s Story Into a Smash Success

Andrew Lipstein’s entertaining debut novel mines comedy from an aspiring author’s ethically questionable path to publication.


‘Devil House,’ a Confident, Creepy Novel About a Wicked Unsolved Crime

John Darnielle’s new novel is about a true-crime writer who moves into a house where notorious murders had occurred decades earlier.


The Cult of Saint Joan

Daphne Merkin examines her complicated feelings about Joan Didion’s writing, iconic status and legacy.


In a Virus-Stricken Future, Humanity Endures Amid the Grief

Sequoia Nagamatsu’s debut novel, “How High We Go in the Dark,” is an expansive mosaic set in the wake of a devastating virus.


Robert Gottlieb on ‘Garbo’ and ‘Babbitt’

Gottlieb talks about his own new biography and the work of Sinclair Lewis, and Carl Bernstein discusses “Chasing History.”


11 New Books We Recommend This Week

Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.


Tom McCarthy Thinks the Wrong Kurt Vonnegut Book Is Famous

“I was really disappointed when I read ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’” says the author of “The Making of Incarnation” and other novels. “But then I read his ‘Mother Night,’ and thought it was brilliant.”


Poem: At Last There Is Yesterday

This poem (in translation) by Wang Yin, a Chinese poet based in Shanghai, aptly captures the slipperiness of time, memory and dreams.


These Old Hands Have Written New Best Sellers

What do Jacqueline Woodson and Elizabeth George have in common? They’re both veteran authors whose books fly off the shelves.


What Have You Dreamed About Lately?

Night visions, two years in.


They Made the Most of the Opioid Crisis. Until They Didn’t.

In “The Hard Sell,” the journalist Evan Hughes tells the story of the rise and fall of Insys Therapeutics — and the larger pharmaceutical industry.


Thoreau, Emerson and the Town Where Their Thoughts Took Root

“The Transcendentalists and Their World,” by Robert A. Gross, focuses on Concord, Mass.


Ali Mitgutsch, Inventive Children’s Book Illustrator, Dies at 86

The father of a German genre called Wimmelbuch, he delighted readers with detailed, cartoonish tableaus crammed with jokes and anecdotes.


They Wanted to Write the History of Modern China. But How?

In the historian Jing Tsu’s “Kingdom of Characters,” the evolution of Chinese writing tells the story of the country’s past, present — and future.


Scholars Doubt New Theory on Anne Frank’s Betrayal

A new book that names a Jewish notary as a suspect made headlines. Now that World War II and Holocaust experts have had time to review its claims, many doubt the methods and conclusion.


A Recovery Journey That Isn’t

David Sanchez’ debut novel, “All Day Is a Long Time,” paints a kaleidoscopic portrait of life with addiction.


How the English Language Conquered the World

Rosemary Salomone’s “The Rise of English” looks at the economic, social and cultural impact of English around the world.


Is Civil War Coming to America?

Two books, “How Civil Wars Start,” by Barbara F. Walter, and “The Next Civil War,” by Stephen Marche, examine if the United States is facing upheaval.


Book Review: Did John F. Kennedy and the Democrats Steal the 1960 Election?

“Campaign of the Century,” a new book by Irwin F. Gellman, revives an old contention that Richard Nixon actually won the presidency in 1960.


‘The Kite Runner’ Is Coming to Broadway

The 2007 play based on Khaled Hosseini’s novel has been widely produced, including on the West End in London. It will come to Broadway in July.


‘Admissions,’ by Kendra James

Kendra James was a legacy student at Taft, but wasn’t made to feel like a member of a proud tradition while she was there.


What It’s Like to Live Through a Rupture in History

“Free,” by Lea Ypi, is a memoir about growing up in Albania amid the fall of communism.


How a Boy in Rural Iceland Became a Tool for Global Fascism

“Red Milk,” a novel by Sjón, examines a young man’s path to neo-Nazism.


Before He Died, the Writer Roberto Calasso Had the Old Testament on His Mind

In “The Book of All Books,” the great Italian polymath offers his interpretation of biblical stories.