New York Times Books

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"One great thing about the well-drawn weasels of fiction is that you can always locate a bit of yourself in them." Our critic @MollyYoung reviews Andrew Lipstein's "Last Resort."
“How to Be Perfect,” is likely the first and only book about moral philosophy to feature endorsements from Steve Carell, Amy Poehler, Ted Danson and Mindy Kaling.
Two new books examine the possibility of civil war coming to America. Their conclusions are worrisome.
"Perhaps it is Didion’s postmodern belief that no unitary meaning is constitutively possible — that nothing means anything — which appeals to our cynical, somewhat juvenile sense that disorder is the name of the game." Daphne Merkin on Joan Didion.
Public and personal pressures in new books by Hanya Yanagihara, Elizabeth George, and James Patterson and Mike Lupica on the latest hardcover fiction best-seller list.
Hanya Yanagihara's third novel, “To Paradise,” spans centuries and continents with a dizzying (but manageable) array of themes, situations and motifs.
"It was the most exciting thing I had ever seen. And it was at that moment, I knew what I wanted to do with my life." Carl Bernstein describes walking into a newsroom for the first time and his new memoir on the Book Review podcast.
After creating “The Good Place,” a show that seemed to defy the boundaries of a sitcom, Michael Schur felt he had discovered a winning formula that he could deploy in a book.
Carl Bernstein’s memoir “Chasing History” debuts on on our hardcover nonfiction best-seller list.
11 new books recommended by critics and editors at The New York Times.
The man behind "The Good Place" is, as you might imagine, interested in ethical quandaries. He's now written "How to Be Perfect," probably the 1st philosophy book with endorsements from Steve Carell, Amy Poehler & Mindy Kaling…
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Terry Teachout, the arts critic known for his columns in The Wall Street Journal, The Daily News and other publications, also wrote for the Book Review. In 1995, he wrote about four books about Frank Sinatra.
The subject of Roberto Calasso's “The Book of All Books” is the Bible, and his technique is to select and retell a great many stories. This is more interesting than it sounds, in part because his selection is cunning and his narrative gifts considerable.
“Who Are Your People?,” by Bakari Sellers and illustrated by Reggie Brown, debuts on our children’s picture book best-seller list.
“It’s never quite the book you think it is. It’s better.” Our critic @DwightGarner reviews “Devil House,” by John Darnielle.
Our critic @MollyYoung, reviewing Amanda Gorman’s recent collection, “Call Us What We Carry,” which includes the poem she read at President Biden’s inauguration, praised the book’s “reverence and effervescence; gravity and impishness.”
Before the inauguration, we talked to Amanda Gorman about her inspiration, writing process and belief in poetry’s ability to heal.
One year ago, Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history with her poem “The Hill We Climb.” Revisit the poem here.
Tom McCarthy was disappointed by "Slaughterhouse-Five": "The book just seemed auto-journalistic — kind of like a heavy version of 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,' minus the drugs and nymphomaniac polar bears."
The spread of English around the world, as a new book shows, is having a profound impact on people everywhere.
“Free,” by Lea Ypi, is a memoir about growing up in Albania amid the sudden, world-changing fall of communism. "Things were one way, and then they were another," Ypi writes. "I was someone, then I became someone else."
"If Lipstein had written a less cunning book, he might have contrasted Caleb with a character who represented artistic purity, whatever that is. But everyone here sits somewhere on the grifter spectrum." Our critic @MollyYoung reviews "Last Resort."
A new book that names a Jewish notary as a suspect in the betrayal of Anne Frank to the Nazis made headlines this week. Now that World War II and Holocaust experts have had time to review its claims, many doubt the methods and conclusion.
Thoreau, Emerson and Concord itself are the principal actors in a new book, "The Transcendentalists and Their World."
“He always had new ideas percolating — the hard thing was to decide which one to work on next,” his longtime editor said. “He wanted to get kids excited about science.”
"If, she asks, the only good of integration was to have Black and white children seated side by side, then what was the point?"
When we meet the protagonist of Sjón's new novel, "Red Milk," he's dead: keeled over in his pajamas, a swastika-emblazoned map in his pocket.
“We live in a society that is uniquely afraid of Black children,” Kristin Henning writes in "The Rage of Innocence." "Americans think of Black children as predatory, sexually deviant and immoral."
Our reviewer of "The Skeptic," Terry Teachout's biography of H. L. Mencken, called it "as brisk and smart, as smooth-as-silk an account as we're likely to find."
"They didn’t know what to do with her. And immediately she became typed as a vamp, seducing men and leading them on to disaster. She hated it. She didn’t think of herself as a vamp." Robert Gottlieb talks about Greta Garbo on the Book Review podcast.
Language battles are as old as culture itself, and the emergence of English as a lingua franca is producing new ones, with no predictable outcomes.
"Last Resort" could be part of "the advent of a whole genre that allegorizes the professional writer’s suspicion that he might be a scammer." Our critic @MollyYoung reviews Andrew Lipstein's debut novel.
While reading and reviewing "The Transcendentalists and Their World,” I had a lot of historical-genre thoughts, a few more of which maybe I'll share later. I think it falls between stools in a way that’s interesting (if not great for the book).
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Ali Mitgutsch created popular children’s books featuring detailed drawings of vast groups of people that often included visual jokes and anecdotes. Texts were rare; he called them “self-narrating picture books.” He has died at 86.
The title of Jing Tsu’s new book, “Kingdom of Characters,” refers both to the literal characters that make up Chinese script and the people who sought to save them as China modernized.
In Evan Hughes's "The Hard Sell," the journalist describes how Insys executives went to "extraordinary — and at times criminal — lengths to get their addictive and dangerous drug into as many mouths as possible" while the opioid epidemic raged.
In 2020, André Leon Talley joined the Book Review podcast to discuss his memoir, “The Chiffon Trenches,” his new book about his time in the highest reaches of the fashion world. Listen to the full interview here:
Our critic @DwightGarner says that "Devil House," the new novel by @mountain_goats, is a confident and creepy book that will keep readers on their toes. "I had no idea where it was going, in the best possible sense."
Euthanasia amusement parks and funerary skyscrapers. Robot pets that speak for the dead. Grief and loss permeate Sequoia Nagamatsu's inventive first novel, "How High We Go in the Dark," but it reminds us there's still hope.
RIP André Leon Talley. What a loss. I so enjoyed talking to him about his memoir, "The Chiffon Trenches."…
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Robert Gottlieb on "Garbo" and "Babbitt."
"Quietly, as if stealing in on cat’s paws, he’s become, as a novelist, unignorable." Our critic @DwightGarner reviews John Darnielle's "Devil House."
“Children don’t need anyone to give them a sense of wonder; they already have that. But they do need a way to incorporate the various bits and pieces of knowledge they acquire into some logical picture of the world.”
Here is our review of "Pops," a biography of Louis Armstrong by the cultural critic Terry Teachout. "Armstrong could not have a more impassioned advocate," our reviewer wrote.
The graphic novelist Kristen Radtke imagines Nancy Drew stories if they existed in the age of the internet.
"Teenage Malcolm rapped about weed, Kool Aid and frozen pizza, the off-the-shelf Nikes on his feet. Earnestness, that killer of careers, was his appeal." @therestherub reviews “Most Dope: The Extraordinary Life of Mac Miller,” by Paul Cantor.
How did a boy from rural Iceland become an errand boy for global fascism? "Red Milk," a novel by Sjón, tracks a dark path.
“When you see a system change once,” Lea Ypi writes in her memoir "Free," “it’s not that difficult to believe that it can change again.”
Sequoia Nagamatsu's debut novel, “How High We Go in the Dark,” imagines a world transformed by an Arctic plague.
Our critic @DwightGarner says that "Devil House," the new novel by @mountain_goats, is "confident, creepy, a powerful and soulful page-turner."
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