Books

"While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and a Young Man's Descent into Madness," by Eli Sanders. (Photo courtesy Amazon/TNS)

Reporter’s Book Details Seattle Murder Case

Sunday, February 7, 2016

We sat in the sun to talk, which made us both happy, since so much of what brought Eli Sanders and me to this meeting was steeped in darkness: The sweltering July night in 2009 when Jennifer Hopper and Teresa Butz were repeatedly raped, tortured and knifed in their South Park neighborhood home by an intruder who had appeared in their bedroom at 3 a.m., naked and holding a large blade. The death of Butz, who was stabbed in the heart and died in the street after throwing a nightstand through the bedroom window and scrambling out. The mind of Isaiah Kalebu, the man convicted …

America’s Secret Life

Friday, January 29, 2016

The writer Thomas Powers has spent the past 40 years thinking about the American intelligence community, beginning with articles he wrote for Rolling Stone on the CIA and its director Richard Helms, who served as director from 1966 to 1973, which led to his book The Man Who Kept the Secrets , published …

Book Review: Bill Bryson Takes a Turn for the Worse

Friday, January 29, 2016

The Road to Little Dribbling: Adventures of an American in Britain by Bill Bryson; Doubleday (380 pages, $28.95) The world is always in decline if you want it to be. In the 1880s, the English experienced an intense collective wistfulness for the period before 1850, which was the year that railroads had finally …

Who Profits Most From America’s Schools?

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Prize by Dale Russakoff; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (246 pages, $27) It’s easy to feel cynical and even angry while reading The Prize, a stunning account of efforts by wealthy outsiders and ambitious politicians to fix Newark, N.J.’s …

Author’s Essays Examine Life in Baltimore

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The author D. Watkins floats between two worlds, adept at maneuvering through both though perhaps not fully comfortable in either. The hard part isn’t so much the physical journey from the boarded-up rowhouses and roach-infested refrigerators and cracked-asphalt …

Author Helps Teacher Get a Kidney

Sunday, September 13, 2015

If Brad Meltzer tried to write a novel about helping his high school history teacher get a new kidney, his editor would reject the manuscript for being too far-fetched. But the South Florida writer — author of 10 …

Female Rockers Crank the Volumes

Friday, September 11, 2015

It’s an all-girl supergroup like no other: Pretenders leader Chrissie Hynde, Jamaican-born singer Grace Jones, Sleater-Kinney guitarist and Portlandia star Carrie Brownstein, folkie Jewel, punk poet Patti Smith and 1970s icon Carly Simon. Only these women aren’t reviving …

Author Traces the Colebrook Shootings in Nonfiction Account

Friday, September 11, 2015

On Aug. 19, 1997, a northern New Hampshire man named Carl Drega living near Colebrook, N.H., went on a shooting rampage, killing four people who included a local judge, the editor of the daily Colebrook News and Sentinel …

Sandra Brown’s Latest Thriller ‘Friction’ Delivers on Formula

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The title of Sandra Brown’s new book finally offers a proper term under which to file the majority of her novels. They’re fiction, yes, but mystery, suspense, romantic thriller and various other labels are applied to the Texas …

Authors’ Lives Fodder for Rom-Coms

Saturday, August 29, 2015

A film company is hoping to turn the life of author Jane Austen into a romantic comedy. They couldn’t have picked a worse subject. Austen is a classic novelist, one whose books Emma, Sense and Sensibility and the beloved Pride and Prejudice have themselves been turned into delightful …

‘Purity’ Isn’t Franzen’s Best

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jonathan Franzen’s career offers a cautionary narrative — for us as much as him. As far back as 1996, with Perchance to Dream, his long essay published in Harper’s on the state of contemporary fiction, he has filled …

Felicia Day Loves the Internet, Despite Trolls

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Felicia Day is well aware that not everyone knows who she is. Those are the people who aren’t immersed in the gaming culture, who haven’t spent wide swaths of their lives playing World of Warcraft, or watching her …

National Gallery’s Show of Photobooks Follows in Footsteps of Robert Frank

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Washington — From the earliest days of photography, images were collected in albums, the way a botanist might save pressed flowers. All that changed in 1959 with the publication of Robert Frank’s photobook The Americans. With this collection …