Literary novels, a biography, a humorous memoir, a fable, and more. "What I want to tell you about is something quite different," says one character in these unforgettable books on this year-end list.
Category: Book Collecting
The value of private letters
The new Melissa McCarthy movie about Lee Israel's crime of literary forgery hit too close to home. Here's why.
A bookshop closes
Much of my book collecting mania got spent at Acorn Bookshop that’s now going out of business. Here are a few of the treasures I found, in this tribute.
Getting to know Ross Macdonald
“It’s All One Case: The Illustrated Ross Macdonald Archives” by Paul Nelson and Kevin Avery is this year’s Christmas present to myself.
A city inspector’s book list
Every once in a while, a person I hire to work at my house will pause in front of the book cases. This is one of those occasions.
Great books go a step further
What's the difference between a good book and a great one? Jonathan Safran Foer answers in an introduction to "The Fixer" by Bernard Malamud.
Which one Faulkner novel should you read?
William Faulkner wrote 19 novels. Among them -- and the one everyone typically selects when they decide, for the first time, to read a Faulkner book -- is "The Sound and the Fury." But that may not be the best choice.
A bibliomaniac’s burden
I became determined in my need to find the right reading copy of Pat Barker's World War I novel, "Regeneration." Here's what happened that afternoon.
My love for old, tattered books
Here's a recommendation to read (if you haven't already) John le Carré's classic espionage novel "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" -- and why I read an old, beat-up 1964 copy.
One day every year in November, I fill a shopping cart with used books at a book fair in Dayton, Ohio. Here are a few of this year's treasures.
A return of iconic crime novels
Pushkin Press is bringing back 20th century, tour-de-force mysteries and thrillers, including "Vertigo", the book Alfred Hitchcock turned into a classic film. Here's a look at what Pushkin's new imprint is up to, and the first books now available.
James Salter’s Ohio connection
Several years ago, I had a memorable conversation at Barnes & Noble that revealed a little known fact about novelist and short story writer James Salter. Here's the story, as well as a remembrance of this exceptional author who died last week.
A legal thriller I couldn’t put down
Consider a trial lawyer who's an ex-con artist and a Russian mob boss on trial for murder who forces him into service via a bomb tucked into his coat, and you've got the beginning of Steve Cavanagh's debut legal thriller. It's filled with surprises and high entertainment.
Ordinary Germans and World War II
Audrey Magee's novel "The Undertaking" is about newlyweds caught up in Berlin society and the Eastern Front during World War II. Stark, moving and intelligent, this is Magee’s fictional debut.
My picks from The Edgars® “Bests”
"Ordinary Grace" is one of the most enjoyable books I've read this year. Of note, it just won the the Edgar Award for best novel, announced last week. Two other winners appear here, as well as a link to the full list of nominees and winners in all the categories for the Mystery Writers of America 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards.