Books


'Second Avenue Caper': a heartfelt graphic novel about AIDS in the early ’80s

Joyce Brabner and Mark Zingarelli offer a well-crafted social testament to how far we have come, even as the emotional content has worn off.

4 days ago


'Small Victories': Anne Lamott writes about grace for those who hate books about grace

Read this book twice – even if you normally avoid books on religious or spiritual growth.

4 days ago


'The Wicked and Divine' explores our fascination with fame

All six issues of the Image Comics series are collected here. Mr. Gillen's metaphor couldn't be more obvious or more accurate.

4 days ago


Book review: Mysterious dolls come alive in tale

Readers looking for things that go bump in the night will enjoy “The Doll Graveyard: A Hauntings Novel” by Lois Ruby.

1 week ago


Mystery and ivory: 'Leaving Time' by Jodi Picoult

A novel about tragedy, friendship and love that binds animals and humans together.

1 week ago


 John Darnielle

Role games people play: 'Wolf in White Van' by John Darnielle

The debut novel by John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats is a very good, idiosyncratic effort.

1 week ago


 James Carroll, author of "Christ Actually: The Son of God for the Secular Age."

‘Christ Actually’ asserts that Jesus is human, Jewish and divine

James Carroll’s work, subtitled “The Son of God for the Secular Age,” discusses the effort to save Jesus from the distortions of history.

1 week ago


 Amy Jo Burns, author of "Cinderland."

'Cinderland': Amy Jo Burns crafts a memoir about small-town life, guilt and what is left unsaid

As a teenager in Mercer, Amy Jo Burns lived with her sin of omission, described perceptively in this memoir.

1 week ago


 Andreas Norman

‘Into a Raging Blaze': A Swedish spy thriller fueled by red-hot topics of security and privacy

Andreas Norman’s novel, set in European Union bureaucracy, starts with a spark, and then simmers before reaching the state of its title.

1 week ago


  The Capitol dome, lantern, and spire. From "Cass Gilbert's West Virginia State Capitol,"

Book shines light on West Virginia Capitol and its architect

“Cass Gilbert’s West Virginia State Capitol,” written by Ann Thomas Wilkins and David G. Wilkins, details the building’s construction.

2 weeks ago


 Christopher R. Hill

'Outpost': Ambassador Christopher Hill, one of America's best, provides a fascinating look at U.S. diplomacy

A former ambassador to Iraq, Macedonia, Poland and South Korea, he writes beautifully about complex realities.

2 weeks ago


'Moriarty': Victorian England must grapple with the legacy of Sherlock Holmes’ archnemesis

Anthony Horowitz introduces us to two investigators who run the novel’s engine by behaving in Holmesian and Watsonian ways.

2 weeks ago


 Richard Ford: "It’s about bearing witness — to stand before someone in a way and help them so that they will feel that they are present by virtue of your attentions."

Lecture preview: Richard Ford gets frank about bearing witness

Pulitizer Prize-winning novelist Richard Ford speaks Monday night as part of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures series.

2 weeks ago


Psycho killer: 'Night Terrors' by Dennis Palumbo

Pittsburgh cop and psychotherapist Daniel Rinaldi returns for the third installment of Dennis Palumbo’s mystery series.

2 weeks ago


No hometown advantage: 'Phantom Limb' by Dennis Palumbo

Pittsburgh psychotherapist crime solver Daniel Rinaldi is refreshingly low-key. This installment has some issues, though.

2 weeks ago


 Heather Terrell "shows in both humorous and provocative ways how easily history can be distorted to suit man’s need to control his environment."

Girl from the North Country: 'Boundary: The Books of Eva' by Heather Terrell

The second installment of Pittsburgh writer Heather Terrell’s “Books of Eva” trilogy continues the cold-numbing quest for answers.

2 weeks ago


Cruel, but not unusual: 'The Roman Guide to Slave Management: A Treatise by Nobleman Marcus Sidonius Falx'

Author Jerry Toner gives as complete a picture as we have of the indignities and cruelties of slavery in ancient Rome.

2 weeks ago


Visible hand: 'How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life: An Unexpected Guide to Human Nature and Happiness'

Economist Russ Roberts shows how Adam Smith’s ideas can have relevance today.

2 weeks ago


A jewel in the rejection pile: 'Skylight' by Jose Saramago

An unpublished novel by Jose Saramago makes its American debut.

2 weeks ago


Civil War sensation: 'American Queen: The Rise and Fall of Kate Chase Sprague'

John Oller crafts a biography of a “Gilded Age Woman of Scandal,” and considered by some to be the most brilliant woman of her time.

2 weeks ago


 Aubrey Hirsch, author of "Why We Never Talk About Sugar."

'Why We Never Talk About Sugar': A story collection explores relationships without the sugar coating

Published by Pittsburgh’s Braddock Avenue Books, Aubrey Hirsch’s stories draw you in with plots to confront our deepest insecurities.

3 weeks ago


 "The Best American Poetry 2014" edited by Terrance Hayes.

'The Best American Poetry 2014': Editor Terrance Hayes makes a brave attempt to identify the 'best'

Is this meant to be the last word in American poetics? Or should we just relax and approach it as a casual ramble?

3 weeks ago


'Literchoor Is my Beat': A solid bio of Pittsburgh-born James Laughlin, the last of the ‘gentleman publishers’

With access to a trove of papers, biographer Ian MacNiven emerges with a crammed portrait of a complicated man of wide tastes.

3 weeks ago


Follow the Dear Leader of North Korea: 'Without You, There Is No Us'

A starkly revealing look at the Hermit Kingdom by South Korean-born American Suki Kim.

3 weeks ago


Paint it black: 'Brian Jones: The Making of the Rolling Stones'

Veteran music writer Paul Trynka clears away much of the myth surrounding Brian Jones and the Rolling Stones.

3 weeks ago


Guitar heroes: 'Rock Star: The Making of Musical Icons from Elvis to Springsteen'

Carnegie Mellon professor David Shumway examines the nature of rock stardom through seven rock legends.

3 weeks ago


Original 'Alice' manuscript to travel to U.S. museums

Lewis Carroll’s original handwritten, illustrated manuscript for “Alice in Wonderland” will travel to the U.S. for its 150th anniversary.

3 weeks ago



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