Book review: 'Conversion' ties together two eerie tales

Katherine Howe’s young adult novel juxtaposes two real-life stories — one modern, the other centuries old — in one compelling tale.

2 days ago

Andrew Roberts, biographer of Napoleon, speaks in Carnegie Music Hall in January

Napoleon biographer Andrew Roberts’ Literary Evenings lecture has been rescheduled for January.

3 days ago

 Author NoViolet Bulawayo will speak in Oakland Thursday night.

Author NoViolet Bulawayo shows Zimbabwe from a child's view from a treetop

The award-winning author of “We Need New Names” speaks Thursday as part of the University of Pittsburgh’s Contemporary Writers Series.

4 days ago

Andrew Roberts lecture in Pittsburgh rescheduled for January 2015

Mr. Roberts was unable to make it make it from New York last night due to inclement weather.

4 days ago

 Richard Ford

'Let Me Be Frank With You': Richard Ford’s ennui-filled Everyman returns

Eight years later, here’s the fourth book about Frank Bascombe, proof that he is too endearing a character to give up.

6 days ago

 "Gray Mountain" by John Grisham

'Gray Mountain': John Grisham’s new heroine takes on the powers-that-be in Coal Country

Like Charles Dickens, Mr. Grisham is not shy in telling the reader who is wearing the black hat and who are the downtrodden souls.

6 days ago

 Nuruddin Farah, author of "Hiding in Plain Sight."

'Hiding in Plain Sight': The demands and expectations of a Somali family after the patriarch’s death

Nuruddin Farah’s novel explores how an African family now led by women gets back on its feet. It rattles the cage of conventional thinking.

6 days ago

 Andrew Roberts, author of "Napoleon," will speak at Carnegie Music Hall Monday night.

Where Napoleon battled, biographer Andrew Roberts followed

Mr. Roberts, who speaks here Monday night, has written the first one-volume life of Napolean since the publication of his 33,000 letters.

6 days ago

Mirror up to nature: 'The Masters of Nature Photography'

A jaw-dropping collection of the best nature photography by the best nature photographers of the last 50 years.

6 days ago

Paper chase: With 'Murder in the Stacks,' David DeKok revisits an unsolved 1969 murder in Penn State

David DeKok believes he has solved the mystery of who killed graduate student Betsy Aardsma at Penn State’s library in 1969.

6 days ago

Chasing old (and new) ghosts in Rachel Howzell Hall's 'Land of Shadows'

Introducing Elouise Norton, a tough, no-nonsense African-American homicide detective in Los Angeles.

6 days ago

Huddled masses: Marshall Goldberg's 'The New Colossus' mixes fact and fiction, with Nellie Bly on the case

Reporter Nellie Bly investigates the death of poet Emma Lazarus in this 19th-century whodunnit.

6 days ago

Femme fatale: 'Neverhome,' an elegant novel about a woman who goes to war

Laird Hunt’s compulsively readable Civil War novel asks what would happen if Penelope fought in the Trojan war while Odysseus stayed home.

5 days ago

Martian chronicles: 'War Dogs' is a gritty, action-filled jaunt into interstellar conflict

Greg Bear reminds us to beware of aliens bearing gifts, especially when they lead to war with other aliens.

2 days ago

No one expects an Inquisition: 'The Young Elites' puts an unusual spin on heroes and villains

From the opening pages, author Marie Lu creates a world that is familiar, magical and irresistible.

6 days ago

Tears of a clown: 'You Might Remember Me: The Life and Times of Phil Hartman' delves into the life of the slain comedian

The “Saturday Night Live” star who was murdered by his wife remains elusive in death.

6 days ago

Mission impossible: 'Rebellion: A Thriller in Napoleon's Paris' unveils a plot against the Emperor

The fourth installment of the Matthew Hawkwood series finds the English officer in a conspiracy targeting Napoleon.

6 days ago

New England patriots: 'The Rainborowes: One Family's Quest to Build a New England'

Historian Adrian Tinniswood crafts a remarkable chronicle of the remarkable, nearly forgotten family that shaped 17th-century New England.

6 days ago

Present at the creation: 'America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East'

Author Hugh Wilford has written a valuable, but debatable book about the forces that shaped the modern Middle East.

6 days ago

Holy Terror: Stephen King's 'Revival' is his darkest novel in a long time

It’s a departure: In most of his work, there is at least some hint of a balancing force in the universe, a light against the darkness.

1 week ago

 R.J. Palacio will speak at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Byham, Downtown.

Lecture preview: Children’s author R.J. Palacio thrilled by response to 'being kind' idea

Ms. Palacio will speak at the Byham Theater as part of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures Kids & Teens series.

1 week ago

 "The Woman I Wanted to be" by Diane von Furstenberg

Penning the pages of fashion: New books for style connoisseurs

Even if you can’t rub elbows with fashion’s famous, you can read their stories thanks to new books by those on the front lines of style.

1 week ago

 Naomi Klein.

'This Changes Everything,' Naomi Klein insists a global economy built on the consumption of fossil fuels imperils humanity

Ms. Klein argues that runaway capitalism got us into this crisis, and won’t get us out of it.

1 week ago

 Denis Johnson.

Heart of Darkness: Denis Johnson’s 'The Laughing Monsters' follows spies and criminals deep into West Africa

This literary thriller is an adventure without any expected twists, a mystery worth trying to solve

1 week ago

 Marlon James.

Roots, rage and reggae: Marlon James pens a tour de force about Jamaica

“A Brief History of Seven Killings” is a wildly ambitious and brilliant book of ambiguity and violence.

1 week ago

 Edward Dolnick, author of "The Rush"

Fools' gold: 'The Rush: America's Fevered Quest for Fortune, 1848-1853'

Edward Dolnick’s work is a thoroughly engaging account of the California gold rush.

1 week ago

The end of the age of innocence: 'Blood Sport: Alex Rodriguez, Biogenesis, and the Quest to End Baseball's Steroid Era'

Tim Elfrink and Gus Garcia-Roberts go far beyond baseball in piecing together the messy details of the biggest drug scandal in sports

1 week ago

 Dietrich Bonhoeffer

’Strange Glory: A Life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer': The spiritual growth and struggles of the celebrated German martyr

Charles Marsh explores the evolving faith of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who tried to assassinate Hitler.

1 week ago

A fate worse than death? 'Lock In' imagines a disease that kills and paralyzes millions

John Scalzi offers an entertaining but flawed science fiction novel

1 week ago

Even God is a Texan: ’Rough Country: How Texas Became America’s Most Powerful Bible-Belt State’

Robert Wuthnow explains how faith, right-wing politics and big money shaped Texas

1 week ago

Australian masterpiece ’Barracuda’ is intoxicating

Christos Tsiolkas’ novel tackles class, prejudice, sex, violence, career and the meaning of domesticity.

1 week ago

Off with their heads: ’The Emperors: How Europe’s Rulers Were Destroyed by the First World War’

British author Gareth Russell takes us back a century, into the dying days of some of Europe’s oldest monarchies

1 week ago

The unkindest cut: 'The Girl Next Door’ by Ruth Rendell

Ruth Rendell’s latest English country side murder mystery spans decades.

1 week ago

Spinnin’ vinyl in the boys’ club: 'Do Not Sell At Any Price: The Wild, Obsessive Hunt For The World’s Rarest 78 RPM Records'

Journalist Amanda Petrusich enters the obsessive world of 78 rpm record collecting.

1 week ago

Jazzy town: 'Supreme City: How Jazz Age Manhattan Gave Birth To Modern America'

For historian Donald L. Miller, New York City is the throbbing engine at the center of the modern world.

1 week ago

'Out of the Impossible': the tale of a former Sudanese child soldier

Paul Kur, now living in Pittsburgh, was a “Lost Boy” of the 1983 civil war in Sudan. He tells a brutally honest story.

1 week ago

Jack Reacher returns as 'Sherlock Homeless' in Lee Child's 'Personal'

The latest Jack Reacher tale is a narrative bullet train; the ride is fast, smooth and reliable.

1 week ago

2Do this week, Nov. 9-15: Cultural events around Pittsburgh

Author readings, classical music performances and comedy acts are all on tap this week.

1 week ago

 Gregory Maguire.

Lecture preview: Gregory Maguire tells tales within tales, with witches, too

The author of “Wicked” speaks at the Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland on Sunday, promoting his new young adult novel “Egg & Spoon.”

2 weeks ago

 Elizabeth Gilbert will speak to a sold-out audience at Carnegie Music Hall, Oakland, on Monday.

Author Elizabeth Gilbert praises her key influences: schoolteachers

Author Elizabeth Gilbert reflects on her new book, “The Signature of All Things,” and on sharing a stage with Oprah Winfrey.

2 weeks ago

 Martin Amis, author of "The Zone of Interest"

'The Zone of Interest': The evil of the banality of evil

Martin Amis explores the business-as-usual brutality of Auschwitz in his 14th novel.

2 weeks ago

 Jane Smiley, author of "Some Luck"

'Some Luck': Jane Smiley, down on the farm

The first installment of Jane Smiley’s trilogy of family and farm life unfolds slowly but is a literary triumph.

2 weeks ago

Fake news guru: 'Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart'

Lisa Rogak has great material to work with, telling the story of the funniest truth-teller on TV.

2 weeks ago

 Karen Armstrong, author of "Fields of Blood"

'Fields of Blood': It’s not religion, it’s the economy, stupid!

Karen Armstrong, the renowned scholar, argues that obsessions with greed and power — not religion — cause war.

2 weeks ago

Hail to the Veep: 'The American Vice Presidency: From Irrelevance to Power' by Jules Witcover

It’s not really an account of the office, as its title suggests, but of the nearly four dozen individuals who have served in it.

2 weeks ago

Information creep: 'Whiskey Tango Foxtrot' a paranoid but inspired debut novel

David Shafer offers a genre-bending addictive read: part cybercrime thriller, part satire, part science-fiction literary novel.

2 weeks ago

Floating democracies: 'Outlaws of the Atlantic: Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail'

Marcus Rediker makes an original case that the roots of Tom Paine, Samuel Adams and others lay in the working-class solidarity of pirates.

2 weeks ago

School of murder: 'The Secret Place (Dublin Murder Squad)' by Tana French

In any Tana French crime novel, the detectives are modern-day prospectors, panning for facts instead of gold. They usually get lies.

2 weeks ago

What multiple dreams are made of: 'Bathing the Lion' by Jonathan Carroll

“Magical realism” may be the best way to describe Mr. Carroll’s work. And no mere plot synopsis can do justice to its joys.

2 weeks ago

The real Honest Abe: 'Lincoln's Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months that Gave America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War'

Civil War aficionados may not find anything new, but for the rest of us, “Lincoln’s Gamble” is a great way to revisit this defining moment.

2 weeks ago


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