The baffling 1922 murder of director William Desmond Taylor gets true-crime treatment in Tinseltown, a compelling interweaving of star power, the machinations of power brokers and the desperation of the wannabes and the washed up. Together they provide the book’s apt subtitle: “Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood."
While we all know George Washington as our first president and leader of American forces in the Revolutionary War, in The Return of George Washington: 1783-1789, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edward J. Larson illuminates another key role he played: leading the Constitutional Convention.
Abigail (don’t call her “Abby”) is so excited about starting sixth grade, she has to make lists just to calm herself down. She’s ready to rule the school with best friends Alli and Cami and their wicked pom pom choreography when disaster strikes three times over: Abigail ends up in a different homeroom than her friends; she doesn’t make the pom squad; and her homeroom teacher pairs her with wildly unpopular Gabby Marco for a year-long letter writing assignment. Always, Abigail is a story of friendship found in unexpected places, and the cost of kindness versus popularity.
Miles J. Unger’s magisterial new biography, Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces, tells its subject’s life story through the lens of his art—appropriately so, given Michelangelo’s willful transmutation of the role of the Renaissance artist. When Michelangelo began his apprenticeship, artists were seen as little more than craftsmen, churning out statuary and paintings to decorate the villas and churches of the wealthy nobility. Michelangelo’s greatest achievement—in Unger’s portrayal—is not to be found in his artwork (the statue of David or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel) but rather in his creation of the artist himself as secular genius.
This month's Lifestyles column encourages creative activism, clever gardening and animal awareness.
National Poetry Month begins with April Fools’ Day. Coincidence? Perhaps not. These three books for young readers goof, spoof and are rarely, if ever, aloof. They make poetry and reading as easy as breathing, and also a lot of fun.
It’s 1917, and 16-year-old Russian noble Natalya feels confident of her future: She’ll become tsarina when she marries Romanov heir Alexei and live a life filled with glittering parties and beautiful gowns. Her plans seem especially secure when Alexei shows her a Fabergé egg that’s been infused with magical healing powers by royal advisor Grigori Rasputin.
For parents who can’t get past the saccharine sentiments expressed in some picture books about love, You Are the Pea, and I Am the Carrot offers a refreshing, lighthearted antidote. As a young boy (with a head as round as a pea) and a girl (as slender as a carrot, with orange hair to boot) picnic in the grass, they croon a tune that features classic food pairings. Readers can almost hear...
In his latest middle grade novel, Icefall author Matthew J. Kirby brings readers a fast-paced fantasy set in colonial America on the brink of the French and Indian War. When Billy Bartram’s botanist father asks Billy to join him on his next expedition to the western wilderness of the New World, he is thrilled. Billy idolizes his father and wants nothing more than to use his artistic...
Author J. Maarten Troost spent several years living on a tiny island in the South Seas, an experience he brought to life in The Sex Lives of Cannibals. In the intervening years his family moved several times and he took a long slide into alcoholism, which he blamed in part on living too far from the water. One year sober but miserable, he decides to travel the South Seas again, following a path...