I have to admit I was a bit nonplussed when Alice Munro won the Nobel Prize in 2013. Not because she didn’t deserve it. On the contrary, no writer is more worthy of this crowning literary honor. No, my dismay stemmed from the fact that the secret had gotten out: For years, we Munro fans had fooled ourselves into thinking we were part of some exclusive society with special appreciation for an unsung master. Crazy, of course, since Munro had been reaching tens of thousands of readers for decades with her stories in The New Yorker. But such is the unvarnished assuredness of Munro’s prose, the knowing intimacy of her plots—it is easy to believe she is writing for you alone.
This month's best new mysteries include a cold case captured in a photograph, a puzzling standalone set in Scotland, the second installment in a hit French series and the newest Thorn novel.
This month's best new cookbooks include a guide to making meals ahead, an elegant guide to baking, the best of comfort food and an award-winning Southern chef's best recipes.
This month's best new romances feature an introspective historical novel, unexpected passion between reunited friends and the first in a sizzling new paranormal series.
Azar Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran, with its intriguing and evocative title, was an international bestseller that fed Western readers’ appetite for learning about life under a fundamentalist regime. Her new book, The Republic of Imagination, bears some of the hallmarks of that success—literary criticism blended with personal history—but it flips the equation, offering an assessment of Nafisi’s adopted country (she became an American citizen in 2008) through the lens of her passion for literature.
This month's best new mysteries include a riveting cold case, a grisly discovery at an old playhouse, another novel of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and a thrilling case set in Thailand.
Three novels exploring the confines of art and artistry make great picks for reading groups this month.
This month's Lifestyles column features paper-based projects, inventive ways to wrap packages and a guide to DIY home decor.
A moving memoir, a fast-paced Irish thriller and a finely-crafted collection of short stories make for great listening this month.
Three books following unconventional lives make great picks for reading groups this month.