All Book Reviews

  • The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt

    A man of brutal force, Cornelius Vanderbilt – for better and worse – helped to shape American business culture.

  • Admission

    An Ivy League admissions officer worries about her school’s eager applicants, even as she struggles with a past secret of her own.

  • The People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story

    A church historian seeks out the stories of committed Christians who, over the centuries, have lived their faith and helped keep their church alive.

  • Built of Books

    Oscar Wilde’s life viewed through the prism of his library.

  • Music's Spell

    A pocket-sized collection of poems about the power of music.

  • Classic review: Little Heathens

    Mildred Armstrong Kalish's new memoir offers a warm-hearted retelling of life on a Depression-era Iowa farm.

  • Not Becoming My Mother

    Ruth Reichl pens a “left-handed Mother’s Day” card to her over-educated, unhappy parent.

  • Everything Asian

    Linked stories follow a Korean family uncomfortably trying to assimilate as they run a gift shop in a New Jersey mall in the 1980s.

  • Forbidden Bread

    The breezy, engaging memoir of a New York financial analyst who left her world behind to marry a poet and live in his native Slovenia.

  • Bicycles

    Love poetry as the antidote to the craziness of the world.

  • Practicing Catholic

    Journalist and former priest James Carroll uses his own life as a lens through which to explore contemporary American Catholicism.

  • The Antelope’s Strategy

    After the genocide, ordinary Rwandans wonder: Can survivors and killers share hilltops again?

  • Poetry collections to cherish

    Three short reviews of poetry collections.

  • The Girls from Ames

    How 11 women have sustained a 40-year friendship – and how that bond nurtures them.

  • The Song Is You

    The writing is lovely but the romance feels creepy in Arthur Phillip’s latest novel.

  • The Ballad of Dorothy Wordsworth

    An absorbing examination of the unusual life of Dorothy Wordsworth.

  • Life List

    One woman’s quest to see as many of the world’s birds as possible.

  • This Is Water

    David Foster Wallace on the difficulty – and importance – of living 'consciously, adultly, day in and day out.'

  • Columbine

    A decade after the Columbine school shootings, a journalist shines a light into the dark corners of the case.

  • Classic review: Ireland

    A history of Ireland by the people who know it best - the storytellers.