There's a glorious interplay between historical fact and fiction in this week's fiction roundup.
A new scholarly biography examines the life Rosa Parks – the icon America embraced yet never really knew.
Bee Wilson outlines the history of kitchen technologies with wit and skill.
Max Boot's entertaining history teaches valuable lessons, but sometimes draws shaky conclusions.
Cathy Marie Buchanan spins a clear-eyed and heartfelt account of the seamy side of La Belle Époque in Europe.
One of the best children's books of early 2013 tells the tale of a young girl whose sister goes missing during the largest passenger pigeon roosting ever.
Movies, money, and murder in the Gilded Age West.
William Least Heat-Moon lets curiosity lead him far and wide.
Jonathan Cott's story of a day spent with Bernstein shows an energetic, gifted musician who was determined not to limit himself.
Jenny Uglow has created a graceful historical narrative about a forgotten 19th-century heroine/visionary.
No fan of Jordan's work will want to miss this sprawling series-ender. But it is not a book to read out of context.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Bernard Bailyn's book on the early settling of America is authoritative as well as entertaining.
Why have well-intentioned foreigners done so little for post-quake Haiti?
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells her story with wit and candor.
Lillian Daniel's study of what people who opt out of religion are missing is funny and refreshing.
In his autobiography, Charlie Chaplin is forthcoming with his childhood recollections but oddly reticent when it comes to discussing his film achievements.
Sharon Flake's young adult novel shows high school at its best and worst and gets to the heart of its two teenage main characters.
In his 1882 lecture tour of the US and Canada, Irish wit Oscar Wilde let his clothing and set design do half the work.
Relying on his vast knowledge of New Guinea, Jared Diamond asks what moderns like us can learn from traditional societies.
Despite some noteworthy shortcomings, Paul Reid's examination of the last third of Churchill's life gives us the British statesman in all his robust complexity.