A new Philip Marlowe novel by Benjamin Black fills in the noir checklist but misses the soul of the famed detective's city.
Chris Pavone mines his experience in the publishing industry and layers on intrigue in a spy thriller with characters from his novel 'The Expats.'
Lilibet Snellings talks about her book 'Box Girl' and working as a human 'Installation' in the lobby of West Hollywood's Standard Hotel.
Though Kenneth Calhoun's 'Black Moon' doesn't always cohere, it compels with a tale of a world gone mad with insomnia.
'Dragnet Nation' by Julia Angwin examines how a data-driven economy created a constantly surveilled society where security and market research trump privacy and personal information.
As chronicled in 'Blood Will Out,' a faux Rockefeller fooled author Walter Kirn for years until it became clear Christian Gerhartsreiter was a liar and a killer.
Yiyun Li takes us back to the months after Tiananmen Square and to a fatal poisoning. It's personal, not political.
Not Just For Kids: Grit, loyalty and gentleness cast a spell more captivating than the warring witches and sinister sorcery of Sally Green's 'Half Bad.'
For better or worse, Lisa Bloom brings a TV pundit sensibility to the Trayvon Martin case in 'Suspicion Nation.'
Taking astonishing risks, Helen Oyeyemi casts mirrors as the villain of her piece as she pierces racism and cultural ideas.
David Grand talks about 'Mount Terminus,' a novel set in early 20th century L.A. — and one that took 10 years to write and kept him estranged him from the city.
Dr. danah boyd hopes parents use her exhaustive study of how youth use social media as a tool to open communications with their own child.
A clear-eyed overview of the nuclear industry and the Japanese disaster doesn't split hairs over the risk: It can happen here.
Mark Harris' 'Five Came Back' explores the World War II work of U.S. directors John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra and George Stevens, who elevated propaganda films to a high art.
Domestic life motivates many of the stories in 'Bark,' Lorrie Moore's first fiction collection in 15 years.
Jeff Pearlman's 'Showtime' is a dishy take on the run-and-gun Lakers of the 1980s, with an insider look at Magic, Kareem and more.
Essay collection 'MFA vs. NYC: The Two Cultures of American Fiction' from n+1 ponders whether getting a master of fine arts degree in creative writing is a good idea. Or is living in New York just as helpful?
In 1976, 'Network' skewered the media and modern life and introduced 'mad as hell' to the cultural landscape. David Itzkoff discusses his new book about the prophetic film.
'The Office' writer-actor B.J. Novak, whose father was an author, debuts a collection of humorous short stories, 'One More Thing' — but 'I'll never be George Saunders,' he says.
Author Tom Zoellner takes readers on a historical world tour of landmark lines and the cultural shifts they helped generate.
A new biography suggests Carl Van Vechten pushed the nation's cultural values forward by making a virtue of racial and sexual diversity.
'Cairo: Memoir of a City Transformed' by Ahdaf Soueif is a fine personal look at the seeming revolution in Tahrir Square but doesn't provide historical context.
Kem Nunn's latest novel, 'Chance,' goes far beyond the 'surfer noir' label and into morally ambiguous and very deep waters.
Marcel Theroux's 'Strange Bodies' is a smart, troubling sci-fi thriller that poses deep questions about identity.
'HRC' by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes is an entertaining, illuminating look at Hillary Rodham Clinton's time as secretary of State. The book shows her as dogged, but also salty, bawdy and funny.
Philip Schultz's novel in verse 'The Wherewithal' is about Henryk, who says his life includes the Jedwabne pogrom and the Zodiac killer but whose chronology doesn't line up.
Rabih Alameddine's new novel, 'An Unnecessary Woman,' is a love letter to literature and the female spirit.
The 'not quite a memoir' 'Dancing Fish and Ammonites' finds Penelope Lively waxing elegant and poignant about her life.
Joshua Zeitz's 'Lincoln's Boys: John Hay, John Nicolay, and the War for Lincoln's Image' examines the president's secretaries, who wrote a history of him.
Barry Miles' William Burroughs biography 'Call Me Burroughs' is an extensive, fascinating biography of the 'Naked Lunch' author, including the William Tell shooting death of his wife and his life as countercultural spokesman.
Though Matthew Kneale highlights interesting material, a book that presents itself as an investigation of belief instead delivers a straightforward history of religion.
The horror-fantasy combination in Jeff Vandermeer's 'Annihilation,' the first novel in a trilogy, makes genre triumphantly general.
Authors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld's deliberately provocative arguments about American prosperity are sloppy, and ignore history and economics.
In Jenny Offill's 'Dept. of Speculation,' motherhood, geeky facts and a sprinkling of great thoughts create a riveting addition to female abandonment literature.
Sarah Pinborough deftly trawls through the muck of Victorian London in 'Mayhem,' a graphic tale about a series of murders contemporaneous to Jack the Ripper's crimes.
UCLA's legendary basketball coach, John Wooden, is given a definitive biography with 'Wooden.' Seth Davis delivers a clear-eyed view of a man whose passion for the game became his Pyramid of Success.
Sue Monk Kidd uses fact and fiction to tell the story of the Grimke sisters and a young slave in their household in 'The Invention of Wings.'
Jesse Ball's novel 'Silence Once Begun' is a fascinating work presented in a documentary format.
In 'Flappers,' Judith Mackrell details the lives of Josephine Baker, Tallulah Bankhead, Zelda Fitzgerald, Lady Diana Cooper, Nancy Cunard and Tamara de Lempicka in lively roaring '20s fashion.
In a memoir built of short, episodic sections, David Stuart MacLean records a spell of amnesia, realizing 'The Answer to the Riddle Is Me.'
Armistead Maupin's 'Tales of the City' concludes with the moving 'The Days of Anna Madrigal,' a closer look at the serial's central figure.
Chris Abani's 'The Secret History of Las Vegas' is not your standard crime novel but it does have conjoined twins and buried secrets.
Author Jennifer Percy became immersed in the same 'Demon Camp' where veterans sought to exorcise their torment.
Masha Gessen's new book about Pussy Riot explores the story behind the Russian guerrilla girls' protest movement.
A retired composer wrongly becomes public enemy No. 1 in lightning speed in Richard Powers' moving 'Orfeo.'
The novel 'Foreign Gods Inc.' by Okey Ndibe follows New York cab driver Ike as he returns to Nigeria to steal a statue of the war god Ngene.
Erika Hayasaki talks about how a courseon dying inspired her to write 'Death Class: A True Story About Life.'
'The Empire of Necessity' takes a meandering tour of slavery in 19th century South America, when the age of liberty coincided with 'the Age of Slavery.'
Michael J. Seidlinger's strange book has a boxer called Sugar engagingly narrating in first-person stream-of-consciousness.
In 'America's Great Game,' history professor Hugh Wilford deftly explores the CIA's passionate Arabists and the agency's role in the shaping of the modern Middle East, coups included.
Felipe Fernandez-Armesto's 'Our America: A Hispanic History of the United States' is a fascinating but problem-plagued polemic.
Magdalena Zyzak marks a wickedly good debut with the Eastern Europe-set 'The Ballad of Barnabas Pierkiel.'
New biographies of such historical figures as Josephine Baker, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Malcolm X sometimes omit life details, sometimes capture the person's contradictions.
E.L. Doctorow explores the tension between reality and memory in his new novel, 'Andrew's Brain.'
Ransom Riggs ('Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children') and Tahereh Mafi ('Shatter Me') are successful YA authors and an enchanting couple with new books on the way.
Russian-born American writer Gary Shteyngart delivers the memoir 'Little Failure,' in which a would-be maudlin childhood becomes an ecstatic depiction of survival, guilt and perseverance.
Q&A: In 'The Longest Date: Life as a Wife,' Cindy Chupack -- whose résumé includes writing for TV's 'Sex and the City' -- writes of what she has found surprising and funny (and tragic) about marriage.
Scientist Ray Jayawardhana finds explaining particle physics to the public in 'Secrets of the Universe' a 'rewarding and fun' exercise.
Colorful anecdotes and plot twists abound in a reissue of Rafael Bernal's Mexico City-set 'The Mongolian Conspiracy.'
Novelist Chang-rae Lee's dark ride into a dystopia presents a heroine seeking to discover community and family in a world that has moved long past them.
Cher, Joan Jett, Brooke Shields and more — Brad Elterman shot them all during the glamorous, decadent era. His images are the focus of a new book, 'Dog Dance.'
The enlightening collection includes poets from Muti' ibn Iyas in the 8th century to Sinan Antoon and more in the present.
Wil S. Hylton explores in vivid detail the 60-year mission of the search for American MIAs from WWII.
A collection from Elizabeth Spencer, a PEN/Malamud Award winner, features domestic dramas in which the most compelling dynamics unfold between parents and children, husbands and wives.
While pundits bemoan the death of print, Pitchfork and the L.A. Review of Books are among the online magazines embracing ink on paper
Sherill Tippins tells the remarkable story of the legendary New York building and its free-spirited residents over the decades.
'Dangerous Women,' an anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, features an impressive assembly of work, and a new novella by Martin.
Literature. Love. They get skewered — though generously — by Los Angeles author Mark Haskell Smith in his new novel, 'Raw: A Love Story.'
Gilbert Hernandez's quartet of 2013 graphic novels 'The Children of Palomar,' 'Marble Season,' 'Julio's Day' and 'Maria M.' offer glimpses of a richly constructed world.
Morrissey's entertaining autobiography is a burnishing of his image, not a glimpse beneath the surface
Cari Luna's 'The Revolution of Every Day, Keenan Norris' 'Brother and the Dancer' and Rebecca Walker's 'Adé: A Love Story.'
Author Michael Connelly keeps peeling the layers back with attorney Mickey Haller and half-brother Harry Bosch as he ratchets up the tension on a new case in 'The Gods of Guilt.'
In Greg Baxter's novel 'The Apartment,' an alienated American, sick of violence, decamps to a foreign city and tries to get lost.
Matthew Lysiak's 'Newtown' feels like a slapped-together account of the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy and perpetrator Adam Lanza.
The power in a collection of novellas about a shambling savant from Michigan's Upper Peninsula comes from the offhand nature of his choices.
There are plenty of Rube Goldberg contraptions — and they're fun — but there are also 'Foolish Questions,' 'I'm the Guy,' political cartoons and more.
In 'Trees in Paradise: A California History,' Jared Farmer explores the state's culture through the redwood, eucalyptus, orange, palm.
An amnesiac on a journey of self-discovery in WWI makes an oddly listless character in bestselling author Anita Shreve's new novel.
Studying the output of Stephen Crane, Dora Carrington and George Gershwin, Nicholas Delbanco looks for commonalities among creative types who create great works at young ages, then die early.
The residents of Buenos Aires' slums often go unseen. César Aira, in 'Shantytown,' reconnects them to their city.
A young woman suffers a chain of calamities against the backdrop of early 20th century China.
The 'Permanent Midnight' writer discusses how warning labels and a new child gave him the inspiration for 'Happy Mutant Baby Pills,' a trippy jaunt into the world of chemicals and OTC medication.
In 'A Permanent Member of the Family,' Russell Banks explores moving forward, to the narrowing of life. There's a reflective quality, a sense of consequence to these masterly stories.
Dickinson's 'envelope poems' are the stars of the stunning new 'The Gorgeous Nothings,' Here, her handwritten scribblings transform into art.
In 'The Frackers,' Gregory Zuckerman presents inspiring profiles of the new energy magnates but shortchanges environmental concerns.
Novelist John Grisham talks about his return to Ford County in 'Sycamore Row' and an unpleasant stint as a politician.
Cynthia Voigt's tale presents a youngster who must find out about his missing parents while working as a problem solver for others.
Amid efforts to persuade readers the Celts made a world map using a network of sacred sites, Graham Robb offers a vivid, respectful look at their culture.
David Shoemaker, Deadspin and Grantland writer, documents wrestling's spectacle and the damage inflicted on its larger-than-life performers.
Ex-boxing champ Mike Tyson is as merciless with himself as he was with opponents, his sordid antics finally giving way to a quest for redemption.
Louise Steinman ('The Souvenir') has a contagious fascination as she looks into the Polish-Jewish relationship decades after the Holocaust.
From bug eaters to slime suckers, Dana Goodyear eats her way through the foodie underground in 'Anything That Moves.' Along the way, a delightful, poly-flavored portrait of L.A. emerges.
The chaos brimming at the heart of Robert Stone's finest works surfaces in his latest book set on a New England campus.
Author-poet Erica Jong dishes on her landmark novel, its film adaptation, feminism today and the loss of romance and dating.
Doris Kearns Goodwin combines Theodore Roosevelt and William H. Taft's relationship with a portrait of the muckraker era for a riveting if overly detailed read.
Nicola Griffith's radical departure from her previous fiction results in the 7th century epic 'Hild.'
Hilton Als' 'White Girls' is a magnificent collection of essays that mixes criticism and memoir, fiction and nonfiction.
Nick Bilton's book gives an inside account of the friends who created and bumbled their way to a social media empire in 'Hatching Twitter.'
'The Most of Nora Ephron' is a dizzying final act of control, to be the heroine of her own death.