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Books

The Greatest Discovery?

Walter Isaacson reveals in clear, simple, factual, and fascinating detail how Jennifer Doudna spearheaded the invention of the revolutionary gene-editing tool Crispr.

Mar 18, 2021
An Art History Murder Mystery

The real mixes with the imaginary, Thomas Hart Benton with the young sleuths hunting his murderer, in Helen Harrison’s latest, set in 1967 New York.

Mar 11, 2021
The Call of Submission

In Daphne Merkin's novel, Judith Stone is a book editor in 1990s Manhattan in a relationship of “erotic compliance” and “self-abandon” — not erotica, but literary erotic psychology.

Mar 4, 2021
Bad Boyfriend

Take an acupuncturist, her mysterious love interest, a corpse, Stony Brook detectives, a sadistic villain, and mix well for the second thriller from Greg Wands and Elizabeth Keenan.

Feb 25, 2021
King of the Hotheads

Bugsy Siegel was lavishly rewarded for his crimes, we learn in Michael Shnayerson’s new biography, although money didn't really interest him. He wanted fame and respect more, but his impulsive nature gave him a dark reputation he never escaped.

Feb 18, 2021
A Tragedy of Ambition

In “What Becomes a Legend Most,” Philip Gefter shows Richard Avedon to be an eminent fashion photographer driven to be recognized as a great artist but met with disdain from the establishment.

Feb 11, 2021
Life Lessons

Three children’s book authors from hereabouts, Billy Baldwin, Susan Verde, and Kori Peters, boldly go where parents often neglect to tread, broaching the topics of perseverance, gratitude, and the social good.

Feb 4, 2021
Bang, Bang, You’re Dead

The characters in Jeffrey Sussman’s “Big Apple Gangsters” are occupied with bootlegging, garbage collecting, cement mixing, heroin dealing, and killing, mainly each other. The action extends to Mussolini, Batista, J. Edgar Hoover, Joe DiMaggio, and, the coup de grace, Rudy Giuliani.

Jan 28, 2021
The Brains of the Family

In her gripping first novel, “A Most English Princess,” Clare McHugh has seized on the fact that Vicky, the eldest daughter of Queen Victoria, was surely the smartest and most capable of her siblings. Her claim to England’s throne, however, was dashed by her younger brother.

Jan 21, 2021
A Journey Inward

“Being Ram Das” is the memoir of the former Richard Alpert of Boston, whose remarkable journey took him from elite universities, high social status, and hallucinogenic drug use to points near and very far, including, in 1967, to the feet of a blanketed man in the Himalayas.

Jan 14, 2021
The Poet Who Knew Everyone

This collection of Tony Towle’s poems, itself a work of art, contains numerous photos, most black and white by Hans Namuth. Through this lens of a particular time and place in the 1960s, a world opens up, offering a glimpse at a specific historical moment.

Jan 7, 2021
The 10 Best Books of One Tough Year

Kurt Wenzel, novelist, book and theater critic, and the best-read man we know, picks ’em.

Dec 30, 2020