The 20-Year Contest to Crack the Code of the Rosetta Stone

“The Writing of the Gods,” by Edward Dolnick, offers a fresh account of the discovery in Egypt of the giant slab, and of the competition to decipher its symbols.


Book Review: ‘Midnight in Washington,’ by Adam Schiff

Schiff’s “Midnight in Washington” is that rare memoir by a politician that actually has something to say.


Book Review: ‘Everything and Less,’ by Mark McGurl

Mark McGurl’s “Everything and Less” examines the impact the tech giant has had on literature itself.


Celebrate the Book Review's 125th Anniversary: A Times Event

On Oct. 25, Times subscribers can join Daniel Dae Kim and other special guests for readings of favorite letters and reviews from the archives, trivia and more.


10 New Books We Recommend This Week

Suggested reading from critics and editors at The New York Times.


Thomas Mallon on the Career of Jonathan Franzen

Mallon talks about Franzen’s “Crossroads,” and Joshua Ferris discusses “A Calling for Charlie Barnes.”


The Controversy Over Statues and How We Commemorate the Past

Alex von Tunzelmann’s “Fallen Idols” looks at the arguments surrounding 12 figures from history, and what they tell us about both the past and the present.


Book Review: ‘Unprotected,’ by Billy Porter

In his memoir “Unprotected,” Billy Porter recounts his lifelong struggle to heal the deep wounds buried under the sheen of his charismatic presence.


Book Review: ‘One Friday in April,’ by Donald Antrim

In his new memoir, “One Friday in April,” Donald Antrim tells his own story and argues that a suicide attempt is “a disease process, not an act or a choice.”


Book Review: ‘LaserWriter II,’ by Tamara Shopsin

In her novel “LaserWriter II,” Tamara Shopsin visits the free-spirited world of Tekserve, a beloved Mac repair shop in 1990s Manhattan.


Jane Goodall Explains How Books Led Her to Live Among the Chimps

“There was no TV when I was a child. I learned from books — and nature. I read every book about animals I could find. Doctor Dolittle and Tarzan led me to dream about living with animals in Africa.”


When William Faulkner and Langston Hughes Wrote Children’s Books

You might think that celebrated adult authors writing for kids is a new trend. It isn’t.


Review: ‘The Complete Stories,’ by Flannery O’Connor

This collection — which appeared seven years after the Southern Gothic writer’s death in 1964 — was reviewed by Alfred Kazin.


Review: ‘Song of Solomon,’ by Toni Morrison

In the deep, sprawling 1977 story of Milkman Dead, the reviewer Reynolds Price found evidence for “the possibility of transcendence within human life.”


Review: ‘The Bell Jar,’ by Sylvia Plath

To our reviewer, the poet’s novel was “the kind of book Salinger’s Franny might have written about herself 10 years later, if she had spent those 10 years in Hell.”


Review: ‘The Liars’ Club,’ by Mary Karr

The Times would later call this 1995 memoir of a hardscrabble Texas childhood “one of the best books ever written about growing up in America.”


Review: ‘The Golden Notebook,’ by Doris Lessing

In 1962, our reviewer described this radically feminist novel — now considered Lessing’s most influential work — as “a coruscating literary event.”


The Birth of The New York Times Book Review

The paper’s rich literary tradition can be traced back to its very first issue on Sept. 18, 1851.


‘Weather’

In 2020, as Covid-19 raged and protests swept the country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Claudia Rankine wrote this poem for the Book Review.


Review: ‘The Jeweler’s Eye,’ by William F. Buckley Jr.

Mario Puzo, who reviewed this collection of the conservative thinker's essays, found himself charmed despite the politics.


Interview: Isabel Allende

The Chilean novelist was living in exile when her first novel was published in 1985. “In a way, I feel that I am working for my country, even if I don’t live there,” she told us.


Review: ‘Sister Carrie,’ by Theodore Dreiser

The novel’s headline-making candor and explicitness led the Book Review to assure its readers, “It is a book one can very well get along without reading.”


Peeved, Irritated and Annoyed: Early Letters to the Editor

The Book Review’s letters page — the internet message board of its day — was filled with lively, opinionated missives from readers and authors.


Review: ‘The Road,’ by Cormac McCarthy

In 2006, our reviewer correctly predicted that this father-son tale would eclipse the popularity of McCarthy’s 1992 hit, “All the Pretty Horses.”


Review: ‘The Woman Warrior,’ by Maxine Hong Kingston

This brilliant 1976 memoir evokes the author’s Chinese immigrant family and summons the ghosts who haunt it.

 

‘The End of Bias’ Says There’s Hope for Meaningful Change

In her new book, Jessica Nordell examines ways to overcome unexamined stereotypes and the harm they cause.


Questlove Looks at 50 Years of Modern Music — and Modern History

In “Music Is History,” the Roots’ frontman tells a story of America that begins in 1971, the year he was born.


Writing About a Past Injustice Helped Her See What Has and Hasn’t Changed

Nadifa Mohamed is a Booker Prize finalist for her novel “The Fortune Men,” a story about a false accusation and the tragedy that resulted.


This Novel Nods to Virginia Woolf While Staring Down Modern Class Lines

In “The Days of Afrekete,” by Asali Solomon, a woman hosting a dinner party for her soon-to-be-disgraced husband spends time remembering a woman she loved in college.


Thomas Mallon on the Career of Jonathan Franzen

Mallon talks about Franzen’s “Crossroads,” and Joshua Ferris discusses “A Calling for Charlie Barnes.”


Jerry Pinkney, Acclaimed Children’s Book Illustrator, Dies at 81

Adept at reimagining classic tales, he often made sure that his books included Black characters and themes.


Classic Crime Novels That Still Thrill Today

Here’s how we reviewed now-famous mysteries by the likes of Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy Sayers, Dashiell Hammett and more.


125 Years of Book Review Covers

What did the Book Review look like in 1896, in 1916, in 1962? Scroll down to see what it looked like — and how it changed — through the decades.


Essay: Should We Have War Crime Trials?

Fifty years ago, the Times reporter Neil Sheehan took a hard look at America’s conduct in Vietnam.


When William Faulkner and Langston Hughes Wrote Children’s Books

You might think that celebrated adult authors writing for kids is a new trend. It isn’t.


Review: ‘The Complete Stories,’ by Flannery O’Connor

This collection — which appeared seven years after the Southern Gothic writer’s death in 1964 — was reviewed by Alfred Kazin.


Review: ‘The Lost World,’ by Arthur Conan Doyle

Dinosaurs in the 20th century? In 1912, Sherlock Holmes’s creator invented the template that Michael Crichton would follow almost eight decades later.


Review: ‘Song of Solomon,’ by Toni Morrison

In the deep, sprawling 1977 story of Milkman Dead, the reviewer Reynolds Price found evidence for “the possibility of transcendence within human life.”


Review: ‘The Bell Jar,’ by Sylvia Plath

To our reviewer, the poet’s novel was “the kind of book Salinger’s Franny might have written about herself 10 years later, if she had spent those 10 years in Hell.”


Review: ‘Ulysses,’ by James Joyce

Our reviewer called “Ulysses” the “most important contribution that has been made to fictional literature in the 20th century.” That doesn’t mean he liked it.


Review: ‘The Liars’ Club,’ by Mary Karr

The Times would later call this 1995 memoir of a hardscrabble Texas childhood “one of the best books ever written about growing up in America.”


Review: ‘The Golden Notebook,’ by Doris Lessing

In 1962, our reviewer described this radically feminist novel — now considered Lessing’s most influential work — as “a coruscating literary event.”


Review: ‘Color,’ by Countee Cullen

In 1925, the Book Review raved about the “sensitive” love poems and “piercing” satire from a young star of the Harlem Renaissance.


The Birth of The New York Times Book Review

The paper’s rich literary tradition can be traced back to its very first issue on Sept. 18, 1851.


‘Weather’

In 2020, as Covid-19 raged and protests swept the country in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, Claudia Rankine wrote this poem for the Book Review.


Review: ‘The Jeweler’s Eye,’ by William F. Buckley Jr.

Mario Puzo, who reviewed this collection of the conservative thinker's essays, found himself charmed despite the politics.


Review: ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

Reeling from a divorce, a writer sought solace in Italy, India and Indonesia. There, she found peace — and plenty of material for a blockbuster memoir.


Interview: Isabel Allende

The Chilean novelist was living in exile when her first novel was published in 1985. “In a way, I feel that I am working for my country, even if I don’t live there,” she told us.


Review: ‘White Teeth,’ by Zadie Smith

A satirical, multigenerational family saga set during the waning of the colonial British Empire, this 2000 debut established its author as a prodigy of the novel form.


Review: ‘Sister Carrie,’ by Theodore Dreiser

The novel’s headline-making candor and explicitness led the Book Review to assure its readers, “It is a book one can very well get along without reading.”