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In Todd Parr's world, it's OK to wear your undies on your head, spill your milk or eat mac and cheese in the bathtub.

Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War, by Max Hastings. (Vintage) This is an excellent chronicle of World War I’s first months, from the initial diplomatic crisis to the fighting in Belgium and France on the Western Front, and Serbia and Galicia to the east. Hastings, the author of “Inferno: The World at War, 1939-1945,” finds the argument that Germany bore principal blame “overwhelmingly strong.”

The story of John Bassett III reveals much about the decline of North Carolina and Virginia as the nation’s furniture capital.

Alison Gaylin’s third novel about investigator Brenna Spector is a spellbinder.

The ages of 4 to 9 are a crucial time for young readers; these books take advantage of that.

Bob Stanley’s ‘Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!: The Story of Pop Music From Bill Haley to Beyonce’ and Germaine Greer’s ‘White Beech: The Rainforest Years’

The Americans have arrived in force for Britain's Booker literary prize.

Brad Thor

The best short stories ask you to lend a hand in figuring things out. Unless, of course, the writer tacks on a neon message: Now, see here, life is a struggle. The writers here are too smart for that.

Did the reclusive Harper Lee cooperate with Marja Mills’ memoir or is it a work of fiction? Readers may never know.

Confession: I find it almost impossible to read during daylight hours. In June, at a garage sale,...

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