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BOOK REVIEW: ‘Hounded’

It gets off to a rousing Rosenfelt start with a murder in a house otherwise occupied by an 8-year-old boy called Ricky and a basset hound called Sebastian.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Selected Letters of Norman Mailer’

Last year, J. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer’s authorized biographer, brought out nearly 1,000 pages packed with everything thought or said by or about Mailer, his life, his friends and enemies, his work that seemed to obviate the need for any further biographical data. But a year has passed, and Mr. Lennon (also Mailer’s official archivist) is back with a volume, nearly as thick and heavy, of Mailer’s correspondence.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Insurrections of the mind: 100 years of politics and culture in America’

This collection, intended to be in celebration of the New Republic’s centenary, will be looked at more as a requiem. This month, the magazine’s editor, Franklin Foer, and its long-standing and widely respected literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, left the magazine after a difference in vision with the owner, 30-year-old Chris Hughes. The magazine is moving back to New York City — its home for the first decades of its existence — and will be transformed, in the words of Mr. Hughes, into a “digital media company.” Mr. Hughes purchased the company only two years ago but seems to have tired of its place in American letters.

Destroying the myth of Queen Victoria

Neither the formal portrait of the aging, reflective mournful figure that takes up most of the front cover of the book nor the richly adorned matron in her prime on its back cover has much to do with the woman so vividly brought to life in these pages. In fact, they might be said to reflect the very images A.N. Wilson wants to correct.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Mao’s Revolution and America’s Fateful Choice’

Who was to rule China after Japan’s surrender? The ruling Nationalists were led by Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek, but their writ did not run to many parts of the country. The Communists had controlled China’s northern provinces for most of the war, and the alliance between the Communists and the Nationalists had been fragile.

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Strange Library’

Most of the time books are commodities: familiar objects that we pretty much ignore as we open them and focus on their text rather than their physical characteristics. Occasionally, though, books demand attention for themselves. Coffee-table books, radiant with pictures, are examples. Similarly, illustrated museum catalogs, facsimiles of old books or specially bound collectors’ editions wave their hands so that we notice them rather than speed straight to printed pages.

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The ‘renaissance admiral’ takes command

A 1976 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Adm. James Stavridis served for 35 years on active duty in the Navy, commanding destroyers and a carrier strike groups in combat, and for seven years as a four-star admiral, the last four years of which (2009 to 20013) were spent as the first Naval officer chosen as Supreme Allied Commander for Global Operations at NATO.

The sacredness of family possessions

Like one of those poor relatives or downtrodden governesses of Victorian fiction, the short story often seems anemic or slightly depressed. It is shuffled off into a corner, while its wealthy cousin the novel sits in the spotlit warmth, luxuriating in the depth and breadth that is its birthright. Lacking the novel's richness, the short story offers a Jane Eyre-like intensity, which some readers may find uncongenial or bought at too great a literary price.

A hero with a few missing parts

Directly north of the White House stands Lafayette Square, named in 1824 to honor the then-elderly Marquis de Lafayette, who embarked on a triumphal return tour of the United States the same year.

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy'

if you share my addiction for forbidden chocolates of the soul, get a copy of "The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy," settle in by the fire and prepare for a laugh-out-loud return to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

Life of the austere general

A biography of Gen. George Marshall is not to be undertaken lightly. The general was famously austere, a man whose icy stare alone could intimidate staff officers who feared nothing on the battlefield. He was humorless, had few friends and once observed that he had no personal feelings for anyone other than his wife. He was a professional soldier who lived only to serve his country.

The unappreciated first lady

Very little seems to have been written about Louisa Catherine Adams, wife of President John Quincy Adams and the sixth first lady of the United States. That is a pity because she seems to be as unappreciated in death as she was in her turbulent and trying life.

"The Skeleton Road" by Val McDermid. Book jacket courtesy Grove Atlantic.

Who’s the corpse in the Edinburgh pinnacle?

Atragedy embedded in a love story is vividly relived in the setting of the brutal Balkan wars in this gripping and expertly plotted thriller.

BOOK REVIEW: 'Walt Kelly's Pogo: The Complete Dell Comics'

Hermes Press, an American publisher that specializes in comic book reprints, has started collecting the extensive run of "Pogo" at Dell Comics. The first two hardcover volumes have been released, and they are exceptional.