In “A Spool of Blue Thread,” her splendid 2015 novel about a family and their house, Anne Tyler writes about the human inclination to set a home — both edifice and family — in order. The night before they move into their house, a husband tells his wife: “I’m just trying to pass muster.”

Christopher Buckley has treated readers to satirical looks at Washington politics in novels such as “Thank You for Smoking” and “No Way to Treat a First Lady.” Now he has delved into colonial history to produce “The Judge Hunter,” an eventful and often funny tale depicting the clash of compe…

The title of this shattering and original first book from Tommy Orange references a phrase found in a couple of places. Gertrude Stein said famously, and with a kind of “painful nostalgia” about her hometown of Oakland, Calif., “There is no there there.”

Stephen McCauley is still as incisive as he’s always been. From “The Object of My Affection” on, he has commented on our middle-class foibles with an acuity that in some hands might have become caustic, but in his remains affecting and compassionate.

Early in “The Opposite of Writing,” the introduction to this winning collection of occasional pieces, Michael Chabon recounts a conversation he had with an author “at a literary party the summer before my first novel was published.” That author tells Chabon the key to being a successful writ…

Richard Russo is one of our American treasures. His books come as close to the truths of modern living as any contemporary writer gets. His writing is vivid, graceful and wise. He quickly invites us in, making us as comfortable as he can, while he shows us the worst and the best of modern life.

Richard Flanagan’s “The Narrow Road to the Deep North” won the Man Booker Prize in 2014. This new novel, his first since that time, appeared in Australia last year and has just recently been published in this country.

“Aetherial Worlds” is the first collection from Tatyana Tolstaya to be translated into English in more than 20 years. Therefore, the 18 stories that comprise the volume will surely be new to most readers, even though the author is regarded as one of contemporary Russia’s preeminent writers.

A rich mixture of history, artistry and creativity is offered this month for those who are interested in learning more about church’s architectural features or reading an historical fiction set in the War Between the States. Stephanie Bain, Oxford author of “The Girl I Left Behind,” centers …

Julian Barnes wrote in “The Sense of an Ending,” his novel that won the Man Booker Prize in 2011, “How often do we tell our own life story? How often do we adjust, embellish, make sly cuts? And the longer life goes on, the fewer are those around to challenge our account, to remind us that ou…

“The Sandman” is the fourth of the Joona Linna series of Nordic noir by an author who doesn’t really exist. Lars Kepler, it turns out, is “the pseudonym of the critically acclaimed husband-and-wife team Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril and Alexander Ahndoril.”

“You’re out there on your own playing guessing games with a smart, highly unpredictable man. When you hit just the right spot, there will be no guards to rush in and remove his hands from your throat. And when he hits your raw spots — and he will — are you ready for it?”

“This Must Be the Place,” Maggie O’Farrell’s most recent novel, is the sort of splendid book that takes a reader by surprise. In that sensitive and well-ordered love story, O’Farrell displays a bold and ample heart, especially when it comes to the failings of each of her powerfully rendered …

Two women share their adventures in creating new places for our minds through writing and painting. Lynn Lacher, author of “The Lick Skillet Coffee Club,” and Alabama oil painter Barbara Davis, the featured artist at Oxford Performing Arts Center, channel experiences that only a Southerner c…

If there is one strand that is unmistakably the essence of the works of Dave Eggers, it is new beginnings, starting over. Think the college senior who inherits his 8-year-old brother after the deaths of their parents in the memoir “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius.” Think the comput…

The Munich Agreement between Great Britain and Germany in 1938 was a pact by which Germany was allowed to extend its territory into parts of Czechoslovakia. Between Sept. 29 and 30 in Munich, Neville Chamberlain negotiated on behalf of Britain, with Hitler on behalf of Germany. Benito Mussol…

“Oliver Loving,” Stefan Merrill Block’s exhilarating and poignant new novel, recounts the incident in which a disturbed young man walks into the school dance at Bliss Township School in West Texas and leaves in his wake a devastated school and township. It is, of course, a plot straight from…