It is difficult to determine what kind of book April Smith intended her new novel to be. Is it to be a piece of personal American history like her "A Star for Mrs. Blake"? Is it to be a thriller in the manner of her FBI Special Agent Ana Grey series? As it stands, it’s a mash-up of both — an…

Parents, we are told, are not meant to survive their children. Sometimes they do, and there’s a journey towards whatever peace is to be found in the aftermath. John Gunther relates just such a journey in the classic "Death Be Not Proud."

Ayelet Waldman has tried a lot of things as a writer. She’s the author of the Mommy Track Mystery series. Her most recent novels are the very moving "Red Hook Road" and "Love and Treasure." She continues to stir up a bit of controversy with "Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor …