Arthur Conan Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels starring his fictional sleuth. So where to start? Michael Dirda – Pulitzer Prize-winning critic, writer and lifelong Sherlockian – gives us his personal choice of the best, and tells us more about their creator.
The distinguished Austen scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks tells us about the joy of rereading Austen and the hidden layers of complexity that emerge from the writing when one does so. She chooses the best books by or about Jane Austen.
The biographer explores the decadence of the young and rich in 1920s London, and tells us about Evelyn Waugh’s rebellious youth, bullying disposition and later breakdown – as well as just how much (and early) he drank
Modern America is a story of expanding frontiers, says the bestselling author. He tells us about five novels that shed light on the social history of his adopted homeland, from the late 19th century to the Great Depression
Family dynamics are changing dramatically in our modern, workaholic age. The novelist – and sister of Steve Jobs, separated at birth – selects five works of fiction that illustrate some truths about families in all their variety
‘The authors of these five books are people who came to New York for freedom – not so they could get rich, but so they could be free to pursue their interests and live their lives the way they wanted.’ New Yorker par excellence Fran Lebowitz recommends the writers who best capture her immutably mutable city.