By Zachary Leader. (Vintage, $22.) This second volume of Leader’s biography begins with Bellow’s ascent to best-sellerdom with “Herzog,” balancing discussions of the author’s work and personal life. In The New York Times Book Review, Mark Greif called it “brilliantly calibrated to explore Be… Read More ⇒

By Joanna Maclennan and Oliver Maclennan. (Thames & Hudson, 253 pages, $40.) Forget those manufactured “tiny houses.” Try living inside an overturned boat. Don’t shore up that collapsing wall with an expensive metal beam — use a shark’s bone. And while plaster is nice, walls built of whi… Read More ⇒

By Michael Beschloss. (B/D/W/Y, $20.) This sweeping look at presidents who led the United States through military conflict opens with a reluctant James Madison during the War of 1812 and closes with Lyndon Johnson facing defeat in Vietnam. Times reviewer Jay Winik called it “a superb and imp… Read More ⇒

By Andrew Delbanco. (Penguin, $18.) Delbanco, a professor at Columbia, argues that the persistent legal and moral questions posed by people who fled bondage made the Civil War inevitable. Times reviewer Sean Wilentz said this was “a valuable book, reflective as well as jarring.” Read More ⇒

By Max Hastings. (Harper Perennial, $22.99.) Hastings, a British journalist and military historian who reported on the war, chronicles the conflict and its staggering destruction, excoriating both sides for corruption and inhumanity. The United States, he argues, failed most egregiously in n… Read More ⇒

By David Treuer. (Riverhead, $17.) Treuer, an Ojibwe novelist and nonfiction author, brings a literary sensibility to this sweeping chronicle. It is, he notes, “adamantly, unashamedly, about Indian life rather than Indian death.” Times reviewer Ned Blackhawk called it “an informed, moving an… Read More ⇒

By Barbara Kingsolver. (Harper Perennial, $17.99.) Two narratives, one set in the 21st century and one in the 19th, entwine in this novel about two families that occupy the same house centuries apart. Each seeks elusive shelter as it reels from its own set of disruptions. Kingsolver “has giv… Read More ⇒