Book Reviews

The Chicken Soup Manifesto features delightful dishes from Ethiopia, Vietnam, Greece and other countries across the globe.

A Journey Around the World, as Told Through Chicken Soup

In her latest book, Portland-based chef Jenn Louis catalogs more than 100 recipes from 64 countries

This year's top ten titles explore the cosmos, fear and cleanliness alongside narratives about owls, fish and eels.

The Ten Best Science Books of 2020

New titles explore the mysterious lives of eels, the science of fear and our connections to the stars

Learn about the underbelly of your neighborhood supermarket, 100-plus uses for beans and more in this year's top food books.

Holiday Gift Guide

The Ten Best Books About Food of 2020

From cookbooks to grocery-store exposés, these new books will tempt palates and fuel curiosity

George Washington takes command of the Continental army.

The Plot to Kill George Washington

In <em>The First Conspiracy</em>, thriller writer Brad Meltzer uncovers a real-life story too good to turn into fiction

This creamy oyster pan roast pays homage to the offerings of oysterman-turned-restaurateur Thomas Downing, a household name in 19th-century New York.

Sweet! You Can Now Cook the Food From the African-American History Museum's Award-Winning Café in Your Own Home

Smithsonian Books introduces the <i>Sweet Home Café Cookbook</i>, chock full of delicious riffs on classic African-American recipes

The Best History Books of 2018

From the political violence of 19th-century America to the untold stories of African-American pioneers, these books help shape our understanding of today

Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2018

Here are eleven titles that intrigued and thrilled Smithsonian's knowledge seekers this year

Tiberius and Gaius Gracchus.

History of Now

Lessons in the Decline of Democracy From the Ruined Roman Republic

A new book argues that violent rhetoric and disregard for political norms was the beginning of Rome's end

The 2000 crash of Flight 4590, says author Samme Chittum, was a perfect storm of chemistry gone wrong, a disaster as remarkable in its own way as the Concorde’s typical grace in flight.

This Freak Aviation Disaster Brought Supersonic Idealism Down in Flames

In a just-released Smithsonian Book, author Samme Chittum assesses the Concorde’s demise with the keen eye of a crime reporter

The new book tells the tale of Tuor, a man living in an age where the world is dominated by the dark lord Melko—known in other Tolkien books as Morgoth.

Trending Today

J.R.R. Tolkien's Final Posthumous Book Is Published

The author tinkered with and rewrote <em>The Fall of Gondolin</em>, one of his first tales of Middle-earth, many times during his career

Don't be fooled by this roly-poly furball. These mischevious creatures need constant attention and round-the-clock care.

Pandamonium

Why Photographing Pandas Is More Challenging Than You Might Think

Photojournalist Ami Vitale describes her years of work capturing the lovable furballs

 Clarence Clemons and Bruce Springsteen, Cleveland, Ohio by David Gahr, 1977

Ten Rarely Seen Springsteen Photographs That Capture the Exhilarating Power of The Boss

A new book reveals the work of David Gahr, who documented the music legend as he rose to worldwide fame

Thirteen Books That Informed and Delighted Smithsonian Scholars This Year

With a mission to increase and diffuse knowledge, Smithsonian thought leaders are voracious readers

Art Meets Science

Explore the Secret Lives of Animals With These Marvelous Maps

A new book considers how sophisticated tracking technology and the data it collects can improve conservation strategies

Which Books Do Americans Take on Vacation?

Our city-by-city breakdown uncovered some surprises

Ujala Baoli, Mandu, Madhya Pradesh. Late 15th/Early 16th century. Location: 22°21’29.87’’ N, 75°23’45.36’’ E.

Photos Capture India's Ancient, Vanishing Stepwells

These intricate architectural marvels are in danger of disappearing

High school: difficult to live through, harder to get right in writing.

'The Outsiders' Was Groundbreaking, But It Didn't Create YA Fiction

Many have claimed that “young adult” fiction didn’t exist before S.E. Hinton wrote her cult classic–but it did, sort of

The cracked-plate portrait of Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner, 1865, albumen silver print

A Smithsonian Historian Wanders the “Bardo,” Exploring the Spiritual World of the 19th Century

George Saunders’ new novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo” recalls the melancholy that hung over a nation at war

Sylvia Townsend Warner, the author whose first book was chosen as the first Book of the Month selection in 1926, was openly involved in relationships with both men and women, a fact that scandalized readers.

Don't Judge the Book-of-the-Month Club By Its Cover

Although today you might associate its name with staid offerings, the club’s first book was by an openly queer author

Margaret at Stafford House on Cumberland Island, holding her first copy of Fox Eyes, illustrated by Jean Charlot. This story was inspired by her time on Cumberland as a teenager.

The Surprising Ingenuity Behind “Goodnight Moon”

Author Margaret Wise Brown used new theories in childhood education to write the classic children’s book