Book Reviews

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


The Top History Books of 2016

Here are some of the best titles to hit shelves this past year

Margaret Harwood sits on the floor for this posed tableau taken on May 19, 1925. Harvia Wilson is at far left, sharing a table with Annie Cannon (too busy to look up) and Antonia Maury (left foreground). The woman at the drafting table is Cecilia Payne.

In "The Glass Universe," Dava Sobel Brings the Women 'Computers' of Harvard Observatory to Light

Women are at the center of a new book that delights not in isolated genius, but in collaboration and cooperation

The 10 Best Travel Books to Give This Season

Satisfy your giftee’s wanderlust with these travel-themed books

We asked Smithsonian scholars to make book recommendations to our readers for this holiday season of gift giving.

Increase and Diffuse Knowledge for the Holidays With These Smithsonian Curated Books

Books recommended by Smithsonian Institution scholars

Chicago gangster Al Capone wearing a bathing suit at his Florida home. Ca. 1929-31

Seeking the Humanity of Al Capone

Through interviews with his descendants, one biographer sees the family man behind the infamous gangster

Stegosaurus and Ceratosaurus are among one of the most successful groups ever to have evolved.

Celebrate Dino Month With Three New Dinosaur Books

From PhDs to 4th graders, something for everyone

A new Smithsonian Book by Gus Lee tells the untold story of Norman Schwarzkopf's work with young cadets at West Point.

How the Unflinching Norman Schwarzkopf Became One Man’s Guiding Light

In a new book, the general who successfully commanded one of the largest military operations in the Middle East is remembered by a man he mentored

You should definitely eat this pastrami before you die.

What Are the 1000 Foods to Eat Before You Die?

Written by a former New York Times restaurant critic, this tome will keep your appetite satisfied for a lifetime


A History of 1945, Discoveries at Sea, Ben Franklin’s Sister and More Books Worth Your Read

Some of the best books to put on your reading list


Summer Reads: Zombie Science, the American Revolution and Travels Across Italy

Looking for a good book? We’ve got some suggestions



Daniel James Brown's book juxtaposes the coming together of the Washington crew team against the Nazis' preparations for the Olympics in 1936.

Olympic Rowers, King Tut Lessons and More Books to Read This Month

Also out in June: the math of life and the lives of astronauts’ wives


How Gorillas Emerged From Africa and More New and Notable Books

Read the latest on subliminal message, body snatching, and Sheryl Sandberg’s insights on the rise of women

Animal Wise: The Thoughts and Emotions of Our Fellow Creatures

New Books, Reviewed: Animal Emotions, Deconstructing Detroit and the Science of Winning

Taking a closer look at some of the newest releases in non-fiction

The World Until Yesterday

The History of Mapmaking, Jared Diamond’s Latest and More Recent Books Reviewed

Also on the docket, travelling by fire and understanding the concept of “antifragility”

Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies

D-Day Spies, Lost Antarctica, Eating Dirt and More Recent Books

A new history blows the cover on British spies in World War II

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln: A Novel by Stephen L. Carter.

A Lincoln Novel, Native Poetry, Marie Curie and More New Recent Books

In a new alternative history, The Great Emancipator lives to fight a second civil war

Love, Life, and Elephants: An African Love Story by Daphne Sheldrick

Loving Elephants, the Meaning of Life, a London History and More Recent Books

A pioneering elephant rescuer looks back on the loves of her life and a collection of essays investigates the history of happiness


The Banana King, Surviving K2, the Allure of America and More Recent Books

The man who helped make the banana an American favorite also mercilessly used his company’s power to topple foreign governments

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