Books

Clockwise from top left: Molly Ringwald as Joanne Carson, Demi Moore as Ann Woodward, Naomi Watts as Babe Paley, Tom Hollander as Truman Capote and Diane Lane as Slim Keith in "Feud: Capote vs. the Swans"

The Real History Behind 'Feud: Capote vs. the Swans'

Ryan Murphy's new mini-series dramatizes the "In Cold Blood" author's betrayal of an insular group of Manhattan socialites

A pair of illustrations from Wilkie Collins' The Woman in White, which launched the sensation novel trend of the 1860s

The Sensation Novelist Who Exposed the Plight of Victorian Women

Wilkie Collins drew on his legal training to dramatize the inequality caused by outdated laws regarding marital and property rights

The latest winner of a Japanese literary prize said she used ChatGPT to write parts of her novel.

ChatGPT Helped Write This Award-Winning Japanese Novel

After receiving the prestigious Akutagawa Prize, Rie Kudan spoke about why she used A.I. to write a portion of her work

David Wisnia in his U.S. Army uniform after being “adopted” by troops of the 101st Airborne Division in 1945

The Couple Who Fell in Love in a Nazi Death Camp

A new book chronicles the unlikely connection between Helen Spitzer and David Wisnia, both of whom survived Auschwitz

Libraries across the country are sharing their most checked-out books of 2023.

Public Libraries Reveal the Most Borrowed Books From 2023

Titles that appeared on multiple lists include "Lessons in Chemistry," "Spare" and "Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow"

Works entering the public domain this year include Steamboat Willie, J. M. Barrie's Peter Pan, A. A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner and Virginia Woolf's Orlando.

Mickey Mouse and Many Other Beloved Creations, Including Peter Pan and 'Mack the Knife,' Are Now in the Public Domain

Almost a century after the cartoon mouse made his first appearance, he finally belongs to everyone—sort of

In celebration of the upcoming new film The Color Purple, the Smithsonian Gardens, in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture, hosted a webinar to unearth the nature-related themes in the story. (Above: Alice Walker by Anthony Barboza, 1989)

Unearth the Roots of Alice Walker’s ‘The Color Purple’

Gardeners discuss the oft-overlooked symbolism of nature that underlies the Pulitzer-prize winning novel

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The Books We Loved

Smithsonian editors choose their favorite (mostly) nonfiction of (mostly) 2023

A selection of some of the best board games of the year.

The Best Board Games of 2023

In this year's tabletop favorites, play as bees in space, Chinese emperors, fox breeders, women suffragists, fashionistas and much more

Paddington, the storybook bear who keeps a marmalade sandwich in his hat, is getting his own musical in 2025.

Paddington Will Take Center Stage in Musical Adaptation

The beloved bear dressed in a blue duffle coat and red hat is set to sing and dance with the Brown family in 2025

This year's titles include 100 Mighty Dragons All Named Broccoli, Superpowered Animals and Once Upon a Book.

The Ten Best Children's Books of 2023

This year’s top titles include an art history primer, a collection of silly poems and a mathematical word problem in disguise

Fialka's reading group in Venice, California, in 2008

A Book Club Began 'Finnegans Wake' in 1995. After 28 Years, It Finally Reached the End

The group meets once a month to talk about one or two pages of the bewildering James Joyce novel

Our ten favorite science books of the year covered everything from astronomy to undersea exploration.

The Ten Best Science Books of 2023

From stories on the depths of the ocean to the stars in the sky, these are the works that moved us the most this year

Leo Lionni with profile cut outs, c. 1970

How Children's Book Author Leo Lionni Urged His Readers to Be Change Makers

The multidisciplinary artist wanted us to imagine how we can shape society and uplift our communities

Jane Austen's signature is on the title page of the book.

Jane Austen's Annotated Copy of 'Curiosities of Literature' Is For Sale

The novelist used a pencil to underline roughly 15 passages from the text by Isaac D'Israeli

This year's top titles include The Last Ride of the Pony Express, Elixir, Airplane Mode, and more.

The Ten Best Books About Travel of 2023

Take a trip without leaving home with these adventurous reads from this year

At the beginning of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant wasn’t an abolitionist, admitting that his beliefs were “not even what could be called antislavery.” By August 1863, he had changed his mind, writing, “Slavery is already dead and cannot be resurrected.”

Unraveling Ulysses S. Grant's Complex Relationship With Slavery

The Union general directly benefited from the brutal institution before and during the Civil War

In our efforts to increase and diffuse knowledge, we highly recommend these titles this year.

The Best Books of 2023

Whether you are looking for some gift ideas or a great read to enjoy on the plane or cozied up over the holidays, consider our carefully curated lists

This year's list includes The Horses, Still Life, Believable: Traveling with My Ancestors, and more.

The Ten Best Photography Books of 2023

Our favorite titles this year will make readers feel the power of visual storytelling

This year's titles include Daughter of the Dragon, Whalefall and Witness.

Smithsonian Scholars Recommend Their Favorite Books of 2023

Curators and staffers satisfied their endless curiosity with novels, short stories, biographies, art collections and journalistic reporting

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