When James Whitfield Thomson hemmed and hawed in describing just what his new novel, “Lies You Wanted to Hear,” was about, his daughter challenged him to think in terms of what would go on a movie poster. His answer...

“From Scratch”
Allen Salkin
G.P. Putnam’s Sons, $27.95

    In the age of slow food, cooking reality shows, gourmet magazines, epicurean specialty shops, food...

“In Pinelight”
Thomas Rayfiel
TriQuarterly, $18.95

    “In Pinelight,” the sixth novel by Thomas Rayfiel, is narrated by an old, crotchety man living in...

“Death of the Black-Haired Girl”
By Robert Stone
    Even B+ Robert Stone is better than almost everybody else. The setup is conventional: an affair between a student and...

    What follows is an excerpt from the poet Philip Schultz’s new “novel in verse,” more than 10 years in the making and due out from W.W. Norton in February. In it, a young man hides from the Vietnam draft by...

“The Most of
Nora Ephron”

Alfred A. Knopf, $35

Bulova Unbound
    “In 2013, a decrepit, abandoned former watchcase factory in a small, seaside town is undergoing an extreme renovation, to be re-imagined as a luxury apartment building.”

“& Sons”
David Gilbert
Random House, $27

      While many Americans had some memory of or reaction to the recent 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination, Christina Haag had a more personal investment than most in the tributes and recreations of the...