By Bruce Buschel

I'm grateful for novels that not only incorporate the World War I era, but bring it to life on an intimate scale: history writ small. That's what Helen Simonson has done masterfully in "The Summer Before the War."

Keats observes the last World Series game of the year.

James D. Zirin blames personal ideologies among the justices, identity politics, and rank partisanship for a compromised Supreme Court.

Erica Abeel’s “Wild Girls” follows three friends who meet at Foxleigh — an amalgam of Barnard and Smith — as they negotiate the changing landscape of a woman’s place in America from the 1950s through the early 2000s.

By Carol Sherman
Readings with a Halloween theme, and an editor talks about the publishing business.
Joe Dolce is not a stoner. The author of “Brave New Weed: Adventures Into the Uncharted World of Cannabis,” he makes a point of that, but also has no hesitance in “piercing the veil” and talking from a user’s as well as a researcher’s point of view about pot.

Lawrence Goldstone has come down to earth. Following his 2014 book, “Birdmen,” a history of early aviation, he has now presented us with “Drive! Henry Ford, George Selden, and the Race to Invent the Auto Age.”
New children’s books explore a West African girl's dreams of a time she won't have to tote water from a far-off well, lessons in gratitude at school, the adventures of a destructive dog, and a Christmas tree that avoids the ax to live another day.

A mother-son writing duo? Possible treacle alert. A teenager who started his own school? Back-patting danger. But this book? No need for alarm, it's thought-provoking, even moving.
Janet Lee Berg's first novel involves a father in Nazi-occupied Holland who trades a painting by Rembrandt for his daughter’s safety and that of 25 other Jews.
It’s that time again. The air is crisp, the leaves are turning, the kids are back in school. And readings have returned in earnest to the college.