Book review

‘Empire of Cotton’ by Sven Beckert

The Harvard historian traces the growth of the cotton industry across four centuries and six continents.

Book Review

‘Five’ by Ursula Archer

The discovery of a body heralds the start of a distinctly bizarre chase in an attempt to hunt down a crafty murderer in the debut thriller by Archer.

Book review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/81IKIeimECL._SL1500_.jpg ‘Her Brilliant Career’ by Rachel Cooke

Cooke reveals that British women’s experiences during World War II radically rearranged their expectations of what life would be like afterward.

Book review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/BirthofNation-540x816.jpg ‘The Birth of a Nation’ by Dick Lehr

William Monroe Trotter’s effort to condemn the demeaning portrayals of black people in D. W. Griffith’s film is the subject of the new book.

new england writers at work

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/11/20/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/jacobs-hajin-3.jpg Ha Jin doesn’t start until he knows where the story is going

The National Book Award winner lives with his wife in Foxborough.

Book review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/11/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/TBG_TheBostonGirl_141211_11h30-cmyk.jpg ‘The Boston Girl’ by Anita Diamant

Diamant’s ravishing new novel is about place, tracing Boston through the 20th century.

Reviving the All-of-a-Kind Family books

Lizzie Skurnick Books has reprinted four of the five All-of-a-Kind Family books, originally published between 1951 and 1978.

in brief

‘Literchoor Is My Beat,’ ‘Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy,’ ‘Windows on the World,’ ‘Sex on Earth’

Kate Tuttle offers capsule reviews of four recent nonfiction titles.

Q&A

Bill Nye, from his book to his bow ties

Nye’s book “Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation” enlightens readers while using a conversational, educational tone.

book review

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/13/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/output2.jpg ‘Essays After Eighty’ by Donald Hall

The American poet offers a mischievous collection of stories on growing old and the things that one remembers — and eventually forgets.

new england literary news

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/11/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/458661518.jpg Harry Belafonte the activist

Belafonte’s commitment to the fight for civil rights lies at the heart of a new book, “Becoming Belafonte.”

story behind the book

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/cocktailredo.jpg Singing the praises of cocktails and cooking

Molly Birnbaum”s latest project is “The Science of Good Cooking,” which urges readers to take a holistic approach to food.

bookings

Greater Boston author readings Dec. 14-20

A full listing of events this week.

The best of the bunch

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/06/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/4poetry-3915--90x90.jpg The best books of 2014

Critics’ picks for children, teens, and adults, for fans of fiction and nonfiction, lovers of sports and thrillers.

Books for the holiday season

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/10/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/BookTreeFinal-3788.jpg Books for everyone on your holiday shopping list

Here is a guide to books for everyone on your list.

Holiday Arts Preview

special section

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/11/22/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/wiggs_atkins_169715--90x90.jpg Holiday Arts Preview

“Rudolph” lights up the stage, tiny feet learn “The Nutcracker,” plus 50 critics’ picks.

Fall Book Preview

books | interactive

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/09/06/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/xrefbooks_graphic_RIGHT.jpg What do you like to read?

In this fall’s stream of books there is something for everyone.

Recent reviews

Ugly girls novel

Book Reviews

Characters longing to grow up

Laura Collins-Hughes offers capsule review of “Ugly Girls,” “Ghost Horse,” “Ticket to Childhood,” and “Preparation for the Next Life.”

New England literary news

Seven books about...

seven books about . . .

Life — and death sentences

Katharine Whittemore offers reviews of “Ending the Death Penalty: The European Experience in Global Perspective” and others.