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Peter Baker’s “Obama: The Call of History” is a tribute to a man and an office.
In “Bookshops,” Jorge Carrión celebrates the intellectual and social history of bookstores around the world.
“The Collector of Lives,” by Ingrid Rowland and Noah Charney, traces the life and work of the eminent Renaissance biographer.
Eddy Portnoy’s “Bad Rabbi” explores the vengeful lovers, demented blackmailers and unscrupulous abortionists of the Yiddish tabloid press.
In “Christmas: A Biography,” Judith Flanders has unearthed a strange and varied history that includes taxes, demons and goat skeletons.
In “Slayers & Vampires,” Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman revisit the gory days of “Buffy” and “Angel.”
William Dalrymple and Anita Anand’s book about the history of the Koh-i-Noor, which lies in the Tower of London, highlights a sordid past.
“Patrick Leigh Fermor: A Life in Letters,” edited by Adam Sisman, sparkles with the charm that made Fermor such a welcome guest and bedmate.
Four books capture the royalty of the silver screen.
“Annie Leibovitz: Portraits 2005-2016” collects images of influence from all corners of contemporary culture.
Children, unlike their parents, tend to embrace verse with fierce and unembarrassed joy.
Jeremy Dauber’s “Jewish Comedy” looks at laughter across more than 2,000 years.
In “Balancing Acts,” Nicholas Hytner remembers his time at the National Theatre in London.
Kamila Shamsie reviews “Improvement,” by Joan Silber, a novel depicting a world that is small and capacious at once.
“The Green Hand,” a collection of Nicole Claveloux’s work, shows off her darkly humorous, existential and erotic style.
“France Is a Feast” collects 225 photographs taken by Paul Child in the years after World War II, as he and his wife explored their adopted country.
Dylan Jones’s “David Bowie: A Life” captures its subject’s radically plastic persona, his capacity to accommodate any identity at will.
David Ives reviews “Keeping On Keeping On,” a collection of journalism, diary entries and play prefaces.
“Unseen,” by Darcy Eveleigh, Dana Canedy, Damien Cave and Rachel L. Swarns, collects images from black history that were never published by The Times.
In his new memoir, “Sense of Occasion,” Hal Prince reports on his many hits, and also his failures.


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