The Age of Movies

The Selected Writings of Pauline Kael

Edited by Sanford Schwartz

Library of America, $40

Witty, entertaining and often exhilarating, this wide-ranging collection of pieces captures the film critic at her best.

Alice James

A Biography

Jean Strouse, preface by Colm Tóibín

New York Review Books, $17.95 paper

The acclaimed biographer of financier J.P. Morgan chronicles the brief but brilliant life of the younger sister of William and Henry James.

The Almanac of American Politics, 2012

Michael Barone and Chuck McCutcheon

University of Chicago Press, $85, paper

A must for political junkies, the almanac offers timely narrative profiles of all 50 states and 435 House districts and profiles of every member of Congress.

And so It Goes

Kurt Vonnegut: A Life

Charles J. Shields

Henry Holt, $30

The first authorized biography of the writer who changed the conversation in American letters.