The Language Wars
Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $28
An examination of the rules of grammar, regional accents and political correctness in the battlefield that is the English language.
The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, 1907-1922
Edited by Sandra Spanier and Robert W. Trogdon
Cambridge University Press, $40
This first volume of Hemingway's letters reveals a more complex person than his tough-guy public persona suggested.
Life Upon These Shores
Looking at African American History, 1513-2008
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Alfred A. Knopf, $50
A richly illustrated book tracing the African American experience from the arrival of the conquistadors to the election of Barack Obama.
The Long Night
William L. Shirer and the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
An American journalist's firsthand encounters with the Nazis after starting, in the 1930s, the Berlin bureau of Edward R. Murrow's CBS News.