Courtesy Byzantine & Christian Museum, Athens.

7 Byzantium books to read after visiting double Getty exhibits

A reading list on Byzantium, fiction and non-fiction, to go with the Getty Center and Getty Villa's blockbuster Byzantium exhibits.

The book Scientology effectively banned for 27 years

"The Bare-Faced Messiah," a biography of L Ron Hubbard, was first published in 1987. But it's only now, 27 years later, that the biography is finally available in the U.S.

Peter Matthiessen, shown here at his New York house in 2004, was a Zen Buddhist priest, a spy, an activist and a well-respected writer of both fiction and nonfiction.

Peter Matthiessen — writer, activist, Buddhist, spy — dies at 86

Matthiessen was a spy, a naturalist, a well-regarded activist and a three-time winner of the National Book Award — for both fiction and nonfiction.

In the 1870s and '80s, being a pedestrian was anything but

Huge crowds packed arenas to watch the world's best pedestrians walk in circles for six days at a time. Trainers encouraged the athletes to drink champagne — at the time considered a stimulant.

How science can improve your April Fools' jokes

Authors Peter McGraw and Joel Warner delved into the science of what makes things funny in their new book, "The Humor Code."

In civilian snapshot of Iraq, an artist is a 'corpse washer'

"The Corpse Washer," set in Baghdad in 2003, shows the U.S. invasion through the eyes of an aspiring Shiite artist and a handler of the dead.

The 10 best sentences in literature: Do you agree?

Editors at The American Scholar magazine have put out their list of the "10 Best Sentences" in fiction and nonfiction. Do you have a favorite sentence? Share it!

'Parentology' looks at the science of raising kids (Excerpt)

Sociologist Dalton Conley tried an experiment: deliberately try out what parenting and science research says on his own two children.

Steve Soboroff snags EM Forster typewriter for $11,401

Steve Soboroff adds yet another typewriter to his collection: one used by E.M. Forster, the British author who wrote "A Passage to India" and more.

The lives of real life superheroes in 'Heroes in the Night'

The lives of RLSH or Real Life Super Heroes can be fraught with danger, but that doesn't stop some people from donning capes and costumes to fight crime.

With fearlessness and a 'code name,' Iraqi helped Navy SEALs

Interpreter "Johnny Walker"'s memoir details his experiences with the U.S. military on countless missions in his war-torn home country of Iraq and his family's long path to U.S. citizenship.

Hilton Als on 'White Girls', Eminem and André Leon Talley

New Yorker writer Hilton Als' latest book, "White Girls," a collection of essays that explores the intersections of race, gender and sexuality. The book is a finalist for a National Book Critics Award.

Who gets to be a superhero? Race and identity in comics

Artist Orion Martin recently posted several images reimagining X-Men characters as people of color. This touched off a conversation about race in comic book worlds.

Texas library offers glimpse of bookless future

Texas has seen the future of the public library, and it looks a lot like an Apple Store. Known as BibiloTech, it is the nation's only bookless public library.

Infectious collections: Stories and poems to convert any reader

Whether you tend toward family dramas, biographies, gritty journalism or darkly comic novels, we've got a book for you — and it just might turn you into a story lover or poetry addict.

'In Meat We Trust' traces how the meat industry helped shape US identity

Throughout our history, the American meat industry has been both a source of American pride and suspicion. A new book looks at how meat came to define part of what it is to be American.