Dec 11, 2013 — Fresh Air's book critic says it's just a fluke that 9 of the 11 titles she picked this year were written by female authors. Her favorites include a jumbo-sized Dickensian novel, a biography of Ben Franklin's sister, a comedy of manners, a stunning Scandinavian mystery and more.
Nov 26, 2013 — For critic Maureen Corrigan, this year's hybrid family holiday may be best celebrated by escaping into a book. Her recommendations include a kids' book about Russian Jews who identify with the Pilgrims, and a novel that contemplates class divides during wartime through the lens of a football game.
Nov 25, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Joyce Carol Oates wreaks karmic horror on turn-of-the-century Princeton, and Sebastian Faulks braids five lives in the search for what makes a self. In softcover nonfiction, Elton John tells the story of his crusade for better AIDS treatment, and Bernard Lewis maps the Middle East with a life's worth of anecdotes.
Nov 22, 2013 — Jodi Picoult muses on assisted suicide and the Holocaust in The Storyteller. It debuts at No. 13.
Nov 18, 2013 — Lessing's 1962 book was regarded as among the most important feminist novels of its time. She died Sunday. Fresh Air's Terry Gross interviewed Lessing in 1988 and 1992.
Nov 17, 2013 — Lessing's 1962 novel, The Golden Notebook, is considered one of the great works of the 20th Century. It's been called by many the first feminist novel, a distinction Lessing always rejected.
Nov 17, 2013 — Author Doris Lessing died Sunday at the age of 94. Lessing won the 2007 Nobel Prize for literature for a life's work which included around 40 books and collections of essays and memoirs. Her book, The Golden Notebook, has been called the first feminist novel — a characterization Lessing rejected as "stupid."
Nov 12, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Katherine Marsh searches the heavens for a teenage dwarf's destiny and Juliann Garey approaches a bipolar life from three different angles. In softcover nonfiction, Jeff Speck paces the city streets and Ezekiel Emanuel reflects on the family life of three brothers with a few sharp angles of their own.
Oct 2, 2013 — In The Pure Gold Baby, a budding anthropologist raises a developmentally disabled child and confronts the challenges of middle age. This is a surprise comeback for author Margaret Drabble, who swore in 2009 that she'd never publish fiction again.
Oct 20, 2013 — Stay-at-home fathers, missionaries who love their charges, women who make the first move: characters who would have been controversial in previous generations came to the forefront in the Jazz era. Author Ursula DeYoung recommends three books that, after 90 years, still seem fresh in their revolutionary treatment of all kinds of love.