Apr 20, 2014 — Author Craig Nova recommends three books that take a fresh approach to the age-old bildungsroman. The experience of growing up is both universal and unique — and, in these books, timeless.
Mar 7, 2014 — Nora's life is changed by a new student's family in The Woman Upstairs, by Claire Messud, at No. 14.
Feb 5, 2014 — The Beat Generation icon was a magnet for artists, musicians and wannabe hipsters. In a 1985 interview, the author credited his most groundbreaking work to the fallout from his wife's accidental death at his own hands, saying, "It was an event that ... made me into a writer." Burroughs died in 1997.
Feb 4, 2014 — In fiction, Colm Toibin imagines Mary's life after Jesus' crucifixion, Anthony Marra chronicles a child's fate in war-torn Chechnya and Jamaica Kincaid meditates on the unraveling of a marriage.
Dec 20, 2013 — At No. 4, Mitch Albom's The First Phone Call From Heaven tells the story of an ex-con single father.
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.