Oct 24, 2013 — Anita Elberse's new book, Blockbusters, examines the strategy behind making and marketing megahits. She tells NPR's Renee Montagne that content companies — publishers, movie studios and the like — can create blockbusters by dedicating most of their budgets to a select few likely winners.
Sep 16, 2013 — In softcover nonfiction, Stephen Tobolowski recalls his time as a character actor, Walter Stahr profiles Lincoln's adviser, David Byrne relates his ideas on music and Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson investigate failing states. In fiction, Attica Locke weaves a murder mystery in the Deep South.
Jul 30, 2013 — Millions of people worldwide are leaving rural areas for urban ones. NPR Cities Project editor Franklyn Cater highlights five books that examine and celebrate 21st century life in the metropolis.
Jul 11, 2013 — Around the world, cities like Rio de Janeiro are using new technologies to solve their problems. And while there's great promise in many of these "smart" city programs, urban planner Anthony Townsend is wary of putting so much power in the hands of tech companies.
Mar 8, 2013 — Debuting at No. 5, Michael Moss' Salt Sugar Fat analyzes and critiques the processed food industry.
Feb 26, 2013 — From food scientists who study the human palate to maximize consumer bliss, to marketing campaigns that target teens to hook them for life on a brand, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss' new book goes inside the world of processed, packaged goods.
Jan 7, 2013 — In a new book, Civil War historian Bruce Levine says that from the destruction of the South emerged an entirely new country, making the Civil War equivalent to a second American Revolution. Integral to the Union's victory, he says, were the nearly 200,000 black soldiers who enlisted.
Aug 19, 2012 — Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the devastating losses and the inept government response, dominated the news cycle for a few months. But New Orleans residents' struggle to return home never stopped. Writer Daniel Wolff's new book follows several Crescent City characters as they rebuild after the disaster.
Aug 3, 2012 — Charles Mann's 1493 explores the lesser-known consequences of Columbus' voyage. It debuts at No. 2.
Jul 27, 2012 — When Columbus crossed the Atlantic in 1492, his journey prompted the exchange of not only information but also food, animals, insects, plants and disease between the continents. In a new book, Charles C. Mann describes the aftermath of Columbus' arrival in the Americas.