City and town life
Jun 13, 2013 — Looking for a great read for a kid age 9-14? Here are all the titles our kids' book club has read since we launched in 2011. We revisit classics like Black Beauty and The Phantom Tollbooth and explore new stories like Diary of a Wimpy Kid and The Graveyard Book.
Jun 4, 2013 — NPR's Susan Stamberg asked three of our go-to independent booksellers to help fill our beach bags with good books. The result is a reading list that's all about youth and ritual.
Mar 27, 2013 — Amid a literary landscape rife with metafictional and postmodern high jinks, Jill McCorkle has dared to write a heartwarmer set largely in a retirement home. Her Life After Life celebrates late-life epiphanies and old-fashioned kindness.
Mar 22, 2013 — From an old man feigning dementia to a judge's widow who keeps a scrapbook of murder, the story of Pine Haven's retired residents isn't all seriousness and tragedy. In her new novel, Jill McCorkle draws from the sometimes sad, sometimes comical experience of watching her own parents age.
Dec 5, 2012 — NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates profiles novelist Susan Straight, who is putting her hometown of Riverside, Calif., on the literary map. Straight herself is white, but she weaves the black, working-class voices of Riverside into her work.
Oct 29, 2012 — Liars are sometimes the best storytellers. Author Amy Wilson shares three books with less-than-trustworthy narrators.Who is your favorite unreliable narrator? Tell us in the comments.
Oct 5, 2012 — J.K. Rowling delves into small-town English politics in The Casual Vacancy. It debuts at No. 1.
Sep 26, 2012 — The Casual Vacancy is worlds away from Hogwarts and Harry Potter. It's a dark comedy of manners, set in a small town in the aftermath of a local politician's death. Rowling says her experiences with poverty informed her gritty portrayal of English life.
Jul 21, 2012 — From the ultimate Olympic reference book to an account of the last London Games, bibliophile cabbie Will Grozier recommends books that put both the 2012 Games and their host city in context.
Apr 24, 2012 — An inner-city Cleveland community is drawn closer together as it works to transform a dirty vacant lot into a lush communal garden in Seedfolks. Author Paul Fleischman says the title came from an old word meaning "ancestors."