Apr 3, 2013 — As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. He left the church in his mid-20s. McIlvain's debut novel, Elders, tells the story of two young Mormons carrying out their missions.
Nov 19, 2012 — Novelist Richard Mason explores belle epoque pleasures, biographer Jean Baker champions sex educator Margaret Sanger, journalist A.J. Jacobs gets healthy, comedian Bill Cosby outsmarts his grandkids, and writer Geoff Dyer takes on filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky.
Oct 15, 2012 — Novelists Aatish Taseer and Naomi Benaron portray life amid sectarian violence in Pakistan and Rwanda, respectively, while Glenn Carle reflects on being a CIA interrogator, novelist Jonathan Lethem explores his influences, and David Bellos probes translation's complexity.
Sep 15, 2012 — It's been almost 20 years since Irvine Welsh first introduced Rent, Spud and Sick Boy — a group of gritty characters struggling to survive a grim, heroin-fueled existence in late-1980s Edinburgh. Welsh brings the boys back in his new prequel, Skagboys.
Jul 17, 2012 — Who says humor books can't be serious? Critic Heller McAlpin recommends some light but not weightless reads on mostly modern dilemmas: the pitfalls of class snobbery, what to do with those expensive higher degrees, the challenges of long marriages, and why otherwise rational women wear high heels.
Jul 5, 2012 — In fiction, Erin Morgenstern conjures star-crossed magicians, Rachel DeWoskin revisits the horrors of high school, and Dean Bakopoulos' widower pursues new love. In nonfiction, James Carroll visits the real and imagined Jerusalem.
Jun 23, 2012 — These five books will give you literary jet lag — a yearning to linger in the world of the author's imagination, and a reluctance to return to your own. The research is so deep it becomes invisible, and these writers are trusted guides, gently nudging and leading you through each tale.
Dec 26, 2011 — We're often told that our teenage years are for forging our identities — even if it doesn't feel so great at the time. Author Jennifer Hubbard recommends a book that charts the complexities of growing up.
Dec 13, 2011 — Impostors can be scheming, even villainous, but their stories tempt us with an attractive possibility — the chance to wear a mask. Writer David Anthony suggests three tales about nefarious characters that let us indulge in our fascination with the art of manipulating outward appearances.
Nov 7, 2011 — Crime might not pay, but it does deliver in the world of fiction. Author Tony D'Souza recommends three of his favorite books about illicit activities. They'll have you contemplating a life of misdeeds and malfeasance.