Dec 4, 2013 — NPR staff and critics selected more than 200 standout titles. Now it's up to you: Choose your own adventure! Use our tags to search through books and find the perfect read for yourself or someone else.
Oct 31, 2013 — Pop quiz: what do you get when you combine a talking penguin, a man with a bird beak for a face and an interrupting dragon? The answer, surprisingly, is a writing guide: Jeff VanderMeer's Wonderbook. VanderMeer tells NPR intern Colin Dwyer about his collaboration with illustrators and his imaginative, character-driven approach to teaching writing.
Sep 23, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Louise Erdrich finds the heart of a family trauma, T.C. Boyle mines love and horror on San Miguel and Robin Sloan tells of a bookstore with secrets in stock. In nonfiction, David Skinner opens up Webster's third dictionary. In poetry, Mary Oliver returns home.
Feb 28, 2013 — From "dead cat bounce," which originated in the 1980s, to "cold fish," which was coined by Shakespeare, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms explores the origins of more than 10,000 nonliteral sayings.
Jan 15, 2013 — In Words From the White House, linguist Paul Dickson looks at the ways presidents have used the office to create and shape American language. Presidents, Dickson says, must be eloquent and spontaneous, but they also need to communicate in a way that gives listeners something to latch onto.
May 25, 2012 — Linguist David Crystal believes every word has a story to tell, even the ones as commonplace as "and." In The Story of English in 100 Words, he compiles a collection of words — classic words like "tea" and new words like "app" — that explain how the English language has evolved.
May 17, 2012 — Novelist Tayari Jones explores a father's deception of his family, while historian David McCullough looks at 19th-century Americans in Paris, Roy Blount Jr. revels in verbal curiosities, writer Bill James reflects on true-crime stories, and journalist Diana Henriques probes the Ponzi scheme of Bernie Madoff.
Apr 18, 2012 — Jonathan Gottschall is an English professor fed up with academia's ugly jargon. He recommends three books that help writers with their prose. Has a book ever helped you with your composition skills? Tell us about it in the comments.
Apr 2, 2012 — Linguist David Crystal believes every word has a story to tell, even the ones as commonplace as "and." In The Story of English in 100 Words, he compiles a collection of words — classic words like "tea" and new words like "app" — that explain how the English language has evolved.
Mar 13, 2012 — Sky looking a little slatchy to you? Want another helping of slang-jang? The final volume of the Dictionary of American Regional English, a 50-year project to document English across the U.S., is a treasure trove of history and local color.