Nov 27, 2013 — Contrary to what some Americans believe, Hanukkah traditionally isn't one of the most important holidays in the Jewish calendar. Host Michel Martin speaks with Dianne Ashton, author of the book Hanukkah in America, about how and why the holiday has gained more importance in this country over the decades.
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 24, 2013 — Boredom in the immobility of a quadriplegic. Ennui in a Manhattan high-rise cubicle. Monotony in the slow-moving life of a writer. Said Sayrafiezadeh takes a look at everyday drudgery, highlighting three great memoirs that found inspiration in dullness. Life can be boring, he says, but books offer a way out — whether we're reading or writing them.
Nov 2, 2013 — Tweeter-comedian Rob Delaney's new book is a significant departure from the 140-character format that made him famous. The memoir also showcases a more serious side. Delaney talks with NPR's Arun Rath about the struggles with alcoholism and depression that eventually led him to comedy.
Nov 1, 2013 — Brandon Stanton challenges the conventional wisdom that you shouldn't talk to strangers.
Oct 21, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Emma Donoghue imagines migrations and meanderings. In nonfiction, David Denby warns of film's descent into spectacle; Jake Tapper memorializes an ill-fated military outpost; Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele examine the dwindling American middle class; and Caleb Daniloff puts on his running shoes to confront his demons.
Oct 18, 2013 — Memoirist Cheryl Strayed edited a collection of The Best American Essays 2013. It appears at No. 11.
Sep 26, 2013 — In his new memoir, Julian Barnes contemplates 19th century photography, the metaphorical exhilaration of ballooning and the sudden death of his beloved wife. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book is beautifully written, if a little disjointed.
Sep 16, 2013 — Many think of the feminist movement as a thing of the past, but Debora Spar says the battle isn't won yet. She tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross about the misinterpretation that got us where we are, and the need to improve support and pay for working women.
Sep 8, 2013 — Strayed's half-sister checked Wild out of the public library because she thought it looked like an interesting travel book. She was about halfway through the first chapter when she realized that she and the author shared the same father.