Jan 26, 2014 — Novelists are famously prone to self-imposed exile and introspection; sometimes, they invent characters who are similarly solitary. Author Rachel Louise Snyder recommends three compelling books starring such loners. She says their isolation isn't what's compelling, but it's riveting to watch these recluses step back into the world of others.
Jan 10, 2014 — Khaled Hosseini's sprawling family drama And the Mountains Echoed has hit half a year on the list.
Dec 12, 2013 — Rob Buyea gets it. The children's book author spent six years teaching elementary school. He's dedicated his book Because of Mr. Terupt to his former third- and fourth-grade students. "It's because of them that I began writing," he says.
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.
Sep 30, 2013 — With dominant themes of hunger, class conflict and poverty, popular teen books like The Hunger Games and Divergent mirror today's fragile economic climate. Critic Marcela Valdes says the books reflect real-world fears, but their fanastical elements can also help young readers escape what might be a gloomy financial reality at home.
Aug 28, 2013 — In the early 1960s, psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a controversial study in which participants were led to believe they were administering painful, high-voltage shocks to other subjects. Gina Perry, author of Behind the Shock Machine, says the study has "taken on a life of its own."
Aug 7, 2013 — Also: A new short story by Stieg Larsson; Sherman Alexie's mullet; Rebecca Mead on Jane Austen.
Jul 19, 2013 — Quiet, Susan Cain's study of introverts in modern culture, stays on the list at No. 3.
Jul 9, 2013 — Have you ever found yourself in the library or a bookstore, about to go on vacation, with no idea what books to bring? NPR's Lynn Neary talks to three book critics about the best reads of the summer.
Jun 11, 2013 — NPR Books is replete with readers of grown-up books, but editor Petra Mayer prefers a good YA novel any day. She picks five (well, really six) of her favorite summer YA reads, from first love in 1980s Omaha to far-future Brazil and beyond.