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.
Jun 8, 2013 — Andrew Hudgins is a prominent poet, but what he'd really rather be doing is telling jokes — the more daring, the better. His new memoir, The Joker, explores the way uncomfortable and taboo jokes create learning and communication, and the important role they've played in his life.
Nov 13, 2012 — The world's first essayist, Michel Montaigne, was out riding one day when he got slammed from the rear, was thrown from his horse, crashed to the ground and for a brief time was, as he puts it, "dead." He described exactly what it felt like. Here's what he learned.
Apr 12, 2012 — In Just Kids, Patti Smith chronicles her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe. It sits at No. 7.
Apr 11, 2012 — Novelist Mary Gordon looks at love and maturity, while Henning Mankell delivers his last Kurt Wallander mystery. In nonfiction, Jim Rasenberger revisits the Bay of Pigs, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon tells of Afghani women's ingenuity, Charles Ogletree probes the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Meagan O'Rourke meditates on her mother's death.
Jan 10, 2012 — Gil Scott-Heron's posthumously published memoir, The Last Holiday, is a triumphant and moving account of a life dedicated to art and activism.
Nov 11, 2011 — Patti Smith remembers her friend Robert Mapplethorpe in Just Kids, on the list for a 53rd week.
Sep 6, 2011 — As a child, poet Philip Schultz struggled in school, but it wasn't until his son was diagnosed with dyslexia that Schultz finally had a name for what had frustrated him all those years. In My Dyslexia, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet revisits his childhood struggles and how he coped.
Sep 2, 2011 — Patti Smith remembers her friend Robert Mapplethorpe in Just Kids, on the list for a 43rd week.
Jul 25, 2011 — NPR coverage of Finding Everett Ruess: The Life and Unsolved Disappearance of a Legendary Wilderness Explorer by David Roberts. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.