Mar 28, 2013 — The American South as a region has been defined by change since the Civil War. Twenty years after she left the South, Georgia native Tracy Thompson went on a four-year journey to explore what it means to be Southern in the 21st century. In The New Mind of the South, she shares her discoveries.
Dec 11, 2012 — Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka was the first black African to win the Nobel Prize in literature, in 1986. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that the best part about it was the money. His latest work, Of Africa, is a study of the continent that has dominated his career.
Oct 26, 2012 — Barzun authored dozens of books and essays on everything from philosophy to music to baseball. He died Thursday, just one month shy of his 105th birthday. "I don't know anybody who had such a Renaissance mind," says his friend and colleague, Prof. Henry Graff.
Sep 20, 2012 — Thomas Frank analyzes the U.S. political divide, Siddhartha Deb looks into the heart of India, Emmanuel Carrere writes about the 2004 tsunami, and comic actress Mindy Kaling laughs at everything. In fiction, Britain's Alan Hollinghurst follows the evolution of English society.
Jul 21, 2012 — From the ultimate Olympic reference book to an account of the last London Games, bibliophile cabbie Will Grozier recommends books that put both the 2012 Games and their host city in context.
Jun 26, 2012 — Anthony Heilbut's essay collection, The Fan Who Knew Too Much, features reflections on the Queen of Soul, soap operas and Jewish immigrants. The highlight of this sometimes harsh collection, says Michael Schaub, is a history of LGBT contributions to gospel.
May 12, 2012 — In 1919, Chicago was called the "youngest great city in the world." World War I had just come to a close, troops were coming home, industry was booming and crime was down. But in mid-July, just about everything that could go wrong in Chicago did.
Apr 16, 2012 — To some, spending April in Paris would be divine. But author Amy Thomas knows that living there full-time isn't always fun. She recommends three books that show how frustrating, judgmental and maddening Paris can be. Have you ever lived abroad? Tell us about your experience in the comments.
Dec 29, 2011 — Earth (The Book), Jon Stewart's visitor's guide to the human race, is No. 15 on the list this week. It's a hilarious summation of humanity, that applies The Daily Show's trademark wit, irreverence and intelligence to every facet of human existence.
Dec 8, 2011 — Since starting NPR's Backseat Book Club, Michele Norris has been swimming in "kid lit." The five stories on her year-end list will seep into your heart and leave you thinking about the characters long after you've turned the final pages.