Dec 11, 2013 — Fresh Air's book critic says it's just a fluke that 9 of the 11 titles she picked this year were written by female authors. Her favorites include a jumbo-sized Dickensian novel, a biography of Ben Franklin's sister, a comedy of manners, a stunning Scandinavian mystery and more.
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.
Nov 1, 2013 — At No. 3, Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins follows a doomed affair between a starlet and an innkeeper.
Oct 1, 2013 — Read an exclusive excerpt of Scott Lynch's long-awaited new Gentleman Bastard book, The Republic of Thieves. In this installment, dashing thieves Locke and Jean are hired to help fix an election in the city of Karthain. The twist? The opposition has hired their own dirty trickster — Locke's long-lost love, Sabetha.
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 17, 2013 — Nicholson Baker's latest novel, Traveling Sprinkler, revolves around Paul Chowder, a lonely poet who's fascinated by drone warfare and Debussy. Chowder was the star of Baker's 2009 novel The Anthologist, and reviewer Heller McAlpin welcomes his reappearance — though not his political rants.
Aug 30, 2013 — Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a novel that roams from Italy to Hollywood, remains at No. 1.
Aug 6, 2013 — The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is a debut novel about a sharp and assured young man living among young, aspiring literary types in Brooklyn. Book critic Maureen Corrigan says never before has a novel made her feel so grateful to be middle-aged.
Aug 5, 2013 — In softcover nonfiction, David Randall examines the science of sleep, and Susannah Cahalan falls prey to a mysterious disease. In fiction, Claire Vaye Watkins explores the American West, and Ivan Doig looks at a single dad whose world is upended.
Jul 30, 2013 — Maggie Shipstead mocks the pretensions of New England WASPs, while Jessica Lott executes unexpected riffs on the student-professor relationship plot. Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two stellar fiction newcomers.