Jun 10, 2013 — Both Elsa Schiaparelli and Audrey Morgen Volk loved clothing. They were also strict, impatient and volatile. In her memoir, Patricia Volk describes how an iconoclastic, Italian fashion designer and a loving, perfectionist mother helped her move into adulthood.
May 30, 2013 — Vacations are where we do some of our most serious thinking, but when it comes to summer reading, we often reach for mindless reads. This year, beautifully written memoirs — about unspeakable loss, motherhood and the process of healing — offer substantial stories that tear at the heart.
May 7, 2013 — Even as a child, Patricia Volk knew she would never measure up to her strikingly beautiful mother. But after reading the memoir of fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, Volk found a new understanding of beauty that had more to do with personality than a pretty face.
Apr 9, 2013 — In her new memoir, Shocked, Volk examines the two women who had a lasting impact on her as she began to parse who she was as a woman: her beautiful, critical mother, Audrey Morgen Volk; and the famous — and unconventional — haute couture designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
Apr 2, 2013 — Patricia Volk's new memoir, Shocked, chronicles her complex relationship with her beautiful, exacting mother. She finds a useful contrast to her mother's stifled life in a memoir by avant-garde designer Elsa Schiaparelli. Reviewer Heller McAlpin calls the book a "stylish coming-of-age tale."
Jan 11, 2013 — At No. 3, Stephen Greenblatt's The Swerve explains how Roman philosophy lead to the Renaissance.
Dec 22, 2012 — On subjects familiar (Beethoven's Fifth) and obscure (notoriously tight-lipped cult artists), our favorite writing about music dove deep and showed us new ways to love the sounds in our lives.
Nov 27, 2012 — The only thing that these books have in common is that NPR's go-to librarian likes them a lot. Nancy Pearl's self-described "higgledy-piggledy" list includes a book of cartoons, a Civil War history, a coming-of-age story, a spy novel and more.
Oct 22, 2012 — Novelist Jodi Picoult explores life and death, while oncologist David Agus models new health practices, virologist Nathan Wolfe tracks emerging diseases, Dava Sobel reflects on Copernicus, and Charles Shields looks at novelist Kurt Vonnegut.
Oct 8, 2012 — Novelists Daniel Woodrell, Christopher Moore and Chuck Palahniuk confront the darker sides of life with varying degrees of humor, while writer Susan Orlean looks at the life of dog star Rin Tin Tin, and Wade Davis reassesses George Mallory's historic climbs on Mount Everest.