Nov 14, 2012 — What are the best of the books? NPR Books looks at this year's National Book Award nominees for fiction and nonfiction. These 10 books — which tell the stories of a young drug smuggler, lovable philanderers, holograms in the Saudi desert and more — inspired, informed and entertained readers.
Nov 8, 2012 — Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum describes the tactics the Soviets used after World War II to take over and transform much of Eastern Europe. Her book Iron Curtain was recently nominated for the National Book Award.
Aug 16, 2012 — Oksana Marafioti spent her childhood touring with her Roma family, a traveling Gypsy ensemble. At 15, life changed drastically when they moved to the U.S. In her memoir, American Gypsy, she recounts her journey from the stages of Siberia to a magnet school in Hollywood.
Jun 4, 2012 — The latest from Andrei Makine — often described as a Russian Proust — tells the story of Ivan Shutov, a disillusioned writer who tries to reconnect with his native Russia after decades as an expat. The country has moved on, but Shutov makes an unlikely connection with a grizzled veteran.
May 17, 2012 — What happens when two books with similar names are out at the same time? Well, when one is historical fiction set in Lithuania and the other an S&M novel that's ripping up the best-sellers list, some interesting teachable moments.
Dec 7, 2011 — In the late 1970s, historian John Lewis Gaddis decided to write a biography of George F. Kennan, the author of the Cold War policy of containment. But the two men agreed it would not be published until after Kennan's death. Neither expected Kennan to live to 101, but now that he's gone, Gaddis has published George F. Kennan: An American Life.
Aug 2, 2011 — It's easy to become resentful when life is too mundane or throws an unsavory curveball. Author Monica Ali knows that sometimes we need to get a fresh perspective. For this she insists you read One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhenitsyn.
Sep 9, 2011 — Fall of Giants, the first installment of Ken Follet's epic 20th century trilogy, debuts at No. 9.
Aug 30, 2011 — Young novelist Tom Rob Smith captures the oppressive atmosphere of the former Soviet Union even though he was just a child when the Communist nation broke apart.
Aug 24, 2011 — Veteran best-seller Ken Follett returns with the first in a trilogy spanning the 20th century, while Jan Karon delivers with her second Father Tim novel. In nonfiction, Jimmy Carter reveals his White House Diary, while Ariana Huffington finds America resembling the Third World.