Jan 13, 2014 — Organizers of the Winter Games are preparing to serve up quite a bit of the hearty, deep-red Russian soup. Which is kind of ironic, says Russian food writer Anya von Bremzen, since borscht carries with it complicated political implications. And not all borschts are created equal, she warns.
Sep 19, 2013 — Anya von Bremzen's new memoir is a delicious narrative of memory and cuisine in 20th century Soviet Union. She writes about her family's own history and contemplates the nation's "complicated, even tortured, relationship with food."
Sep 17, 2013 — Author Anya Von Bremzen's new memoir, Mastering The Art of Soviet Cooking, is a tragic-comic history of a family and a nation as seen through the kitchen window. Everything we ate in the Soviet Union was grown ... by the party state," she says. "So, with the food, inevitably, you ingested the ideology."
Aug 12, 2013 — In softcover nonfiction, Bryan Mealer tells the story of a Florida town obsessed with football; Anne Applebaum examines the communist regimes of Eastern Europe; and Leon Hendrix remembers his legendary brother, Jimi.
Aug 5, 2013 — Earlier this summer, NPR's Backseat Book Club — our book club for young readers — asked you to weigh in on your favorite books for kids age 9-14. We heard from more than 2,000 of you, and our expert panel has whittled your hundreds and hundreds of nominations down to a list of 100 great reads.
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.