Nov 13, 2012 — The world's first essayist, Michel Montaigne, was out riding one day when he got slammed from the rear, was thrown from his horse, crashed to the ground and for a brief time was, as he puts it, "dead." He described exactly what it felt like. Here's what he learned.
Mar 16, 2012 — In the golden age of flight, pilots reveled in the magic of lonely nights aloft and suffered the perils of stormy skies. Author Gregory Crouch recommends three books that describe these harrowing aero-adventures. Do you remember the first time you flew? Tell us your story in the comments.
Nov 4, 2011 — French philosopher Michel de Montaigne's advice on How to Live debuts at No. 15.
Jul 14, 2011 — NPR coverage of The War: A Memoir by Marguerite Duras, Barbara Bray, and Barbara Bray. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Feb 16, 2011 — How can we understand the experiences of those who have lived through war? What do they have to teach us? Author Hilary Thayer Hamann's favorite book attempts to answer these questions, and reinforces just how beautifully implausible life during conflict can be. It's The War by Marguerite Duras.
Dec 14, 2009 — Heller McAlpin's picks include: the story of a lifelong crush on Albert Camus, a humorous take on middle-aged malaise, and a no-nonsense look at mortality. The sharp, fresh writing in these memoirs will bring you headfirst into each author's world, with your heart following close behind.
Dec 14, 2009 — Author Elizabeth Hawes channels her lifelong ardor for Albert Camus into a rich, unusual hybrid of a book that is part biography, part personal memoir. Hawes' admitted bias and reflections on the biographical process add intriguing dimensions to this intellectually stimulating literary portrait.
Apr 7, 2009 — Gregoire Bouillier projects an offbeat charisma as he broods his way through the second of his eccentric memoirs. Report On Myself recounts anecdotes, revelations and oddities in a frank attempt to capture life's weirder truths.
Nov 27, 2006 — Voltaire is considered one of the greatest poets of the Enlightenment. But very little was known of his inspirations. Renee Montagne talks to author David Bodanis about his new book Passionate Minds, which reveals the story of the brilliant pioneering scientist Emilie du Chatelet, her work and her intellectual and romantic love affair with Voltaire.
Apr 8, 2006 — As the centenary of playwright Samuel Beckett's birth approaches, remembrances and performances of his work are under way. His influence skipped from country to country during his lifetime, and it remains profound in the world of the theater.