Sep 18, 2013 — California parolee Charles Manson arrived in San Francisco in 1967, when the city was full of young waifs looking for a guru. In Manson, Jeff Guinn argues that if the cult leader had instead been paroled in a place like Nebraska, he likely would not have been so successful.
Aug 4, 2013 — More than four decades after the cult leader planned nine vicious murders, he is still part of American culture. Jeff Guinn's new biography digs through details of Manson's troubled childhood, with access to family members and photos never reported on before.
Jul 16, 2013 — When the Pilgrim family first arrived in Alaska, they looked to be from another century. They didn't use calendar months, they called their father "Lord," and they knew how to live in the wild. But, as Tom Kizzia writes in Pilgrim's Wilderness, that rugged facade helped conceal a history of abuse.
Jul 21, 2012 — From the ultimate Olympic reference book to an account of the last London Games, bibliophile cabbie Will Grozier recommends books that put both the 2012 Games and their host city in context.
May 25, 2012 — Not sure what to read this summer? NPR's Susan Stamberg asked three booksellers to share their top five picks for the books you shouldn't miss. They recommend tales of con artists, grade-school spies, refugees and ranchers — plus an exploration of why stories make us human.
Apr 25, 2012 — In Driven, the sequel to the book that spawned the award-winning film Drive, the mysterious ex-stuntman Driver finds there's one thing he can't outrace: his own violent past. James Sallis' writing is taut and surprisingly philosophical.
Feb 22, 2012 — If someone's not being killed or beaten, he's being shaken down, spied on, bedded, or seduced in James Ellroy's American Tabloid. Author Adam Levin says it will have you admiring J. Edgar Hoover's sleazy connivances and cheering for the violent downfall of the Kennedys.
Aug 5, 2011 — Jonathan Eig's book Get Capone reveals new insights about the famous Chicago gangster — including how freely he spoke to reporters, the time he shot himself in the groin, and how venereal disease eventually robbed him of his health and sanity.
Jul 15, 2011 — NPR coverage of Get Capone: The Secret Plot That Captured America's Most Wanted Gangster by Jonathan Eig. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Jan 31, 2011 — The best cop stories are written by cops themselves — and the crime reporters who cover them. Rick Baker, a retired Compton, Calif., police department detective sergeant, recommends some hands-on, eyewitness accounts by and about the men and women who keep us safe.