Aug 23, 2012 — In fiction, Robert Harris explores a financial crash and Jennifer DuBois recounts a fateful meeting. In nonfiction, Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum analyze how the U.S. lags, Tony Horwitz looks at abolitionist John Brown and Adam Gopnik considers the meaning of food.
May 21, 2012 — For Nancy Pearl, beach reading doesn't mean light reading. NPR's go-to librarian has dug up a diverse mix of titles old and new — a selection of mystery, memoir and more — that will leave you with some substantial summer reading.
Apr 24, 2012 — Ukrainian novelist Andrey Kurkov writes short, surrealistic stories full of dark comedic surprises. His latest is The Case of the General's Thumb, but critic John Powers suggests starting with his 1996 novel, Death and the Penguin. It's a fast-paced, witty read and what Powers calls "an almost perfect novel."
Mar 7, 2012 — Daily Beast and Newsweek editor Tina Brown highlights a book and an article on two titanic individuals at the center of political change: Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin and pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar.
Mar 1, 2012 — Media suppression, corruption and murder have marked the regime of Vladimir Putin, who is running for his third term as president in Russia's election next week. His rise to power is spelled out in journalist Masha Gessen's new book, The Man Without a Face.
Oct 19, 2011 — In England, where sniping at Booker Prize finalists is a national sport, this year's bickering was especially fierce. But last night's award of the prize to Julian Barnes' absorbing, elegant The Sense of an Ending provided ... just that.
Sep 29, 2011 — Jonathan Franzen's much-discussed Freedom arrives in paperback, along with selected stories from William Trevor and a new Rick Bass novel set in 1950s Nashville. In nonfiction, Nelson Mandela opens the archives to his past, and Ian Frazier explores Siberia.
Jul 15, 2011 — NPR coverage of Season of Ash: A Novel in Three Acts by Jorge Volpi Escalante and Alfred MacAdam. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Jan 20, 2011 — A writer's chance encounter with Vyacheslav Molotov's personal library leads to an encompassing, poetic and creative portrait of Russia's history and present.
Jan 26, 2010 — Joshua Ferris (Then We Came To The End) studies the monster within in The Unnamed. Lush language limns a Soviet childhood of privation and paranoia in A Mountain of Crumbs. Nobel economist Joseph Stiglitz's Freefall lays blame for the financial failure. And Crash Course tracks the American auto industry "from glory to disaster.