Jan 29, 2014 — She was a struggling screenwriter before hitting it big with her books, including The Cutting Season. Locke talks with NPR's Michel Martin about the inspiration for her thrillers, and how she straddles the past and present of African-American life in her writing.
Nov 15, 2013 — The 1853 memoir of free man turned captive Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave, appears at No. 10.
Sep 16, 2013 — In softcover nonfiction, Stephen Tobolowski recalls his time as a character actor, Walter Stahr profiles Lincoln's adviser, David Byrne relates his ideas on music and Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson investigate failing states. In fiction, Attica Locke weaves a murder mystery in the Deep South.
Aug 20, 2013 — Melissa Block talks with Lolis Eric Elie, a writer and editor behind the HBO series Treme about a new cookbook written in the voices of the show's characters. Elie says it reflects both old New Orleans traditions and more recent influences.
May 17, 2013 — Sookie Stackhouse has one last adventure in Charlaine Harris' Dead Ever After. It debuts at No. 4.
Sep 18, 2012 — Attica Locke was inspired to write her new novel after attending an interracial couple's wedding on a plantation. The Cutting Season tells the story of two murders set a century apart. The past, Locke says, "walks with us still."
Aug 19, 2012 — Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, the devastating losses and the inept government response, dominated the news cycle for a few months. But New Orleans residents' struggle to return home never stopped. Writer Daniel Wolff's new book follows several Crescent City characters as they rebuild after the disaster.
Jun 2, 2012 — The Fish That Ate the Whale tells the story of Sam Zemurray, a Jewish immigrant who came to the U.S. as a teenager and became one of the biggest players in the banana business. "He's like the American dream in the shape of a single life," says author Rich Cohen.
Nov 14, 2011 — Society has a fascination with crime — we can't seem to look away from the yellow police tape. Author Duane Swierczynski recommends three thrilling crime stories told in graphic-novel form.
Aug 21, 2011 — The arc of American culture can be found in the nation's music. Author Tom Piazza shares that story in his new collection of essays, called Devil Sent the Rain: Music and Writing in Desperate America.