Curiosities and wonders
Sep 14, 2013 — The universe is shaped like a vuvuzela. Humans and elephants are the only animals with chins. These, and a trove of other factoids have been compiled in 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off — a book by the creators of the hit British television show QI.
Jun 27, 2013 — Book reviewer Alan Cheuse picks five exciting summer reads, ranging from short stories of grim Irish mayhem to a North Carolina lynching and a corpse in an iceberg, to Southern California cocaine capers and a pure-trash adventure starring U.S. special forces and a world-threatening comet.
Jun 21, 2013 — Flight Behavior, Barbara Kingsolver's rural tale of personal awakening, climbs to No. 1.
Jun 3, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Barbara Kingsolver explores climate change, Jami Attenberg depicts an eating disorder, Dave Eggers sends a businessman to Saudi Arabia, and Vaddey Ratner fictionalizes life under the Khmer Rouge. In nonfiction, Jeffrey Toobin examines the Supreme Court and President Obama.
Apr 20, 2013 — More and more writers are setting their novels and short stories in worlds, not unlike our own, where the Earth's systems are noticeably off-kilter. The genre has come to be called climate fiction — "cli-fi," for short.
Dec 20, 2012 — In her book, Learn Something New Every Day, NPR's reference librarian Kee Malesky provides readers with fun facts about everything from the scented cinema experiments of the 1950s, to why baseball managers wear the team uniform. Malesky talks with host John Donvan about why learning facts boost confidence.
Nov 16, 2012 — Barbara Kingsolver's Flight Behavior takes a stand on climate change. It debuts at No. 1.
Nov 9, 2012 — Writer Barbara Kingsolver is one of a handful of novelists with a science background, and she puts it to use in her new novel Flight Behavior. Kingsolver discusses the book and why she chose to look at the the issue of climate change in a fictional work set in rural Tennessee.
Nov 8, 2012 — Barbara Kingsolver's new novel starts when millions of monarch butterflies alight on a mountain in eastern Tennessee. Yet, as author Brian Kimberling describes, the beautiful winged visitors in the novel reveal both humankind's effect on nature and the nature of humankind.
Oct 12, 2012 — NPR's longest-serving reference librarian, Kee Malesky, is the author of a new book, Learn Something New Every Day: 365 Facts to Fulfill Your Life. Malesky offers facts for each day of the year, from the landing on the moon to the invention of sliced bread.