Oct 26, 2011 — In fiction, Paul Auster sets a family story against the housing crisis and Garrison Keillor looks at a Midwestern holiday blizzard. In nonfiction, Lewis Black goes on a USO tour of Afghanistan and Iraq, Frank Sinatra gets a new biography and Jenna McCarthy redefines lust and love with a comic wink.
Nov 23, 2010 — In fiction, Herta Mueller, winner of 2009's literature Nobel, writes poetically about life under totalitarianism, and Elizabeth Berg crafts an entertaining account of a 40th high school reunion. In nonfiction — John Adams' letters, America's tacky Christmas traditions, and the sequel to Stuff White People Like.
Nov 4, 2010 — At first, comedian Lewis Black didn't believe it when the USO asked him to join a Christmas tour to entertain U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. But in his new book, I'm Dreaming of a Black Christmas, he writes that it changed his life — if not his views of Christmas.
Dec 21, 2009 — Hank Stuever wanted to write about Christmas in America with a capital "A." Tinsel is the story of his journey to Frisco, Texas, where the lights are brighter, the Christmas trees are taller, and the reindeer are faster.
Nov 4, 2009 — Read an excerpt from former Ark. governor Mike Huckabee's book, A Simple Christmas.
Nov 4, 2009 — Hendrik Hertzberg, author of Obamanos!, assesses the year since President Obama's election. And former Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee and NPR political editor Ken Rudin talk about gains Republicans made in the 2009 elections.
Nov 12, 2008 — There were no Christmas cards in 1843 England, no Christmas trees at royal residences or White Houses, no Christmas turkeys, no department-store Santa or his million clones, no outpouring of "Yuletide greetings," no weeklong cessation of business affairs through the New Year, no orgy of gift-giving, no ubiquitous public display of nativity scenes (or court fights regarding them), no holiday lighting extravaganzas, and no plethora of midnight services celebrating the birth of a savior.
Dec 6, 2007 — Caroline Kennedy's new Christmas anthology opens with her 1962 letter to Santa. In it, she wished for skates, dolls and a "pet reindeer" for herself and "some noisy thing" for her brother John. But a family tradition shunned toys for oranges and walnuts.
Dec 5, 2007 — Each year at holiday time, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and his family exclaimed, "Oh, my! It's fruitcake weather, Buddy!" But it wasn't until he was an adult that he understood the true meaning of Truman Capote's simple line.
Dec 15, 2006 — For some families, the holiday season is a time for compromise. Chrismukkah, a blend of Hanukkah and Christmas customs, is one of them. Ron Gompertz, author of Chrismukkah: Everything You Need to Know to Celebrate the Hybrid Holiday, talks about mixed traditions with Madeleine Brand.