Dec 2, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Ellen Meister resurrects a literary icon, Ryan McIlvain sends elders door to door, and William H. Gass strikes the key to an identity crisis. In nonfiction, Monte Reel tells of the Victorian who chased after gorillas, and Bill Streever explores the thermometer's upper frontiers.
Oct 20, 2013 — Stay-at-home fathers, missionaries who love their charges, women who make the first move: characters who would have been controversial in previous generations came to the forefront in the Jazz era. Author Ursula DeYoung recommends three books that, after 90 years, still seem fresh in their revolutionary treatment of all kinds of love.
Aug 15, 2013 — Paul Yoon's new novel, Snow Hunters, follows a Korean War POW who starts a new life in Brazil. Yoon drew on his own family's experiences to write the book, and reviewer Alana Levinson says his "ruminations on the role of memory in shaping our identity speak perfectly to the experience of war."
Apr 3, 2013 — As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. He left the church in his mid-20s. McIlvain's debut novel, Elders, tells the story of two young Mormons carrying out their missions.
Mar 20, 2013 — Jean-Marie Blas de Robles' novel Where Tigers Are at Home won France's 2008 Prix Medicis. It's now out in English, and reviewer Alan Cheuse says it will appeal to readers who like the complexity of Umberto Eco, with "an adventure plot straight out of Michael Crichton."
Dec 21, 2011 — Critic Dan Kois selects the standout graphic novels of the year, which include books from France and Japan, explicit picaresques, hard-boiled mysteries, memoirs, fairy tales and new twists on old classics.
Jul 15, 2011 — NPR coverage of The Seamstress: A Novel by Frances De Pontes Peebles. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Dec 23, 2009 — Many of the picks from Fresh Air's book critic look back at tough times from earlier eras, or lives upended by disaster. The best books of the year include a work of nonfiction that reveals the hidden fantasy land of a founder of American industry, and a novel that doesn't apologize for the bad behavior of its characters. Plus, a bonus mystery pick.
Aug 4, 2009 — When Henry Ford bought up a Connecticut-sized chunk of land in the Amazon River basin in 1927, he wasn't just planning to build his own vertically-integrated rubber plantation — he also envisioned the small-town America of his youth, reborn in the jungle.
Jul 29, 2009 — Cape Cod cottages, red fire hydrants, swimming pools, and a golf course — the perfect village, built by Henry Ford, right in the heart of the the Amazon jungle of Brazil. Greg Grandin's book (non-fiction, amazingly) documents the history of Ford's vision of the American Jungle Utopia that almost was.