Jun 6, 2014 — Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins roams from Italy in the early 1960s to Hollywood and the present-day American heartland. It appears at No. 4.
Jan 24, 2014 — Welcome to awards season. Between the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, and the upcoming Oscars, it's enough to make anyone question America's fixation on movies. But author Kevin Roose says that Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a novel with a funny take on the movie industry, shows that there's something important going on behind the glitz.
Nov 1, 2013 — At No. 3, Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins follows a doomed affair between a starlet and an innkeeper.
Aug 30, 2013 — Jess Walter's Beautiful Ruins, a novel that roams from Italy to Hollywood, remains at No. 1.
Aug 18, 2013 — Debbie Macomber's books don't get a lot of critical attention, but they've sold in the hundreds of millions. Her fans feel like they know and love the woman behind the words, so her publisher threw a party for them.
Apr 1, 2013 — In softcover fiction, Maria Semple chronicles a daughter's search for her missing mother, Jess Walter imagines a glimmering but futile courtship, and Lionel Shriver delivers a tongue-in-cheek take on terrorism. In nonfiction, Victoria Sweet recounts her unusual medical training.
Dec 13, 2012 — 2012 was a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan found that her favorite fiction and nonfiction this year directly confronted the atmospheric uncertainty of the age.
Jun 18, 2012 — Jess Walter's latest novel spans decades and traverses the Atlantic to create a kaleidoscopic collection of "beautiful ruins." Characters include a hotelier, a young script reader and real-life movie star Richard Burton. NPR's Maureen Corrigan says the book is a "literary miracle."
Jul 15, 2011 — NPR coverage of Hotel Iris by Yoko Ogawa and Stephen Snyder. News, author interviews, critics' picks and more.
Apr 14, 2010 — Author Yoko Ogawa's Hotel Iris, published in Japanese in 1996, is the latest of her books to be translated into English. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the story, about a 17-year-old girl who begins an intense, sometimes violent affair with a tenant of her mother's rundown hotel, is decadent and profoundly sad.