May 31, 2012 It happens sometimes that you pick up a classic book expecting a great read, and you're disappointed. Author Jesmyn Ward had that reaction to Gone With the Wind. Have you ever been less than thrilled with an iconic book? Tell us about it in the comments.
May 31, 2012 All hopeless romantics must at some point face the fact: Relationships are intense. They can be painful. Author Jodi Picoult learned that lesson reading Gone With the Wind. Have you ever read a book that's taught you about what love is really like? Tell us in the comments.
May 31, 2012 Heart of a Samurai tells the true story of 14-year-old Manjiro, a boy who was shipwrecked, rescued by whalers and taken to America. It was the late 1800s, when Japan was cut off from the outside world — until Manjiro returned and influenced the shogun to open the country to diplomacy.
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May 31, 2012 Back in 2009, our interview with author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney sparked the idea for a special NPR book club for kids. So it's only fitting that NPR's Backseat Book Club will read Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Kinney's beloved cartoon staring Greg Heffley, a beleaguered middle-schooler.
May 31, 2012 Two authors, Jesmyn Ward and Jodi Picoult, explain how Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind changed their lives as teenagers.
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May 31, 2012 NPR Books Embraces YA/"PG-13" as theme for Summer Books 2012. We asked Tell Me More's Michel Martin to share her coming-of-age novel.
May 31, 2012 What does the Internet look like? Journalist Andrew Blum decided to find out. His new book, Tubes, is a journey into the Internet's physical infrastructure — where our data is stored and transmitted.
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May 31, 2012 Critic Maureen Corrigan's list includes the latest installments in long-running series by mystery genre veterans. She says coming back to familiar plots and characters is as rewarding as returning to a favorite vacation spot each summer.
May 31, 2012 Daily Show writer Kevin Bleyer's comic rewrite tracks the flaws in America's founding documents, from the 17 "alcohol, voting and slavery" amendments to one president's belief that the Constitution should expire every 19 years.
May 30, 2012 Summer is glorious and far too short to waste on the wrong book. Let the NPR critics you know and trust help you find the year's best fiction, nonfiction, mysteries, cookbooks and more.
May 30, 2012 A Greek poet contemplates the twisted strands of history, while Daniel Orozco's stories consider the dark side of our day jobs and Donald Rumsfeld reflects on the Iraq War. On the lighter side, CBS' Jim Axelrod revisits his marathon training, and a writer and an economist infuse soccer with numbers.
Historian Tom Holland has adapted Homer, Herodotus, Thucydides and Virgil for BBC Radio. His other history books include Rubicon, Persian Fire and The Forge of Christendom.
Sadie Holland /
May 30, 2012 Islam is conventionally thought to have arisen in the Arabian desert, free from any outside influences. But a new book by historian Tom Hollander provides some surprising historical context — and an origin story quite different from the one most people know.
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May 30, 2012 Chances are, if you've stayed in motels in the past decade, you've stayed in at least one owned by an Indian-American. It turns out more than half of all motels in the U.S. are Indian-American-owned. And even more remarkable, the vast majority of those owners are from one western state in India.
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May 30, 2012 Did women's liberation bring change you can believe in? In her first work of fiction in 25 years, Alix Kates Shulman conjures a retro relationship triangle, a heroine drowning in domestic discontent, and questions about the transformative impact of feminism.
A U.S. Army honor guard stands at attention during a ceremony to mark Memorial Day, this week at Arlington National Cemetery.
Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
May 29, 2012 In The Last Full Measure: How Soldiers Die In Battle, Michael Stephenson traces the history of combat. He describes how soldiers fight and die, how those who survive deal with the experience of combat, and what it reveals about warfare and human nature.
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