August 17, 2014 At Dominican Convent High School in Zimbabwe, then-16-year old writer Irene Sabatini and her classmates swooned over the opulence, sex and strength portrayed by the women in Shirley Conran's Lace.
July 13, 2014 Although she's loath to admit it, author Cristina Henriquez used to love Sweet Valley High. She explains why this "all-American" series meant so much to her as an awkward half-Panamanian 5th grader.
April 27, 2014 Kim Harrison's Hollows series is drawing to a close after ten years of supernatural shenanigans. Reviewer Amal El-Mohtar says the books are fun reading with a solid core of strong female characters.
April 12, 2014 Whenever writer Yiyun Li feels guilty about her parenting choices, she turns to Peanuts for refuge, holding on to the comforting comic strip as tightly as Linus clutches his security blanket.
February 23, 2014 Who doesn't like to curl up with a good murder mystery? Author Louise Doughty recommends her favorite collection of such tales, and muses about why we're drawn to stories about homicides.
February 17, 2014 Fantômas — even his name is mysterious! The French criminal mastermind starred in a series of 19 deliciously pulpy novels beginning in 1911. Author Rachel Cantor says the series is "part police procedural, part gothic horror story, part courtroom drama, part Sherlockian mystery, part existential potboiler."
January 12, 2014 Author Kim Fu has always loved Batman — at least, one form of him. Her Batman was moral, principled, triumphant: never cheesy or brutish. But Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns cast a guilty shadow over her love for the character, because Miller's bloodthirsty madman shares an awful lot with Fu's favorite version of her hero.
November 17, 2013 When humor writer Tom Ruprecht decided in high school to read Ian Frazier's Dating Your Mom, he faced a conundrum that most teens would find terrifying: How do you ask your mom to buy you a book with a title like that? And — again, like most teenagers — his solution wasn't exactly graceful. But at least the book of essays was worth it.
October 27, 2013 Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle and several mystery series, first read Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars in college. It's hardly a staid Latin history book — in fact, it's Brown's favorite guilty pleasure. An academic-looking cover hides a raunchy, violent, thrilling book, she says, full of "around-the-clock degradation."
August 4, 2013 Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone is a sleuthing novel that was ahead of its time.
July 14, 2013 When crime writer Karin Slaughter was struggling to find a good literary relationship, she turned to the Marcus Didius Falco series by Lindsey Davis. She learned about togas and scrolls and came away with a new template for a happy marriage.
February 3, 2013 Guns N' Roses epitomized all of the glamour of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. But, author Alex Stone writes, Duff McKagan's memoir shows the ugly underside of the legendary rock group. What's your favorite music memoir? Tell us in the comments.
January 14, 2013 Though former MI5 director Stella Rimington knows better than anyone that Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love is not a realistic portrayal of life in the intelligence services, she still loves this tale of sex and violence. Which is your favorite Bond book? Tell us in the comments.
November 19, 2012 The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec by Jaques Tardi features a beautiful, gun-wielding detective and a horrifying prehistoric monster. Author Rosecrans Baldwin explains why this is no ordinary comic book. Do you have a favorite graphic novel? Tell us in the comments.
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October 24, 2012 Adele Geras' Troy has everything The Iliad doesn't: graphic details and some really bad writing. NPR intern Annalisa Quinn explains why that's exactly what she wanted. What is your favorite remake of a classic? Tell us in the comments.
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