October 31, 2012 Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and collaborator Christopher Golden have written a spooky novella about a priest using puppets to convey the word of God to war-scarred children in 1940s Sicily. Reviewer Glen Weldon says the exhaustively researched plot is let down by bad pacing.
October 30, 2012 Kurt Vonnegut aspired to be a sort of "cultivated eccentric." Reviewer Drew Toal says a new collection of Vonnegut's letters — by turns hilarious, heartbreaking and mundane — reveals just how uneccentric the writer actually was.
October 30, 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Russo grew up in a burned-out New York mill town, with a gallant, but neurotic, single mom. In his new memoir, he writes that, for better or worse, he and his mother were always close — even when that meant moving away to college together.
October 24, 2012 Tom Wolfe's new novel is a sprawling portrait of Miami and its many ethnic groups, centering around a Cuban-American police officer and an immigration conflict. NPR editor Luis Clemens says the book nails the physical descriptions of Miami, but falls down badly in the portrayal of actual humans.
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.
October 23, 2012 Young Americans are reading more than just status updates and 140-character tweets. A new study by the Pew Research Center shows that among 16- to 29-year-olds, 8 in 10 have read a book in the past year. That's compared with 7 in 10 among adults in general.
October 20, 2012 Amazon is expanding its top 100 lists to rank writers, not just books. The new list features a funky mix of authors, from big names to children's classics to Ayn Rand. Essayist Amanda Katz wonders whether the list is silly, useful, a play for world domination, or possibly all three?
October 17, 2012 Barbara Kingsolver's new novel weaves together a story of personal awakening with larger themes of environmental stewardship and climate change. Heroine Dellarobia Turnbow's life begins to change when she sees a strange vision in the Appalachian hills — a lake seemingly afire.
October 14, 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Mary Oliver often writes about the natural world — the animals she sees and the woods she walks in. Her new book, A Thousand Mornings, collects her morning meditations as she stands by her door, notebook and pen in hand.
October 13, 2012 NPR's longest-serving reference librarian, Kee Malesky, is the author of a new book, Learn Something New Every Day: 365 Facts to Fulfill Your Life. Malesky offers facts for each day of the year, from the landing on the moon to the invention of sliced bread.
October 11, 2012 A few days ago, Domingo Martinez was just a regular guy working as a graphic designer and writing on the side. Then on Wednesday he woke up to find himself nominated for the National Book Award for nonfiction for his book, The Boy Kings of Texas.
October 11, 2012 The Swedish Academy praised the Chinese writer's work, which "merges folk tales, history and the contemporary." The award is a cause of pride for a government that disowned the only previous Chinese winner of the award, an exiled critic.