August 30, 2013 The Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney died this morning in Dublin at the age of 74. In a remembrance, poet and critic Craig Morgan Teicher writes that Heaney had mastered sound and nuance, crafting poems you can taste and feel, alive and powerful, as you speak them aloud.
August 29, 2013 It's a tragedy, perhaps, but books do go out of print. Sometimes it's a slow march toward elimination, others pass out of sight before they've had a chance to shine. But reviewer and editor Parul Sehgal recommends five that have come back to life.
August 22, 2013 Ben Winters' mystery novels are set in the capital of New Hampshire, a community hardly known for its crime or intrigue. The twist? In his books, the planet is about to be hit by an asteroid, and everyone knows they're soon going to die. Amid the chaos, one Concord cop fights for law and order.
August 20, 2013 Legendary crime writer Elmore Leonard published 46 novels, including Get Shorty and Out of Sight. His works were adapted countless times for film and TV. Noah Adams remembers the man whose advice to other writers was "try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip."
August 19, 2013 Most Americans say public libraries are important to the community — but eight states don't actually support them. Texas has cut budgets drastically; in Vermont, local librarians must go hand in hand to town meetings every year. Neda Ulaby reports on the landscape of library funding across the U.S.
August 17, 2013 In 1857, John Brown liberates 12-year-old Henry from his master. There's only one problem: Brown is so wrapped up in his freedom mission, he thinks Henry is a girl. James McBride delivers a portrait of Brown and his friend Frederick Douglass as Henry sees them.
August 12, 2013 When she was 24, Piper Kerman dated a woman who was part of a drug smuggling ring. Years later, after being named as part of that ring, Kerman served time in a federal prison and at one point shared a cell with her former girlfriend. Her memoir of that experience inspired the Netflix series.
August 11, 2013 KPLUImagine a library small enough to be towed by a bicycle; on that bike is a librarian who can check your books out, answer research questions and even issue a library card. The Seattle Public Library is experimenting with a program that does just that.
August 11, 2013 Science fiction has long offered us the image of "the final frontier," but some sci-fi authors have mapped frontiers of their own. Author Stephen Burt says James Tiptree Jr. (pen name of Alice Sheldon) was a pioneer in writing about gender and sexuality when most sci-fi authors were male.
August 10, 2013 The Storied South is a new book by folklorist William Ferris, collecting 40 years worth of oral histories from Southern writers and artists. Ferris tells NPR's Celeste Headlee that the book was a way of getting everyone from Eudora Welty to Bobby Rush to a "common table of conversation."
August 8, 2013 A lengthy interview with Leonard Bernstein. One man's quest to understand obsessive Phish fandom. A look at the life of a jazz legend. We survey these and other highlights of music-themed books worth reading this summer.
August 7, 2013 In the latest installment of our library series, NPR's Bob Mondello visits some notable libraries in popular culture: Jorge Luis Borges' Library of Babel; Lucien's Library in Neil Gaiman's The Sandman; and the stacks in Buffy, Hogwarts, Doctor Who and Fahrenheit 451.