November 3, 2012 Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man invented a new kind of crime fiction. It was hard-boiled, but also light-hearted; funny, with a hint of homicide. Now, for the first time, the stories of After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man have been published as novellas.
November 2, 2012 In 1877, Anna Sewell wrote a novel about human kindness and cruelty — all from the point of view of a horse. In the decades since, Black Beauty has been embraced by generations of children, and has helped change the way we treat and think about horses.
October 31, 2012 Author Ian McEwan's latest novel tells the story of a young woman who works for the British intelligence agency MI5 and an assignment she gets that changes her life. Sweet Tooth is a love story with notes of deception and betrayal mixed in.
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.