Also: Lila Perl died at 92; David Foster Wallace and grammar; NEA grants awarded.
December 11, 2013 Fresh Air's book critic says it's just a fluke that 9 of the 11 titles she picked this year were written by female authors. Her favorites include a jumbo-sized Dickensian novel, a biography of Ben Franklin's sister, a comedy of manners, a stunning Scandinavian mystery and more.
December 11, 2013 Also: Jennifer Szalai on the problem with "guilty pleasures"; Mike Tyson denied entry into the U.K.; portrait of Jane Austen sold at auction.
December 10, 2013 The latest installment in the Hobbit movie trilogy opens this week. And some hard-core fans plan to celebrate not just with a marathon screening of the Lord of The Ring films that came before it, but with a full day of feasting — seven meals, hobbit-style. We offer up a sample menu.
December 10, 2013 Hey there, befuddled aunts, uncles and family friends. Not sure what to buy for kids who already have everything? NPR's Book Concierge is here to help you find gifts for all those nieces, nephews and offspring of other people.
December 10, 2013 Also: Joan Didion on Martha Stewart; Alice Munro's Nobel interview; the difficulties of judging the National Book Awards.
December 9, 2013 Historian Maureen Ogle's new book examines the rise of our modern industrial meat system by examining its roots — all the way back to Colonial America. There's a fundamental disconnect, she argues, in our demands for both cheap, plentiful meat and an end to factory farms. Something, she says, has to give.
December 9, 2013 Novelist Delia Ephron says that losing her older sister Nora was like "losing an arm." But for all their collaboration and closeness, Delia writes about the complications of sisterhood in her new collection of autobiographical essays, Sister Mother Husband Dog (etc.).
December 9, 2013 Also: comparing Nora Ephron and Joan Didion; more literary celebrations of Nelson Mandela; the best book coming out this week.
December 8, 2013 Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated in 2007. Heraldo Munoz, who led the United Nations investigation into her death, portrays the tense political climate that surrounded Bhutto's return to politics and the circumstances of the killing in his new book.