January 3, 2014 At No. 2, Dog Songs collects some of Mary Oliver's favorite poems about her canine companions.
January 3, 2014 In One Summer, at No. 5, Bill Bryson tells the true story of a few fascinating months of 1927.
January 3, 2014 Junot Diaz chronicles the philandering adventures of Yunior in This Is How You Lose Her, at No. 14.
January 3, 2014 Outliers, at No. 10, presents Malcolm Gladwell's theories about the nature of unusual success.
January 5, 2014 Chang-Rae Lee is an award-winning author best known for his novels Native Speaker and The Surrendered. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with Lee about his latest book On Such a Full Sea, a futuristic dystopian novel set in a declining America that's been repopulated by Chinese immigrant workers.
January 3, 2014 A new book by critic Olivia Laing explores the link between alcohol and writing through the commentaries of famous writers who were themselves alcoholics. Fresh Air's Maureen Corrigan calls Laing's readings "exquisite," and says she wisely avoids "any one-size-fits-all conclusions about the bond between the pen and the bottle."
January 3, 2014 Just as the passengers aboard the MV Akademik Shokalskiy thought they had escaped the Antarctic ice, word came that the Chinese ship that rescued them might be stuck as well. Poet Jynne Martin recommends a book to put the situation in perspective, one that tells the story of an expedition that was doomed from the start.
January 3, 2014 Also: the lawyer who leaked J.K. Rowling's identity has been fined; Kate DiCamillo is the new national ambassador for young people's literature; Danielle Steel is awarded France's Legion of Honor.
January 2, 2014 Scandinavian crime novels have become so popular that some publishers even have a name for the genre — "Scandi-crime." Many of these books keep readers right on the edge of their seats. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says Before I Burn by Gaute Heivoll takes a more subtle approach.
January 2, 2014 Author Lucy Lethbridge explores the history of British servants through their diaries, letters and memoirs. She says, "What I found particularly fascinating was how ... butlers were so butlery"; the old caricature of the clever manservant and the silly master is one "butlers have appeared to play to the hilt."
January 1, 2014 Travel Light is an unjustly forgotten fairy tale about a wandering princess who goes from bears and dragons to the real world of medieval Constantinople — and back again. Writer Amal El-Mohtar says she encountered the book as an adult and "felt, very powerfully, that I had been waiting for it."
January 1, 2014 In softcover nonfiction, Sonali Deraniyagala writes about losing her family to the 2004 tsunami, Nick Turse explores civilian deaths in Vietnam, David Esterly shares his path to becoming a master woodcarver, and Bruce Feiler collects tips for building a happier family. In fiction, Ruth Ozeki tells the story of a depressed 16-year-old.