January 11, 2014 In her new book, The Trip To Echo Spring, Olivia Laing investigates the role of drinking in the lives of six great American writers: Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Cheever, John Berryman, Tennessee Williams and Raymond Carver.
January 11, 2014 Laurie Halse Anderson's latest young adult novel, The Impossible Knife of Memory, follows 15-year-old Hayley and her dad, who suffers from PTSD after serving in Iraq. Anderson says the book draws on her own experience of growing up with a World War II veteran father who still struggles with his war memories.
January 11, 2014 Sue Monk Kidd's new novel, The Invention of Wings, is a fictionalized account of the abolitionist sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimké, and the slave Hetty, given to Sarah on her 11th birthday. Reviewer Bobbi Dumas says Wings is a "textured masterpiece, quietly yet powerfully poking our consciences and our consciousness."
January 11, 2014 E.L. Doctorow's new novel goes inside the brain of a neuroscientist trying to outrun his memories of disaster and the daughter he gave up. He tells NPR's Scott Simon that Andrew's Brain was inspired by his own memories, and by a recurring idea of a little girl hiding her colored-pencil drawings from adult eyes.
January 10, 2014 Saturday Night Live recently announced that they were hiring Sasheer Zamata, the first black woman to join the cast in six years. For our series This Week's Must Read, author Danielle Evans recommends a book that can give readers an idea of how Zamata might feel: Get Down, a short story collection by Asali Solomon.
January 10, 2014 Baraka was one of the key black literary voices of the 1960s. The political and social views that inspired his writing changed over the years, from his bohemian days as a young man in Greenwich Village to his later years as a Marxist. He spoke to Fresh Air's Terry Gross in 1986.
January 10, 2014 Khaled Hosseini's sprawling family drama And the Mountains Echoed has hit half a year on the list.
January 10, 2014 Jerusalem, a 2012 cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, returns to the list at No. 13.
January 10, 2014 In Wave, arriving at No. 9, Sonali Deraniyagala writes about losing her family in the 2004 tsunami.
January 10, 2014 Also: Poet Amiri Baraka has died at age 79; Augusto Pinochet's personal library.