April 12, 2013 In Who Could That Be at This Hour?, a prequel to A Series of Unfortunate Events, Daniel Handler satirizes pulp mysteries and uncovers the parallels between detective fiction and childhood. In both, he says, an outsider is trying to make his way in a mysteriously corrupt world.
April 12, 2013 Also: Ireland bungles James Joyce coins; a literary hoax; and a new D.H Lawrence manuscript.
April 12, 2013 In softcover nonfiction, Fawzia Koofi reflects on her hard-won empowerment in Afghanistan, Gustavo Arellano surveys America's obsession with Mexican cuisine and Craig Havighurst documents the rich history of Nashville country radio.
April 12, 2013 Although Venezuela has a rich literary culture, its writers remain largely unknown outside of the country. Marcela Valdes traces the intersection of literature and politics in the large Caribbean nation, showing the forces that have kept Venezuelan writers from getting the praise they deserve.
April 11, 2013 The Irish Central Bank announced the launch of a limited-edition coin to honor the Irish writer. When the error was pointed out, the bank put it down to "artistic representation," and said it would continue with the sale of the coin.
April 11, 2013 Cartoonist Lucy Knisley's culinary memoir/graphic novel Relish: My Life in the Kitchen is the work of a food enthusiast, not a food snob; she shares her love of delicious meals with an easy charm that'll send you into the kitchen.
April 11, 2013 In the United States, an orphan disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 patients. These conditions often involve chronic pain or fatigue, and can be controversial and difficult to diagnose. Yet they affect around 30 million Americans. Author Laurie Edwards is one such patient.
April 11, 2013 In her new memoir, Shocked, Volk examines the two women who had a lasting impact on her as she began to parse who she was as a woman: her beautiful, critical mother, Audrey Morgen Volk; and the famous — and unconventional — haute couture designer Elsa Schiaparelli.
April 11, 2013 Also: A new T.C. Boyle short story; the problem with the "death" of print; and Maya Angelou speaks with The Daily Beast.
April 11, 2013 Christian Wiman's new essay collection, My Bright Abyss, explores his ideas about faith and life during a time of intense crisis — in Wiman's case, a rare and painful cancer. Reviewer Walton Muyumba says Wiman's "intense questioning and dense resolutions are challenging," but ultimately rewarding.
April 11, 2013 Jarrett Krosoczka's lunch lady doesn't just serve lunch. She serves justice. In her Batman-like lair below the cafeteria, she can monitor the whole school for suspicious characters like the Cyborg Substitute or the Video Game Villain. Join NPR's Backseat Book Club as we follow her adventures.
April 10, 2013 Our comics blogger examines the controversy surrounding the decision not to release an issue of the popular SAGA series for Apple devices.
April 10, 2013 Meg Wolitzer's The Interestings follows a group of teens who meet in the '70s at an artsy summer camp and remain friends for the rest of their lives. Reviewer Lizzie Skurnick says the book is about changes in the world as well as in the characters.
April 10, 2013 The Yellow Brick Road is a well-traveled one; generations of young readers have followed L. Frank Baum's path to the magical Land of Oz. This spring, as members of NPR's Backseat Book Club embarked on their own journeys to the Emerald City, we asked you to share your Oz memories and photos with us.