August 19, 2013 Author Marisha Pessl turned to technology to enrich readers' experience of her new thriller, Night Film — creating found-footage YouTube films, screen shots of hidden websites, and an app that readers can use to access additional content after scanning an illustration in the book.
August 19, 2013 T.E. Lawrence, the British officer who played a key role in the Middle East during World War I, served as one of that war's few romantic champions. Scott Anderson's Lawrence in Arabia explains how Lawrence used his knowledge of Arab culture and medieval history to advance British causes.
August 19, 2013 Also: NPR's Petra Mayer reports from a Debbie Macomber conference; the best books coming out this week.
August 19, 2013 In softcover fiction, Enid Schomer imagines Florence Nightingale and Gustave Flaubert meeting on the Nile, and Bill Roorbach follows siblings trying to solve their parents' murder. In nonfiction, Craig Brown collects stories of encounters between famous people.
August 19, 2013 Most Americans say public libraries are important to the community — but eight states don't actually support them. Texas has cut budgets drastically; in Vermont, local librarians must go hand in hand to town meetings every year. Neda Ulaby reports on the landscape of library funding across the U.S.
August 18, 2013 Patrick Flanery's taut new novel, Fallen Land, delves into the housing crisis, creeping corporate surveillance and a "crisis of neighborliness" in American life. The backdrop: a half-built and crumbling subdivision outside of an unnamed American city.
August 18, 2013 Author David Ewalt loved roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons as a kid. In his new book, Of Dice and Men, Ewalt returns to his childhood pastime — once the province of nerds in the basement, it's now become an enormously influential worldwide phenomenon.
August 18, 2013 The Bone Season kicks off a new fantasy series about a clairvoyant girl in a future dystopia. Author Samantha Shannon was a student when she started writing — now, she's being touted as the next J. K. Rowling. And reviewer Jane Ciabattari says her work lives up to the hype.
August 18, 2013 Every new generation of immigrants must meet the age-old challenges of building a new home — assimilation and conformity, old habits and new cultures, adjustment and isolation. Author Helene Wecker shares with us three books that explore the complexities of life on foreign shores.
August 17, 2013 Late lunches and literary rock stars: Such were the early days of publishing house Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Elissa Schappell says Boris Kachka's Hothouse (an expose of this cherished publisher) is a star-studded tell-all about the "good old, bad old days."
August 17, 2013 In 1857, John Brown liberates 12-year-old Henry from his master. There's only one problem: Brown is so wrapped up in his freedom mission, he thinks Henry is a girl. James McBride delivers a portrait of Brown and his friend Frederick Douglass as Henry sees them.
August 17, 2013 Computer analysis suggests that 325 lines from a Thomas Kyd play are actually William Shakespeare's and that bad handwriting is to blame for the mix-up. NPR's Scott Simon muses on some of Shakespeare's most famous lines and how they might read differently if they were transcribed incorrectly.