October 29, 2013 Rebecca Walker's debut novel, Adé: A Love Story, is a whirlwind tale of romance and tragedy in Kenya. A biracial American college student falls in love with a Kenyan man, but their relationship is complicated by illness and government brutality. Reviewer Richard Torres says Walker rushes the romance and skimps on character development.
October 28, 2013 In softcover fiction, Tracy Chevalier follows an English Quaker across the Atlantic, Herman Koch serves a meal with a hefty helping of unease and Peter Sis brings an ancient flock of birds into the 21st century. In nonfiction, Jared Diamond mines lessons from traditional societies.
October 28, 2013 It's been 50 years since President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and polls show that a majority of Americans still believe Kennedy was the victim of a conspiracy, not a lone assassin. Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act, explores what keeps these conspiracy theories alive.
October 28, 2013 In a new book, billionaire investor Warren Buffett and his son and grandson discuss how to feed a growing planet. "We've been fortunate to make a whole lot more money than anybody can spend intelligently on themselves, so the object is to spend it intelligently on the rest of the world," says the senior Buffett.
October 28, 2013 Also: Rita Mae Brown on Suetonius; Tim Kreider on writers being asked to work for free; new R.L. Stein books; the best books coming out this week.
October 27, 2013 Daniel Alarcon's new novel is set in an unnamed, war-scarred Latin American country. The protagonist, Nelson, is an aspiring playwright — though he doesn't pursue his dreams with much diligence. Alarcon discusses his own views on working as an artist and his creative process.
October 27, 2013 Women and Children First has weathered more than three decades of competition from chain stores and online booksellers to become one of the largest feminist bookstores in the U.S. Now, the Chicago store is among the few of its kind left standing — and it's on the hunt for new ownership.
October 27, 2013 Hold on to your book covers, the best-selling author of Flowers in the Attic, V.C. Andrews, has been dead since 1986. But she's had a ghostwriter channeling her — a man by the name of Andrew Neiderman. NPR's Rachel Martin chats with Neiderman about writing for Andrews, as well as authoring his own works.
October 27, 2013 Rita Mae Brown, author of Rubyfruit Jungle and several mystery series, first read Suetonius' Lives of the Caesars in college. It's hardly a staid Latin history book — in fact, it's Brown's favorite guilty pleasure. An academic-looking cover hides a raunchy, violent, thrilling book, she says, full of "around-the-clock degradation."
October 27, 2013 You may blame a love of Snickers for those too-tight jeans, but in the early 20th century, the accusations were more serious: Candy was blamed for moral and physical decay. In Candy: A Century of Panic and Pleasure, Samira Kawash traces our love-hate relationship with sweets.
October 27, 2013 The Leonard Bernstein Letters, edited by Nigel Simeone, compiles correspondence to and from the legendary composer and conductor. The letters — from serious to silly — offer a detailed look at both the distinguished career and the adventurous personal life of a singular American genius.