December 13, 2012 2012 was a very jittery year — what with the presidential election, extreme weather events and the looming "fiscal cliff." Fresh Air critic Maureen Corrigan found that her favorite fiction and nonfiction this year directly confronted the atmospheric uncertainty of the age.
December 13, 2012 Susan Stamberg presents the year's best books, picked by independent booksellers around the country. Selections range from gritty, free-verse fairy tales to ballerina photographs and a grim Southern story about a small town that would rather its ghosts remain at rest.
December 12, 2012 In a new book, biographer David Nasaw profiles the father of Robert, John and Teddy, and unpacks the elder Kennedy's influence on his children. "He told them over and over again, 'I'm making all this money so you don't have to make money, so that you can go into public service,' " Nasaw says.
December 12, 2012 Author Wendy Welch shares her favorite book about small-town life that defy stereotypes. What is your favorite work that takes a bite out of literary tradition? Tell us in the comments.
December 12, 2012 Some of these novels will touch your heart; others will challenge your mind. One will make you laugh — a few might make you cry. But all of these books recommended by NPR's Lynn Neary will give you and your friends plenty to talk about.
December 12, 2012 Oprah Winfrey says her Book Club grew out of a desire to talk to authors after finishing their books. While the original version of the club ended when Winfrey's television show went off the air in 2011, it has now been rebooted online and on the new Oprah Winfrey Network as Book Club 2.0.
December 11, 2012 Our comics blogger examines the new 'Man of Steel' from a historical perspective and asks, Is Zack Snyder making Ma and Pa Kent ... interesting?
December 12, 2012 Nigerian writer Wole Soyinka was the first black African to win the Nobel Prize in literature, in 1986. He tells NPR's Michel Martin that the best part about it was the money. His latest work, Of Africa, is a study of the continent that has dominated his career.
December 11, 2012 In The Generals, Thomas Ricks examines U.S. military leadership from World War Two to the present day. He concludes that the mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan can be traced to the Army's inability to come to terms with all the lessons of Vietnam.
December 11, 2012 Gift books should be special: arrestingly visual, deeply felt, quirky, comprehensive, important. We've combed the shelves to bring you several such suggestions, guaranteed to put a sparkle in the eyes of any big reader.
December 11, 2012 Oprah Winfrey's second pick for her rebooted book club is The Twelve Tribes of Hattie, by first-time novelist Ayana Mathis. It's a chronicle of the Great Migration of African-Americans leaving the rural South, following a family matriarch who leaves Georgia to start a new life in Philadelphia.
December 10, 2012 Cats descended from one given to the writer live at the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum in Key West. A visitor filed a complaint with the law. Now, judges have said the U.S. Department of Agriculture can regulate those felines. Yes, Hemingway's cats are a federal case. It's a long story.
December 10, 2012 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.
December 10, 2012 Elektra Natchios is the ultimate comic book heroine — sexy, smart and completely lethal. But author Sean Howe explains how a grim prequel destroyed his idealized vision of the sultry assassin. Have you ever read a prequel that ruined the book? Tell us in the comments.
December 10, 2012 NPR's Backseat Book Club polled children's booksellers and librarians to find 2012's best books for middle-graders. The winners are a heartwarming city kid's tale, a Chinese folklore-inspired adventure, and an encounter with a 10-year-old you'll never forget.