NPR stories about Books News & Features
February 5, 2013 In fiction, a novel from Nobel Prize-winner Nadine Gordimer, a posthumous thriller from Michael Crichton and a sensual werewolf tale from Anne Rice arrive in paperback. In softcover nonfiction, Paul Krugman confronts our economic depression, and Charles Murray looks at the U.S. class divide.
February 5, 2013 Folk musician Woody Guthrie wrote thousands of songs in his lifetime — but as far as anyone knows, he only wrote one novel. Recently discovered, House of Earth is the story of struggling young sharecroppers who dream of creating a safe haven amid the dust storms and economic depression of the 1930s.
January 28, 2013 The award for the most distinguished children's picture book of the year is announced Monday. The first winner, in 1938, was a book of illustrated animals from the Bible, but the medal has also gone to books like Madeline's Rescue and Where the Wild Things Are.
January 27, 2013 This week marks an important milestone for anyone who swoons at the very mention of Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice is turning 200, and to celebrate its bicentennial, cartoonist Jen Sorensen drew up an illustrated version of the classic.
January 26, 2013 Written and Illustrated by Jon Klassen, This Is Not My Hat tells the story of a little fish on the run after stealing a small, blue hat from a slumbering big fish. Runners-up for the medal included a tribute to the color green and a tale of colorful yarn in a black-and-white world.
January 15, 2013 Dav Pilkey has just released his 10th Captain Underpants book. The series, packed with potty humor and goofy illustrations, delights reluctant readers and horrifies many grown-ups. Pilkey says he wanted to create books that would appeal even to readers who struggle, the way he did as a child.
January 14, 2013 Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is open about how she benefited from affirmative action, how she came to terms with her diabetes and the "out-of-body experience" of being appointed to the high court. Sotomayor spoke with NPR just before the release of her new autobiography.
January 12, 2013 The writer, who died this week at the age of 88, is remembered for creations both fictional and non, ranging from the Kansas City living room of Mrs. Bridge to Custer's Little Bighorn. Critic Alan Cheuse has a remembrance of Connell, who once met him for breakfast at a Marin County McDonald's.
January 9, 2013 Tales of Machiavellian office politics are all the rage in China, where "bureaucracy lit" is flying off bookstore shelves. The books are read as both entertainment and as how-to guides for aspiring civil servants. Pioneers of the genre offer a path to success in China's corridors of power.
January 6, 2013 After more than 20 years, The Wheel of Time series is ending with the release of the 14th volume, A Memory of Light. NPR's Petra Mayer has read all of the books — plus the prequel — and she says that while the writing is workmanlike, the vast world that author Robert Jordan created will suck you in.
January 6, 2013 What attracts people to fantasy? Is it the orcs and the elves, or the rich worlds they inhabit? Author Saladin Ahmed says world-building — the craft of building a believable fictional world — provides "an almost physical sense of getting lost somewhere that isn't home, but which comes to be home."
December 27, 2012 Conventional wisdom says e-books are destroying the traditional publishing business model. But the story's not that simple. For one thing, flexible pricing allows publishers to hold what amount to one-day-only sales on any given title — which means more people will discover that book.