NPR stories about Books News & Features
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.
December 27, 2012 The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — all combined to create dramatic change. Industry consultant Mike Shatzkin outlines some of the biggest changes, like the recently announced merger of Penguin and Random House.
December 27, 2012 Charles Dickens wrote many of his greatest works in serial form, but serial publishing has fallen by the wayside since his day. Now, it's being revived online, and Margaret Atwood is publishing a future-dystopia novel called Positron in installments via the literary website Byliner.
December 25, 2012 Few people today remember E.T.A. Hoffmann, but most everyone is familiar with his most famous creation: The Nutcracker. NPR's Robert Siegel traces the history of everyone's favorite Christmas ballet all the way back to its much darker original version.
December 25, 2012 Icelanders are voracious readers. Books have been the Christmas gift of choice in this small nation for decades. The annual "Book Flood" tradition begins with a publisher's catalog in every mailbox.
December 19, 2012 It used to be called the "vanity press," a name that carried a sniff of derision. But Lynn Neary reports that self-publishing has become a booming business, spawning best-sellers, and attracting the interest of Amazon and the major publishing houses.