NPR stories about Books News & Features
November 18, 2012 As diagnoses of autism have risen, so too have autistic characters in literature. Tasha Robinson explains how an "intelligent outsider's view of humanity" has led to a growing number of autistic characters in young adult fiction.
November 26, 2012 Independent bookstores have weathered competition from big chains, Amazon and now e-books. But NPR's Lynn Neary reports that this year's holiday shopping season looks like an improvement on past years, as booksellers offer quality hardcovers and their own take on e-readers.
December 3, 2012 David Oliver Relin was Greg Mortenson's co-writer on the best-seller. In the past year, Mortenson has been accused of fabricating some of his tales about his life in Pakistan and Afghanistan and the charitable work he did there.
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 18, 2012 Don't hide your bodice rippers under the bed! Writer Bobbi Dumas says being a romance fan is nothing to be ashamed of. It's "lovely, affirming storytelling," and a billion-dollar industry to boot, making up more than 14 percent of consumer book sales in 2011.
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.
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 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 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.
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."