November 5, 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo began looking out for his mother early in life. In his new memoir, Elsewhere, Russo writes not only of his mother, but of the vanished world that shaped her. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls the book "gorgeously nuanced."
November 1, 2012 Thomas Ricks' new book, The Generals, is about what he sees as a decline of American military leadership and accountability. He says that in World War II, generals were held accountable for their lack of success — but that started to change with the Korean War.
November 1, 2012 Adding a foreign word to your vocabulary is like adding foreign attire to your wardrobe. Sometimes you do it because it's practical and sometimes just because you think it looks cool. Linguist Geoff Nunberg says Americans' use of "spot on" falls somewhere between affectation and flash.
October 31, 2012 If you ask climate scientist Radley Horton, it's difficult to say that Hurricane Sandy was directly caused by climate change, but he says there are strong connections between the two. He talks with Fresh Air's Terry Gross about climate change and preparing for severe weather.
October 30, 2012 The freewheeling saxophonist and his small group from the 1970s came together for a live concert in 2007 — their first together in more than two decades. Now, a recording has been posthumously released on CD, and critic Kevin Whitehead says it's like they never went away.
October 30, 2012 In his first novel, J.R. Moehringer writes from the point of view of Willie Sutton, whom he calls the "greatest American robber." Moehringer says writing historical fiction helped him deal with the anger he felt toward banks after the global financial crisis in 2008.
October 27, 2012 With the help of reporter Dexter Filkins, an Iraq vet seeks atonement for an early war tragedy. Critic Ed Ward reviews a new collection of hard-hitting singles from the man behind "Shake, Rattle and Roll." And Tom Wolfe takes Miami's pulse in his novel Back to Blood.
October 26, 2012 David Mitchell's exquisite novel Cloud Atlas has been adapted for the screen by the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer. The film is never dull, but critic David Edelstein found that unlike the book, the film fails in its attempt to tie six distinct stories together.
October 26, 2012 In the 1970s and '80s, Cables was the pianist of choice for saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Art Pepper; Pepper called him his favorite pianist. Critic Kevin Whitehead says Cables' new trio album, My Muse, is so unassumingly good, you could miss just how good it is.
October 26, 2012 Moogfest, the festival of electronic and visionary music, takes place on Saturday and Sunday in Asheville, N.C., the city music pioneer Bob Moog called home. Moog was the inventor of the Moog synthesizer. He died in August 2005. Fresh Air listens to an interview from February 2000.