The Week's Best Stories From NPR BooksThis week: Joe Biden's wrenching memoir. Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Maria Tatar talk African American folk tales. Joe Ide's Los Angeles, Lord of the Rings prequels and Andy Weir's new space adventure.
Barbra Streisand does a lot of singing on transit — over the course of Funny Girl, Funny Lady, Yentl and Hello Dolly (above) she sings aboard a train, a plane, a taxi a tugboat, and an ocean liner.
20th Century Fox/Chenault/The Kobal Collection
Black demonstrators run down a Natchez, Miss., street in 1967 after a report that several white youths with a gun were near. The town's civil rights past informs author Greg Iles' crime fiction.
"When there is danger, when there is destruction, we kind of feel like we're on the edge of life, fully alive, and that can really bring out some strong prose," says author Mitchell Zuckoff.
Was "I think I can" the great-grandmother of "lean in?" Some readers see the plucky locomotive as a parable about working women, but some versions of the story feature a male protagonist instead.
Platt & Munk, Penguin Young Readers Group