Historian Mary Beard says many of our popular notions about the empire are based on culture — like the play Julius Caesar or the film Gladiator — rather than fact. Her new book is called SPQR.
As the 60th anniversary of the historic Montgomery Bus Boycott approaches, author Jeanne Theoharis says it's time to let go of the image of Rosa Parks as an unassuming accidental activist.
For decades, astronomers believed there was another planet in our solar system, tucked just out of sight. Then Albert Einstein figured out it wasn't there. Author Thomas Levenson explains.
"Not Without My Daughter" told the story of an American mother and daughter fleeing Iran. Now that young girl is telling her own story in her memoir, "My Name is Mahtob."
Two academics from Germany, writing as Sara Moliner, have recreated a sepia-toned 1950s Barcelona in this new mystery novel. Critic Bethanne Patrick says City's strength is in its variety of women.
It's the season of food, and British food writer Bee Wilson has a book on how our food tastes are formed. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with her about her new book, "First Bite: How We Learn to Eat."
Mabel is a naughty French bulldog at the center of a new children's book by Nathan Lane and Devlin Elliott. NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Lane about his inspiration for the fictional dog.
Box Office Poison artist Alex Robinson is back with a new group of likeable, everyday people, mulling over their desire (or lack thereof) for children and family in an episodic, free-floating comic.
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Chicago poet Nate Marshall, who reflects on this week in Chicago and read his poem "Out South."
NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with the actor Rainn Wilson about his new memoir, The Bassoon King: My Life in Art, Faith, and Idiocy.
Ursula Vernon (writing as T. Kingfisher) delivers a fleet, stripped-down fairy tale with echoes of Bluebeard and Peter Beagle. Critic Tasha Robinson praises Vernon's tough-minded, distinctive women
A new young adult book tells the story of a police beating from two perspectives: the black boy who was beaten, and a white boy who witnessed it.
Illustrator Simon Stålenhag has put together a compilation of short stories to accompany his haunting, gorgeous paintings of an alternate Sweden full of aliens and strange technology. And dinosaurs.
Simon Critchley, a British philosopher, has penned an offbeat essay — or is it an autobiographical novel? A memoir thick with fictions? Whatever it is, Memory Theater makes for a delightful read.
Athletes, artists and activists crowd the list of winners of the nation's highest civilian honor. Before they get their medals Tuesday, get to know them — in sight and sound.
Ernest Hemingway's A Moveable Feast has hit the French bestseller list a half century after its publication, all because of a French granny. A 77-year-old Paris woman who lives near the Bataclan concert hall gave a TV interview that went viral. In the interview, she calls on her countrymen to read Hemingway's novel of living it up in the "City of Light."
Mary Gaitskill's new novel chronicles the complex relationship between a poor black girl from Brooklyn and her middle-aged white benefactors. Maureen Corrigan calls The Mare a "raw, beautiful story."
In his new book, Sam Phillips, music writer Peter Guralnick profiles the founder of the Sun Records label. Guralnick says Phillips rejected perfection in favor of spontaneity and individuality.
Walker, the young son of actors Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel, inspired his father to write a book about a day in the life of a mixed-race child.
NPR's Michel Martin talks with author Dawn Lerman about her book My Fat Dad, an exploration of the many ways food shapes our connection to family.