Also: an excerpt of Haruki Murakami's new book; notable books coming out this week.
In the Land of Love and Drowning, the islands are a magical setting for three generations of one family living through the modern history of the territory as it passes from Danish to American hands.
Philby was one of the 20th century's most legendary spies. NPR's Arun Rath talks with author Ben Macintyre about his new book, A Spy Among Friends, and the boozy secret to Philby's success.
NPR's Lidia Jean Kott talked to Jason Aaron, the writer of the new female Thor. When she first talked to him she knew nothing about superhero comics, but after some research she became a fan.
Andrea Camilleri's Angelica's Smile is the 17th book in the Inspector Montalbano mystery series. It's not as tightly plotted as the others, but Camilleri's trademark charm is still in place.
Greg McKeown doesn't believe in "doing it all." In his new book he argues that we should pursue only those things that are truly important — and eliminate everything else.
In Shadows in the Vineyard Maximillian Potter tells the true story of the legendary Romanée-Conti vineyard — and how it was held up for a 1 million euro ransom.
NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Stephen L. Carter about his new novel, Back Channel. It's a political thriller set during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Sayed Kashua is an Arab who writes novels in Hebrew and a sitcom in Arabic. A contradiction? Maybe. But his newest book is a good look at an often-overlooked segment of the Israeli population.
Scott Anderson's Lawrence in Arabia recounts how a handful of adventurers and low-level officers shaped the Arab Revolt during World War I. It appears at No. 9.
Appearing at No. 11, Amy Tan's The Valley Of Amazement spans two continents and more than four decades as it explores the connection between an American mother and her half-Chinese daughter.
Debuting at No. 12, Vicki Constantine Croke's Elephant Company tells the story of an English soldier who used elephants to undermine Japanese occupation of Burma during World War II.
The final book of Deborah Harkness' All Souls trilogy, The Book of Life, follows a supernatural couple searching for a mysterious, ancient book. It debuts at No. 1.
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
Also: Brian McGreevy on horror writer Angela Carter; why poetry and computer engineering go together.
Printing your own book used to be seen as a mark of failure. But now, there are many independent authors who have made a fortune self-publishing online.
Joshua Wolf Shenk says it's time to debunk the myth of the lone genius. His new book explores creative partnerships — and explains how Emily Dickinson wasn't actually as much of a loner as we think.
Nick Harkaway's new novel mixes up a heady brew of comics, longing, tea, murder, post-colonial guilt and mystical tigers. Reviewer Jason Sheehan says it's "not just good, it's shake-a-granny good."
Yelena Akhtiorskaya's debut novel is about a family that emigrates from Odessa to the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, N.Y. It's a funny tale full of insider knowledge and offbeat words.
Also: President Obama will give the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to 21 artists, writers, academics and journalists; Katie Crouch on Sylvia Plath.