In Yu Hua's new novel, a recently dead man decides to attend his own funeral, and ends up wandering a strange sort of afterlife , full of characters whose stories reflect the troubles of modern China.
New York Times columnist Roger Cohen looks back on his life and asks: Could a family's constant movement — four countries in four generations — contribute to a mother's struggle with mental illness?
A World War II program traded German and Italian Americans for Americans who were trapped abroad. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with author Jan Jarboe Russell.
In his new memoir, Allen Kurzweil goes looking for his childhood tormentor — and discovers he's served time for involvement in an international fraud scheme so wild and colorful, it could be a movie.
Peter Carey's new novel starts with a sad-sack disgraced reporter tasked with writing the biography of a notorious hacker, but reviewer Jason Sheehan says there's a jarring change of gears halfway.
The famed Swedish author of the Kurt Wallander mystery novels was diagnosed a year ago — "a catastrophe for me," he says; since then, he's talked more about the disease than the drama of forensics.
Lynda Blackmon Lowery was still a child when she joined the legendary 1965 march. Now she's written a book for young readers about the experience, called Turning 15 On The Road To Freedom.
While writing his new book, historian Eric Foner relied on a recently discovered record of slaves' escapes. He says the documents paint a "revealing picture" of life on the Underground Railroad.
In a frank new memoir, soprano Deborah Voigt reveals her troubles with obesity, alcohol and bad relationships, along with her many triumphs in opera houses the world over.
After the troubles of 2014, critic Craig Morgan Teicher offers up a full shelf of poetry for a brand new year — offering no solutions, but full of ambivalence and precision, balm and fire.
Audie Cornish talks to former NPR reporter Sarah Chayes about how corruption can create the fertile ground for religious extremism.
Elizabeth Kolbert discusses five mass extinctions and the coming of a sixth in The Sixth Extinction, which appears at No. 6.
In Lisa Genova's Still Alice, Harvard psychologist Alice Howland struggles to find meaning in her life after being diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. It appears at No. 14.
Rory Vaden provides a high-energy approach to productivity in Procrastinate On Purpose. It debuts at No. 13.
In Tim Johnston's Descent, two parents search for their daughter after she goes missing in the Rocky Mountains. It debuts at No. 14.
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
Despite being the daughter of a child psychologist and self-help author, Jessica Lamb-Shapiro has spent her life recoiling from the self-help industry. She talks about how the industry helped her.
Lalo Alcaraz and Ilan Stavans' new book isn't just hilarious; it's also important. Like all good history books, it makes a point to say something important about the present and the future.
The young man at the center of The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven, Alex Malarkey, said this week that the story behind the 2010 book was all made up.
In Jo Walton's new novel, the goddess Athene assembles a history-spanning group of thinkers and sets them to creating Plato's famed Just City — but then she makes the mistake of inviting Socrates.