Blake Butler's new novel, 300,000,000, is not for the squeamish. This portrait of a serial killer and the detective who hunts him will curdle the blood — and possibly the soul — of any reader.
Author Garth Nix returns to the world of the Old Kingdom with Clariel, the story of a young woman of great magical power who, denied the freedom to live as she wants, chooses a dangerous path.
In his second poetry collection, The New Testament, Jericho Brown weaves together strains of religious invocations with his uneasy identity as a southern, gay, black man into a beguiling self myth.
Oscar Pistorius, superstar athlete, was back in court this week for his sentencing hearing, after a culpable homicide conviction. Journalist Mandy Wiener says his case reminds her of a favorite book.
The art of letter writing is also an act of preserving history. The correspondences gathered in the book Letters Of Note tell stories of delight, hope and loss — and the nature of human connection.
Appearing at No. 13, The Map of Heaven examines people's near-death experiences alongside beliefs about the afterlife.
Someone, Alice McDermott's story of a young Irish-American woman in Brooklyn, appears at No. 9.
In Being Mortal, Atul Gawande argues against the premise that medical practitioners should always aim to extend life. It debuts at No. 3.
A wandering woman falls in love with a reverend in Marilynne Robinson's latest novel. Lila debuts at No. 2
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
Audie Cornish speaks with Frank Ciulla about a poignant letter cherished by his family. It was written after his father was killed in the Lockerbie bombing in 1988.
The former International Space Station commander achieved Internet stardom with his in-space rendition of David Bowie's "Space Oddity." His new book is An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth.
Ben Tripp's young adult debut is a charming romp through a thoroughly theatrical 18th-century England populated by swashbuckling highwaymen, fairies and circus performers.
After meeting backlash, the author apologized for lamenting the long prison sentences handed to some users of child pornography. Also: Stirrings are afoot in the worlds of Harry Potter and Twin Peaks.
As part of our series Letters of Note, former Alabama Attorney General Bill Baxley tells Audie Cornish how he once replied to an angry letter from the Ku Klux Klan.
Peter Mendelsund has designed hundreds of book covers, including two new ones of his own: Cover and What We See When We Read. He talks about his process and why "dead authors get the best" covers.
Before his death, crime novelist Elmore Leonard chose to host his archives at the University of South Carolina. Now, the school is unveiling the first of these items. Also: McSweeney's goes nonprofit.
Author G. Willow Wilson and artist Adrian Alphona introduce the new Ms. Marvel — a 16-year-old Muslim girl from Jersey City — with elegant linework and utterly believable characterizations.
Audie Cornish speaks with Amy Corcoran, who shares a treasure from her childhood: a letter she received when she was 7 years old, from her favorite author at the time, Roald Dahl.
Pop Culture Happy Hour pal Petra Mayer just got back from New York Comic-Con, so we got her to update us briefly on Gillian Anderson, fandom and very big crowds.