If her Prince-assisted '80s hits are all you know of Sheila Escovedo, you're missing half the story. NPR's Arun Rath speaks with the drummer, singer and bandleader and dives in to her early history.
The late Laura Nyro penned hits, including "And When I Die" and "Save the Country." NPR's Scott Simon speaks with composer Billy Childs about his new album of tributes, Reimagining Laura Nyro.
Fiona Maye holds the power of life and death in her hands. She's a family court judge at the center of Ian McEwan's new novel. NPR's Scott Simon talks to McEwan about his book, The Children Act.
Geeks rule — a fact celebrated in two new books: Vikram Chandra's Geek Sublime and xkcd creator Randall Munro's What If? Reviewer Jason Heller says both books share a bone-deep belief in science.
The Children Act by Ian McEwan is about a judge whose ruling decides the fate of a teenager in ways she can't imagine. It's written with McEwan's trademark gracefulness and control.
The Middle East, as portrayed in Robert Byron's The Road To Oxiana, is worlds away from the one we know. But author J.M. Ledgard says this flawed but fascinating book helps explain the region today.
According to a new study, cutting back on carbs can lead to weight loss. Dana Goodyear and Jason Sheehan explore how to eat enjoyably, by recommending Tartine Bread and The Gastronomical Me.
"Working on my novel" is a favorite phrase on Twitter, used by writers who are diligently — or not so diligently — toiling away. Artist Cory Arcangel has collected some of these tweets into a book.
Also: finalists for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; the history of creativity.
Critic Juan Vidal recalls the power of protest poetry in days past, and wonders why poets no longer seem to be on the front lines of outrage. Have they stopped speaking, or have we stopped listening?
In Gabriel, Edward Hirsch delivers a 78-page elegy to his son. He says turning his memories into poetry "gave me something to do with my grief."
Amazon's position is that "instead of selling 100,000 copies at $14.95, you would sell 200,000 copies, let's say, at $8.99 or $9.99," says industry analyst Tim Bajarin.
Also: Edith Grossman on literary translation; a poem for James Foley.
Daphne Merkin's new essay collection straddles the high/low cultural divide with aplomb. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Lunches is unfailingly intelligent, but should be enjoyed in small bites.
A new book collects stories that link clothing with intimacy, emotion and memory: how moms dressed before they had kids, favorite outfits and, of course, garment envy.
Ben Lerner's new novel is about a writer who gets an advance for a second work of fiction, is diagnosed with an aortic heart valve problem and agrees to be the sperm donor for a close friend.
Also: Sheila Heti on making art; Nick Cannon enters the (already heavily populated) world of celebrity children's books.
Saeed Jones' visceral, affecting new poetry collection, Prelude to Bruise, centers on the experience of Boy, an African-American child negotiating gender, sexuality and family in the South.
In The Teacher Wars, Dana Goldstein chronicles the history of the profession and current topics like tenure. She says the idea that teachers can help fight poverty has existed since the 19th century.
Growing up, I knew two kinds of apples: red and green. Then I started dating an apple enthusiast and discovered we are in the midst of a rare apple renaissance.