On this week's show, we dive into some of the fall books we're looking forward to and revel in a chat about detective stories.
The Dayton Literary Peace Prize, honoring writers who use literature to further social justice, has recognized Bob Shacochis and Karima Bennoune. Also: Sub Pop has published some grunge-worthy haiku.
The 24 writers chosen will set out on long-distance train rides — and write along the way. Also: Neil Gaiman tells a tale about Terry Pratchett, who isn't quite the kindly elf you might think he is.
Beth Cato's debut novel takes on the problems and limitations of the steampunk genre with an appealing heroine and a thoughtful meditation on what heroism really means. Plus, mechanical animals!
In her latest collection, Margaret Atwood takes on death, dreadfulness and the use of fantasy. Though these stories are strange and wild, they all somehow ring true.
Charles Blow says he was 7 years old when he was sexually abused by a cousin. His new memoir, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, is about what he says happened, his recovery and his bisexuality.
The playwright-turned-novelist had a conversational style that made even vast themes feel intimate.
Scott Westerfeld's latest book is about a teen who writes her own YA novel. Westerfeld alternates chapters about her life with chapters of her novel. This book honors YA tropes as it subverts them.
Captain Underpants has once again topped the list of most-challenged books. Author Dav Pilkey says his tighty-whities-clad hero teaches kids a healthy lesson about questioning authority.
Sarah Waters' latest novel, set in 1920s London, examines the moral consequences of passion. Though slightly too long, this book brings the past to life with exquisite clarity.
Sarah Waters' spellbinding novel — about two women in 1920s London — is no simple period piece. Waters is a superb storyteller with a gift for capturing the layered nuances of character and mood.
Nine of the late writer's works are coming out as e-books in English. Also: a survey shows (again) a lack of diversity in publishing, and Ray Bradbury's ode-worthy gardening tool gets an asking price.
Brian Morton's Florence Gordon is about the relationship between a tough, 75-year-old feminist icon and her granddaughter. It's self-aware, funny and full of characters that are entirely believable.
Poet Brian Turner's My Life as a Foreign Country is a lyrical, haunting memoir of his military family, his service in Bosnia and Iraq, and the struggle he faced to adjust to life on the home front.
Robert Peace, a 30-year-old African-American, was a Yale University graduate and an almost straight-A student in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He also dealt marijuana.
In his episodic memoir, Will Boast meets the siblings he never knew while navigating family deaths and secrets. Critic Ellah Allfrey finds Epilogue conceptually ambitious, but lacking in execution.
Perlman played the ruthless leader of a motorcycle gang on the FX series. In his new book, Easy Street (The Hard Way), he talks about having a face "that was not ugly but surely one of its kind."
A working-class activist anchors this graphic novel portrayal of British suffrage. Sally Heathcote is a compelling mix of visual ingenuity and historical accuracy.
When award-winning poet Brian Turner served in the Army, he was following a long family tradition. His new memoir traces that history — and imagines the perspectives of the people shooting back.
It's Perfectly Normal, a 20-year-old illustrated sex-ed book for kids, is meant to teach children about sexual health, puberty and relationships. It's one of the most banned books in America.