The U.S. was not founded as a Christian nation, says historian Matthew Stewart. He tells NPR's Arun Rath about his book Nature's God: The Heretical Origins of the American Republic.
Francisco Goldman has written a kind of love letter to the Mexican capital in his new book, The Interior Circuit: A Mexico City Chronicle. He talks with NPR's Arun Rath about this nonfiction work.
Although she's loath to admit it, author Cristina Henriquez used to love Sweet Valley High. She explains why this "all-American" series meant so much to her as an awkward half-Panamanian 5th grader.
Bill Hillmann, a writer from Chicago, contributed to the book Fiesta: How to Survive the Bulls of Pamplona. He was gored at this year's running of the bulls in that city, but says he plans to return.
Mark Miller chose his nickname because when he smells blood, he attacks. His new memoir, Pain Don't Hurt, tells of the heart surgery and alcohol problems that temporarily derailed his fighting career.
NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Jordan Ellenberg about his part-serious, part-playful Hawking Index, which is an e-book-era mathematical measurement of how far readers get into books before giving up.
NPR's Tamara Keith talks to Breena Clark about her new novel, Angels Make Their Hope Here. It follows Dossie Bird, a girl who escapes slavery in 1849 and flees to a refuge in New Jersey.
There's a vibrant collecting community for old 78rpm records, ancestors of today's iTunes single. Music writer Amanda Petrusich got sucked in while writing her new book, Do Not Sell at Any Price.
Robin Black's Life Drawing follows an artist couple working through the pain of a past betrayal. "It's ... a fascinating subject," Black says. "Who stays together and how do they manage it?"
Germany thrashed Brazil 7-1 this week. Author Kevin Roose says Ernest Thayer's classic poem on failure, "Casey at the Bat," might cheer the Brazilian soccer team up.
In Launch, entrepreneur Jeff Walker offers advice for launching a successful product or business in an increasingly digital world. It appears at No. 13.
At No. 15, Jo Baker's Longbourn reimagines Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice from a servant's perspective.
In #GIRLBOSS, Sophia Amoruso delivers an irreverent manifesto for ambitious young women. It debuts at No. 15.
A struggling single mom gets helps from an obnoxious tech millionaire in Jojo Moyes' One Plus One. It debuts at No. 7.
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
T.D. Jakes was once called "America's Best Preacher" by Time magazine. In this encore broadcast, host Michel Martin speaks with him about how he found his calling to become a pastor.
Also: Colin Barrett has won the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award; Roxana Robinson on the painful fragility of her concentration.
Jacqueline Winspear's debut mystery, Maisie Dobbs, set in England around World War I, came out in paperback a decade ago. A new edition testifies to the enduring allure of the traditional mystery.
A tip from an informant helped two reporters discover what they call rampant corruption within Philadelphia's police department. Their award-winning reporting is the subject of the book Busted.
Also: Police arrest a man in connection with an attack on author Colum McCann; Ted Scheinman asks his favorite writers what they do about writer's block.