'Numero Zero' Doesn't Quite Add Up

Umberto Eco sends up the corrupt, pandering world of 1990's Italian journalism in his latest bovel — but critic Jason Sheehan says Numero Zero is a potboiler that never really boils.

Behind Bars, Cheap Ramen Is As Good As Gold

Instant noodles are a staple for inmates: a basis of recipe hacks, a form of currency. They've even helped defuse a prison riot, as an ex-inmate details in Prison Ramen, a book of stories and recipes.

Music Destroys And Music Heals In 'Modern Girl'

Riot grrrl legend Carrie Brownstein's excellent new memoir takes readers from her difficult childhood to the rise and fall (and rise again) of her band Sleater-Kinney, which she says saved her life.

A 'Troublemaker' Leaves Her Life In Scientology

In her new memoir, actor Leah Remini writes about growing up in the Church of Scientology, becoming one of its prized celebrities, and her family's eventual, wrenching decision to leave it behind.

'White Road' Maps The History Of Porcelain

While readers may not share Edmund de Waal's obsession with the precious clay (at one point, he crafts an exhibition of 2,455 white-glazed porcelain vessels), his writing makes the subject seductive.

» EMail This

John Irving Always Knows Where He's Going

Irving's latest novel is Avenue of Mysteries. He tells NPR's Lynn Neary that he thinks about each book for a long time — and he doesn't start writing until he knows what the ending will be.

» EMail This