Amanda Coe's new novel about adult siblings forced to come together at their absentee mother's funeral is surprisingly free of melodrama.
Two new works of art — the documentary film Cartel Land and the novel The Cartel — shine a light on the seemingly endless drug war in Mexico. John Powers says both works are bleak, but gripping.
Veteran sci-fi writer Kim Stanley Robinson returns with a tale of that classic genre trope, the generation ship. Critic Alan Cheuse says this story of spacefaring colonists goes to unexpected places.
Robert Brockway's day job is helping to run Cracked.com, and he brings that site's irreverent wit to this lightweight but satisfying tale of a waitress and a punk rocker battling eldritch horrors.
NPR's Robert Siegel talks with James Neff about his new book Vendetta: Bobby Kennedy versus Jimmy Hoffa.
"Good people with the best of intentions ... can get things terribly, terribly wrong," says legal scholar Adam Benforado. His book, Unfair, explores the intrinsic flaws of the American justice system.
Summer and suspense fiction go together like the Fourth of July and firecrackers. Book critic Maureen Corrigan recommends four books that are deadly accurate in their aim to entertain.
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
Ben Zimmer, language columnist at The Wall Street Journal, explains the origin of the phrase "it's all Greek to me" — and shares a few variants from other languages.
It's an understatement to call the man busy. With a new book out, a movie due soon and another wrapping up on set, Apatow caught a breath and reflected on stumbling blocks, Freaks and Amy Schumer.
Initially, the CIA was suspicious of Soviet aviation expert Adolf Tolkachev. But he earned their trust — and provided blueprints, documents and plans that were crucial to the U.S.
Reviewer Juan Vidal has had the debut album by Texas soul crooner Leon Bridges on heavy rotation, and it's making him think of parallels with James Baldwin's first novel, Go Tell it On The Mountain.
Performance anxiety kept journalist Sara Solovitch away from the piano for several decades. Then one day she decided to search for the key to putting her back in tune with her performance side.
As artificial intelligence alters human connection, Louisa Hall's characters wrestle with whether machines can truly feel. Some "feel they have to stand up for a robot's right to exist," Hall says.
Carolina de Robertis' new novel God of Tango centers on a 17-year-old widow, recently arrived from Italy with little besides a violin. It's Argentina, 1913 — and a magical new music fills the barrios.
Former president Jimmy Carter was one of the youngest ex-presidents ever when he left office in 1981. His new memoir, A Full Life, looks back at his years of public service, in and out of office.
Daniel José Older's new young adult novel follows a Brooklyn teenager who discovers her family has a dangerous magical heritage. Reviewer Amal El-Mohtar says it's full of music, flavor and color.
The first American cookbook, published in 1796, promised local food and a kind of socioculinary equality. But generations later, foodies are still puzzling over how to define "American food."
Poet Tess Taylor reviews The Uses of the Body by Deborah Landau.
This reissue of Gilbert Hernandez's series starts out noir — a young man with amnesia and a mysterious lipstick trace — but quickly gets weird. Critic Etelka Lehoczky says it's full of "goofy joy."