In his new memoir, Music Without Words, the composer explains how a chance meeting with Ravi Shankar sparked a fascination with the cultures of the world and their music.
Maureen Gibbon's new novel, Paris Red, delves into the life of Victorine Meurent, Manet's favorite model and the central figure in some of his most famous paintings.
Don't be put off by the size of Devotion: A Rat Story by Maile Meloy. It's a small book, hardly larger than a pack of cigarettes, but the horror it delivers is real (and rat shaped).
When the Mona Cheesa goes missing in Paris, "international cat of mystery" William is called in on the case. Helen Hancocks joins NPR's Scott Simon to talk about William & the Missing Masterpiece.
James Ward's new book stems from a lifelong love of Post-it notes, pencils and paper clips. He tells NPR's Melissa Block that they remind him of his school days, when life was less complicated.
Richard Flanagan's The Narrow Road to the Deep North follows a doctor who is captured by the Japanese during World War II and ends up caring for prisoners of war. It appears at No. 9.
Alexander McCall Smith's Emma is a retelling of Jane Austen's classic set in the 20th century. It debuts at No. 15.
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
The Opposite of Loneliness is a posthumous collection of essays and stories by Marina Keegan, a talented Yale graduate who died days after graduation. It appears at No. 11.
In The Road to Character, David Brooks looks at how some of the world's great thinkers have built strong inner character. It debuts at No. 1.
Historian David Kertzer says the Catholic Church lent organizational strength and moral legitimacy to Mussolini's fascist regime. Kertzer recently won a Pulitzer Prize for his book.
Two new books focus on the culinary lives of these two artists. Turns out, their approaches to food provide a new way of thinking about their two very different approaches to art.
Sydney Padua's rollicking graphic novel about computing pioneers Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace transforms punch cards and little brass cogs into the stuff of legend, says critic Etelka Lehoczky.
The Nobel Prize winner has become a giant in the literary world, but reviewer Saeed Jones says that her latest novel can only stand with confidence when it has the idea of the author as its spine.
Molly Tanzer's grit-and-ghosts adventure follows a young woman tasked with guiding troubled spirits in a colorfully diverse, alternate-history Wild West, full of talking animals and vampires.
Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep talks to author and historian James Bradley, about his his new book, The China Mirage: The Hidden History of the American Disaster in Asia.
"Your heart is pounding; your adrenaline is shooting out of your ears," Steve Osborne says. "And you got one second to get it right." He retired from the force in 2003. His memoir is called The Job.
A reissue of four of the detective writer's 1950s novels excavates the dark depths of California's suburban decay. Maureen Corrigan praises Macdonald's "psychological depth" and "penetrating vision."
Journalist Åsne Seierstad's new book retells the story of Norway's Anders Breivik, from his troubled, violent childhood to his 2011 killing spree. Critic Michael Schaub calls it a painful masterpiece.
In her new novel, Pleasantville, and on TV's Empire, Locke does her best to avoid simple stories. "You do some good stuff and you do some bad stuff," she says. "We exist in the middle."