NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to retired Air Force Gen. David Deptula and author Richard Whittle about Whittle's new book, Predator: The Secret Origins of the Drone Revolution.
Astrophysicist Roberto Trotta argues that we don't need jargon. He tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn he's compiled a history of the universe as we know it, using only the 1,000 most-common English words.
David Rector was a long-time NPR producer — and comic book geek — before being felled by a terrible brain injury. Now, his fiancee is spearheading the creation of a comic book based on Rector's story.
The characters in Monica McFawn's short stories range from a gambling nanny to a butterfly-selling mathematician. Each story is full of carefully observed human detail and flashes of brilliance.
Gail Sheehy is famous for her in-depth profiles of influential people, as well as her 1976 book on common adult life crises. Now she turns her eye inward, in her new memoir Daring: My Passages.
As a little girl, Anne Sinclair knew Pablo Picasso. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about why she didn't want the master to paint her picture, and her new memoir, My Grandfather's Gallery.
A Little Lumpen Novelita is an intoxicating tale of a teenage girl who struggles to stay afloat. It cements Roberto Bolano's place as the most commanding Latin American writer of the last few decades.
In a new book, journalist Jenny Nordberg writes about the bacha posh, young girls who dress up like boys to enjoy the freedoms of being an Afghan male for as long as they can.
Appearing at No. 6, scholar Reza Aslan's Zealot combines biblical and historical sources to probe the life of Jesus of Nazareth.
At No. 14, Dennis Lehane's The Drop follows a woman and a lonely bartender as they encounter the Chechen mafia, stick-up artists and a relentless cop.
Debuting at No. 5, Henry Kissinger's World Order gives a historian's perspective on the idea of order in world affairs.
In Ian McEwan's The Children Act, a judge decides a case involving parents whose faith forbids a life-saving transfusion for their son. It debuts at No. 4.
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
Tuesday is the first day of fall. This time of year reminds critic Abigail Deutsch of Stephen Dobyns' "How to Like It" — a poem about a man who ponders his lost summers and fleeting dreams.
It's the start of the season, and the NFL is already beset by scandal. Writer Mark Chiusano recommends a novel about football's place in American culture, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk.
Robert Siegel talks to author Christopher Miller about American Cornball. It looks at the prejudices and peculiarities of a nation polarized between urban and rural, black and white and more.
Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
In The Man He Became, historian James Tobin says, despite misimpressions to the contrary, Americans of Franklin Roosevelt's day were well-aware of his disability. Originally aired Nov. 25, 2013.
Also: George R.R. Martin enters the political fray; Robert Darnton on censorship.
Zak Ebrahim is the son of terrorist El-Sayyid Nosair, one of the masterminds of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He tells the story of being raised to hate and how he chose a very different path.