Author and illustrator Peter Sis is known for his fantastical children's books, but his latest project is meant for more grown-up imaginations. Adapted from a 12th century Persian poem, The Conference of the Birds tells the story of thousands of birds who together fly off in search of their king.
"I think of this as my gift to the city," the best-selling novelist says of her Nashville book shop. "If I want to live in a city with a bookstore, then I'm willing to pay for it." Patchett shares her first-day jitters, and the best advice she got about opening a bookstore: Put the children's section in the back.
The best books don't just get inside a character's psyche, they get in the reader's head, as well. Author Ismet Prcic recommends Irvine Welsh's Marabou Stork Nightmares, a funny, provocative, cerebral novel that explores the meaning of violence.
The year is 1622, and a tormented English Puritan strikes out for the Plymouth Plantation in Hugh Nissenson's moody, intelligent novel. Critic Maureen Corrigan says The Pilgrim is a work of straightforward historical fiction — of the sort that you don't see so much anymore.
It might be the Heartland of America, but writers from the middle of the country are often overlooked. An Iowa resident herself, author Jennifer Wilson recommends the best books from that cold, comforting place known as the Midwest.
The retired NASA astronaut, who has written the new book Gabby: A Story Of Courage and Hope, goes into detail about his wife Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' recovery since she was shot in the head on Jan. 8. His constant refrain is that she's "improving all of the time."
On Friday, Regis Philbin will step down from his hosting duties on the talk show Live with Regis and Kelly. But that doesn't mean he's retiring. In his new memoir, How I Got This Way, Philbin chronicles the twists and turns of his career and explains where he plans to go next.
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