The universe is shaped like a vuvuzela. Humans and elephants are the only animals with chins. These, and a trove of other factoids have been compiled in 1,227 Quite Interesting Facts to Blow Your Socks Off — a book by the creators of the hit British television show QI.
Art Spiegelman's new book, Co-Mix: A Retrospective of Comics, Graphics, and Scraps, collects comics from a six-decade career, from his early, self-published works to his famous New Yorker covers. Spiegelman tells NPR's Scott Simon he knew in third grade that he wanted to be a cartoonist.
Terry McMillan, the best-selling author of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, tells NPR's Scott Simon that she writes because she wishes she were a magician. She shows off her tricks in Who Asked You?, a novel with many narrators — including a woman named BJ and her husband, children and grandkids.
A chance encounter with a little girl in an ice cream store inspired R.J. Palacio to write a novel about a boy born with distorted facial features. She says it got her thinking about what it's like to "have to face a world every day that doesn't know how to face you back."
In his new book, Average Is Over, Tyler Cowen predicts that America will become a new, more creative meritocracy. Though he believes a rise in income inequality is inevitable, he hopes that "happiness inequality isn't going up in the same way."
Since Sept. 11, one of the most effective ways the United States has found to weaken terrorist groups has been to go after their finances. Renee Montagne talks to former Treasury official Juan Zarate, who's new book is: Treasury's War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare.
No. 28 was the first president to team up with America's legislative branch, and he used a groundbreaking moral argument to get the U.S. involved in World War I. A. Scott Berg's new book, Wilson, fills in missing pieces of the president's life.
With waters rising and their hospital on the verge of losing power, Memorial Medical Center staff were faced with an ethical question: Who to save first? Sheri Fink reconstructs their decisions — from hastening patients' deaths to evacuating the sickest last — in Five Days at Memorial.
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