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'You Can't Be This Furry' And Other Life Lessons From Gary Shteyngart

In Little Failure, the novelist recounts his emigration from the USSR to the U.S. when he was 7. For the first few years, he says, he would sit alone in the cafeteria, talking to himself in Russian.

Berlin Wears The Scars Of Its Past All Over

Peter Schneider, author of the new book, "Berlin Now," tells Robert Siegel it will take another generation to unify in spirit what was divided by east and west for so long.

In 'Lila,' A Nomad Finds Solace And Love In The Arms Of A Preacher

Marilynne Robinson's fourth novel is a prequel to 2004's Gilead: That book told the Rev. John Ames' family story and this book tells the story of his wife.

Panetta: Fight Against Terrorism Will Be A Long, Sustained War

In a new memoir, Leon Panetta says he and other presidential advisers argued to leave some U.S. forces in Iraq after 2011. That might have left Iraq in better position to fight ISIS, he tells NPR.

Security Lapses Trigger Questions About What Secret Service Agents Do

The lapses by the elite presidential detail shined a spotlight on the agency. What does an agent do in a day? To find out, Rachel Martin talks to ex-agent Dan Emmett, author of Within Arms Length.

Historian: FDR Was The Last Great President. Let's Never Have Another.

In his new book, The End of Greatness, historian Aaron David Miller argues the nation might be better off without any more truly great presidents — or the national crises that produce them.

A 'Post-Post-Colonial' Take On The Violent Birth Of Modern Jamaica

Marlon James' latest novel, A Brief History of Seven Killings, is not brief, and it contains many more than seven deaths. It's a portrait of Jamaica in the '70s, when gang warfare and reggae reigned.

Deciphering The 'Priestly Mumbo-Jumbo' Of The Financial World

If you're mystified by terms like "Libor," "stagflation" and "Grexit," you should pick up John Lanchester's new book, How To Speak Money, which aims to untangle the tortured language of finance.

For Her First Trilogy, Jane Smiley Returns To Iowa, 'Where The Roots Are'

Smiley used to live in Iowa and says something about the place still pulls on her imagination. Her new book, Some Luck, begins on a family farm in 1920.

'Outpost': Stories Of Diplomacy In The World's Most Harrowing Places

Former Ambassador Christopher Hill has written his memoir, Outpost: Life on the Frontlines of American Diplomacy. NPR's Ari Shapiro speaks to Hill about his tenure as a diplomat in Iraq.