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In An Age Of Slavery, Two Women Fight For Their 'Wings'

Sue Monk Kidd, the author of the best-selling The Secret Life of Bees, takes on both slavery and feminism in her novel The Invention of Wings. It's a story told by two women: Hetty, a slave, seeks her freedom, while Sarah, her reluctant owner, rebels against her family to become an abolitionist.
NPR

CIA Lawyer Kept Sept. 11 In Mind When Debating Waterboarding

In the second part of our interview with the CIA's former top lawyer, John Rizzo says he felt he had the power to stop the agency's waterboarding program before it began. Rizzo explains to Renee Montagne why he decided to let the program continue. Rizzo's new book is Company Man: 30 Years of Controversy and Crisis in the CIA.
NPR

Think You're Cold And Hungry? Try Eating In Antarctica

The polar vortex putting much of the U.S. in a deep freeze may have you reaching for the comfort cookies. But in Antarctica — where the coldest temperatures on Earth have been recorded — 5,000 calories a day isn't a bad idea. One thing the continent's history teaches us: When life is stripped down to man versus the most brutal elements, bring plenty of snacks.
NPR

Sherlock's Expiring Copyright: It's Public Domain, Dear Watson

The famous sleuth has discovered that U.S copyright law is anything but elementary. A federal judge recently ruled that elements of the Sherlock Holmes characters are now both licensed property of the Doyle estate and in the public domain. The Doyle estate plans to appeal the decision.
NPR

Ex-Defense Secretary Gates Takes Aim At Obama In New Book

In Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Robert Gates says the president was unsure the Afghan surge would work and was openly distrustful of military leaders. "I never doubted Obama's support for the troops, only his support for their mission," he writes. The book is scheduled for release Jan. 14.
NPR

'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 school cafeteria, talking to himself in Russian "in this gigantic fur hat and fur coat." It wasn't long before a teacher advised, "Children won't play with you if you have that much fur on."
NPR

CIA Lawyer: Waterboarding Wasn't Torture Then And Isn't Torture Now

John Rizzo, who guided the CIA through more than three decades of crisis and controversy, has written a new memoir called Company Man. He talks with NPR's Renee Montagne about the origins of the infamous "enhanced interrogation techniques" that emerged after the Sept. 11 attacks.
NPR

Book Review: 'Famous Writers I Have Known'

Alan Cheuse reviews a new novel by James Magnuson, Famous Writers I Have Known.
NPR

In Fast-Changing China, Reality Can Overtake Fiction

Qiu Xiaolong has written eight detective novels based in his hometown of Shanghai. Qiu, who lives in St. Louis, embraces the advantages and problems of writing detective fiction in the Internet era, when Chinese people know so much more dirt about their system and leaders.
NPR

Upcoming Books To Read In 2014

NPR's Arun Rath talks to Daniel Alarcon, the author of At Night We Walk in Circles, about the new books he is most excited about for 2014.

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