Somalia hasn't had a functioning central government for more than 20 years. But journalist Mary Harper says its image as a failed state is misleading. She argues that, even without a central government, businesses and local politics have found a way to flourish. Host Michel Martin talks with Mary Harper about her new book, Getting Somalia Wrong?
The only thing that these books have in common is that NPR's go-to librarian likes them a lot. Nancy Pearl's self-described "higgledy-piggledy" list includes a book of cartoons, a Civil War history, a coming-of-age story, a spy novel and more.
Hilary Mantel is the first woman to win the Man Booker Prize twice, first for her 2009 novel, Wolf Hall, and now for that book's 2012 sequel, Bring Up the Bodies. The novels are part of a historical fiction trilogy about Tudor England and the events surrounding the reign of King Henry VIII.
Jonathan Kozol has chronicled the lives of lower income children for nearly fifty years. In his new book, Fire In The Ashes, Kozol writes about families that he met in the 1980s, and the inspiring — and sometimes tragic — turns their lives have taken. He shares their stories with host Michel Martin.
Just before her 30th birthday, Ellen Forney received a diagnosis that finally explained her super-charged highs and debilitating lows: bipolar disorder. In Marbles, a new graphic memoir, Forney recalls both the pain and the humor of her path to stability.
Kim Thuy based her award-winning novel Ru on her own experiences as a refugee from war-torn Vietnam. She says the word "ru" has a poetic double meaning: In archaic French, it means a rill or stream, but in Vietnamese, it means a lullaby to soothe a child.
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