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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.
NPR

'A Chosen Exile': Black People Passing In White America

From the time of slavery, some light-skinned African-Americans escaped racism by passing as white. The new book, A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life, explores what they lost.
NPR

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.
NPR

The Unadaptable 'Curious Incident' Gets A Stage Adaptation

Author Mark Haddon never imagined The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time would work as a play — he judged his writing by its unadaptability. But now it is one, and critics are loving it.
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.
NPR

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.
NPR

The Forgotten Female Programmers Who Created Modern Tech

The Innovators, Walter Isaacson's new book, tells the stories of the people who created modern computers. Women, who are now a minority in computer science, played an outsize role in that history.
NPR

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.
NPR

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.
NPR

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.

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