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Short Stories To Savor On A Winter Weekend

Author Hortense Calisher once called the short story "an apocalypse in a teacup." Critic Jane Ciabattari presents her favorite mini-apocalypses of 2012, from veteran authors like Sherman Alexie to newcomer Claire Vaye Watkins, who combines a unique voice and a shadowed family history in her debut collection.
NPR

'Fifty Shades' Is The One That Got Away. At Least From Me

Sometimes "the one that got away" is a book that actually was easy to overlook. And sometimes it's something you ignore until you just can't anymore. NPR's Lynn Neary finally comes to terms with the publishing sensation that is Fifty Shades of Grey.
NPR

True Originals: Biographies That Defy Expectations

Our list of this year's best biographies focuses on books about individuals who lived their lives off the beaten path. From the story of a spy turned chef to the story of the real Count of Monte Cristo, these books chronicle subjects who refused to conform to the expectations of others.
NPR

The Renaissance Man Who Got It All Wrong

In A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change, John Glassie writes of 17th-century Jesuit priest and scientist Athanasius Kircher, a renaissance man who studied magnetism, Mount Vesuvius, even the blood of plague victims. The only problem? His theories were often wrong.
NPR

'The Book Of Gin' Distills A Spirited History

From medieval medicine to18th-century English "crack", gin has come a long way. But according to Richard Barnett, author of The Book of Gin, now is "the best time in the last 500 years to be drinking" it.
NPR

'Dirt Candy': A Visual Veggie Cookbook With A Memoir Mixed In

Chef Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy is a turducken of a book: graphic novel, cookbook and memoir in one. Cohen's East Village restaurant in New York City is focused entirely on vegetables — and with just nine tables, it's become a foodie destination.
NPR

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Conventional wisdom says e-books are destroying the traditional publishing business model. But the story's not that simple. For one thing, flexible pricing allows publishers to hold what amount to one-day-only sales on any given title — which means more people will discover that book.

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