Ben Fountain's first novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, was nominated for the 2012 National Book Award. He's well-read for 2013, so we thought we'd ask him what to look forward to in the book world.
This year's literary heroines aren't defined by their desire to love or be loved — or even to be especially lovable. Writer and critic Parul Sehgal celebrates five sublimely stubborn women, frequently at odds with themselves and always at odds with their times.
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.
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.
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.
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