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'Life Behind The Lobby' Of Indian-American Motels

Chances are, if you've stayed in motels in the past decade, you've stayed in at least one owned by an Indian-American. It turns out more than half of all motels in the U.S. are Indian-American-owned. And even more remarkable, the vast majority of those owners are from one western state in India.
NPR

America's Gone Bananas: Here's How It Happened

The Fish That Ate the Whale tells the story of Sam Zemurray, a Jewish immigrant who came to the U.S. as a teenager and became one of the biggest players in the banana business. "He's like the American dream in the shape of a single life," says author Rich Cohen.
NPR

London's Mayor On 'The City That Made The World'

In just a few weeks, the world will descend on London for the Olympic Games. NPR's Scott Simon talks with London Mayor Boris Johnson about his city and his new book, Johnson's Life of London: The People Who Made the City That Made the World.
NPR

Why Ignorance Trumps Knowledge In Scientific Pursuit

In Ignorance: How It Drives Science, neuroscientist Stuart Firestein writes that science is often like looking for a black cat in a dark room, and there may not be a cat in the room. Firestein discusses why the hit-or-miss process, the "not knowing" is the true engine of science.
NPR

A Memoir About Mothers, Memory And Loss

Writer Mira Bartok's memoir, The Memory Palace, is in part about the car accident that left her with traumatic brain injury and about her relationship with her schizophrenic mother. She explains how her brain injury helped her understand — and reconnect with — her mother.
NPR

Meet Manjiro, Japan's Unlikely Teen Ambassador

Heart of a Samurai tells the true story of 14-year-old Manjiro, a boy who was shipwrecked, rescued by whalers and taken to America. It was the late 1800s, when Japan was cut off from the outside world — until Manjiro returned and influenced the shogun to open the country to diplomacy.
NPR

The Internet: A Series Of 'Tubes' (And Then Some)

What does the Internet look like? Journalist Andrew Blum decided to find out. His new book, Tubes, is a journey into the Internet's physical infrastructure — where our data is stored and transmitted.
NPR

Kafka's Final Absurdist Tale Plays Out In Tel Aviv

A self-described cat lady and the state of Israel are locked in a battle over what may be unpublished manuscripts by Franz Kafka. In a story that is, well, Kafkaesque, the papers are in a small Tel Aviv apartment, in the possession of an elderly woman who has refused to let experts see them.

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