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Sandstorms, Explosions, Potatoes, Oh My: 'Martian' Takes Its Science Seriously

Programmer Andy Weir had always longed to read science fiction with a greater focus on science. So, he wrote a novel of his own — which has since become a best-seller and, now, a blockbuster film.

After Escaping North Korea, Freedom Is 'Seriously, Deadly Hard'

Yeonmi Park escaped from North Korea at age 13 only to find that freedom was more elusive than she'd imagined. NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Park about her new book, In Order to Live.

Forget The Book, Have You Read This Irresistible Story On Blurbs?

Those snippets of praise on book covers have been around for over 150 years (at least). But how do they get there — and why? The answers are more complicated, and compelling, than you might think.

Meet The Man Who Invents Languages For A Living

David J. Peterson has crafted languages for TV shows and films — even a whole language for a single giant, in Game of Thrones. For him, every language is a balance of the technical and the artistic.

'The Golden Compass' Turns 20 (Its Daemon Has Probably Settled)

Philip Pullman's beloved fantasy series traces the adventures of brave young Lyra Belacqua (and her daemon, Pantalaimon), through an alternate universe that occasionally spills over into our own.

What's It Like To Be A Dictator's Kid? 'They're All Marked,' Author Says

In Children of Monsters, Jay Nordlinger looks at the lives of, among others, Romano Mussolini, Saif Al-Islam Gadhafi and one man who claimed to be Hitler's son.

Making The Case For Face To Face In An Era Of Digital Conversation

Author Sherry Turkle is concerned that we are outsourcing too many of our conversations to screens and robots. "Face to face conversation is the most human and humanizing thing that we do," she says.

'Ingredients': An Eye-Opening Look At The Additives In Our Food

What does diacetyl look like? And what's it doing in our food? A new book seeks to demystify 75 common food additives with striking photos of these ingredients and details on their uses and history.

Pulling Back The Curtain On DARPA, The Pentagon's 'Brain'

From stealth technology to GPS to vaccines, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency — or DARPA — has developed some of the most consequential weapons and technology through the ages. Annie Jacobsen, author of the new book "The Pentagon's Brain," talks with Steve Inskeep about the agency's storied past and its intriguing future.
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David Maraniss: "Once In A Great City: A Detroit Story"

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Maraniss tells the story of Detroit in 1963, when the city was at its pinnacle. The Motor City native argues the shadows of collapse were evident even then.