The flap over the Kentucky senator's articles and speeches is just the latest in a series of cases of plagiarism by high-profile journalists and politicians. Linguist Geoff Nunberg looks at the way the word plagiarism has been used since it was invented by the Romans, and wonders if it's always immoral or just bad form.
On her Hyperbole and a Half blog, Allie Brosh writes stories about her life illustrated with a "very precise crudeness." Most are lighthearted — about her dog or her favorite grammatical pet peeve ("a lot" vs. "alot) — but her most popular posts have also been the most upsetting, about her crippling depression.
In softcover fiction, Katherine Marsh searches the heavens for a teenage dwarf's destiny and Juliann Garey approaches a bipolar life from three different angles. In softcover nonfiction, Jeff Speck paces the city streets and Ezekiel Emanuel reflects on the family life of three brothers with a few sharp angles of their own.
Roy Scranton and Jacob Siegel edited and contributed to the collection of short stories by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They tell Fresh Air about how soldiers cope with the fear of death, and why many soldiers feel conflicted about sharing their experience with a larger audience.
Young-adult fiction writer Matt de la Peña didn't finish reading a novel until he was in college. In his Mexican-American family, men who read books were seen as "soft." But he discovered his passion in literature, which he now shares with his young readers and family.
Award-winning author Cynthia Rylant's pictures books revolve around children relying on their families for love and support. To write a good children's book, she says, "you have to be a good poet." Her latest book, God Got A Dog, is a collection of poems that only took her a day to write.
Joe Sacco has made a career of tackling difficult subjects through imagery. He's a journalist and cartoonist who has reported on the Middle East and Bosnia — in both written and comic form. In his latest book, The Great War, Sacco turns to history, producing a 24-foot-long depiction of the horrifying first day of the Battle of the Somme.
There are plenty of memoirs of China's Cultural Revolution written from the perspective of elite intellectuals. But Hong Ying's story is different; in her youth, the writer was the sixth child in a crushingly poor family. Novelist Karen Ma says Hong Ying's memoir, Daughter of the River is unflinching, unapologetic and incredibly powerful.
Most people know Stein as the author of experimental fiction and the host of salons for the great artists of her time. But in 1939, Stein also became a children's book author. The World Is Round — a collaboration with illustrator Clement Hurd, of Goodnight Moon fame — follows the adventures of a young girl named Rose.
Did you know that the average Brit says "sorry" eight times per day? Sorry! The English and Their Manners traces the roots of polite behavior from the medieval "Which orifice can I stick my finger into?" — answer: none of them -- to today's "Can I throw a temper tantrum at a tennis match?"
Amy Tan's fans will find familiar themes in her new novel, The Valley of Amazement: mothers and daughters, multi-generational secrets, Chinese-American identity. But Jane Ciabattari says the new work, which centers on an American madam in Shanghai and her courtesan daughter, is more sophisticated than Tan's previous novels.