Geeks rule — a fact celebrated in two new books: Vikram Chandra's Geek Sublime and xkcd creator Randall Munro's What If? Reviewer Jason Heller says both books share a bone-deep belief in science.
The Children Act by Ian McEwan is about a lawyer whose ruling decides the fate of a teenager in ways she can't imagine. It's written with McEwan's trademark gracefulness and control.
The Middle East, as portrayed in Robert Byron's The Road To Oxiana, is worlds away from the one we know. But author J.M. Ledgard says this flawed but fascinating book helps explain the region today.
We invite the famed folk singer to answer three questions about other notable thirds: King Richard III, Albert Gore III and psychologist Russell D. Clark III.
According to a new study, cutting back on carbs can lead to weight loss. Dana Goodyear and Jason Sheehan explore how to eat enjoyably, by recommending Tartine Bread and The Gastronomical Me.
"Working on my novel" is a favorite phrase on Twitter, used by writers who are diligently — or not so diligently — toiling away. Artist Cory Arcangel has collected some of these tweets into a book.
From compulsive bears to self-destructive rats, science historian Laurel Braitman studies animals with mental health issues and asks what we can learn from them.
Empathy, cooperation, and fairness seem like distinctly human traits. But Frans de Waal explains why other animals might share those same qualities.
What do our dogs think when they look at us? Poet Billy Collins imagines the inner life of a former canine companion.
Animal trainer Ian Dunbar says we need to see the world through the eyes of our dogs if we want to really communicate with them.
Writer Jon Mooallem tells the story of the teddy bear, and considers how the tales we tell about wild animals have real consequences for a species' chance of survival — and the natural world at large.
The story of a new mother struggling with the loss of her youth tries to reverse cliches about the maturation of childish men. But that effort struggles under the weight of other standard elements.
The animated documentary follows filmmaker Signe Baumane's family as she traces its history of women gifted in art but troubled by depression and psychosis.
Belle & Sebastian songwriter Stuart Murdoch imbues God Help The Girl with his band's sensibility, for good and ill. Tim Sutton's Memphis brings an elegant portrait of a wandering soul singer.
On the first day of the Toronto International Film Festival, the lesson came through loud and clear: sometimes, it's the ones you don't expect.
Also: finalists for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize; the history of creativity.
Critic Juan Vidal recalls the power of protest poetry in days past, and wonders why poets no longer seem to be on the front lines of outrage. Have they stopped speaking, or have we stopped listening?
The Oscar-nominated daughter of Puerto Rican parents is the first permanent Latina co-host in The View's 17-year history. NPR TV Critic Eric Deggans explains why that matters.
In Gabriel, Edward Hirsch delivers a 78-page elegy to his son. He says turning his memories into poetry "gave me something to do with my grief."
The author of the fantasy trilogy The Magicians talks about mentorship and Harry Potter. Then, he trades his magical keyboard for an Atari Centipede trackball in a game all about classic video games.