From "dead cat bounce," which originated in the 1980s, to "cold fish," which was coined by Shakespeare, The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms explores the origins of more than 10,000 nonliteral sayings.
John Thavis covered the Vatican from Rome for nearly 30 years while working for the Catholic News Service. In his new book, The Vatican Diaries, he describes a place much less organized and hierarchical than the public imagines.
From food scientists who study the human palate to maximize consumer bliss, to marketing campaigns that target teens to hook them for life on a brand, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Michael Moss' new book goes inside the world of processed, packaged goods.
Fiction is reality and reality fiction in Revenge, Yoko Ogawa's absorbing cycle of interlinked, eerie tales. Readers may detect the shadows of Murakami, Borges and Poe, but, says critic Alan Cheuse, Ogawa's delicious tales cast their own singular spell.
Reporters Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy, who covered Bulger for years for The Boston Globe, have a new book out about the career criminal. Bulger was wanted for 19 murders when he was captured by the FBI in 2011. He faces trial in June.
Philida, a slave, is promised her freedom by her owner, who is also the father of her children. But the promise is broken and she takes the matter into her own hands, in this novel by acclaimed South African novelist Andre Brink that was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
In Gerbrand Bakker's mysterious — and often menacing — story, a Welsh woman seeks refuge from her past. But as she hopes of strength, she is also quickly reminded of her own mortality. Ten White Geese, which was translated from Dutch, has become an international best-seller.
The book club regulars visit Gorillas in the Mist, Dian Fossey's memoir of her years studying mountain gorillas in a remote African rainforest. Gorilla expert Annette Lanjouw joins the club to give an update on how this endangered subspecies of gorilla is faring.
The author of Swamplandia! has a new collection of short stories called Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the stories are daring and devastating, and with them Russell establishes herself as one of the great American writers of our young century.
Dr. Sam Parnia researches the experiences of cardiac arrest patients in the time between when their hearts stop and when they are brought back to life. Parnia thinks of these experiences as actual-death experiences as opposed to near-death experiences.
After going deaf at the age of 30, writer Katherine Bouton's entire life changed. In her new book, "Shouting Won't Help," Bouton shares how she came to terms with hearing loss, and why more attention needs to be paid to a condition that affects nearly 50 million Americans.
The novel by Herman Koch is structured around a five-course meal shared by two couples. But it's not all fun and food. What's really going on at this meal is much more gruesome. Reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says the novel offers a fresh, modern take on basic moral questions.