In the spring of 2009, British author Tom Rob Smith received a disturbing phone call from his father. "And he was crying," Smith tells NPR's David Greene. "He never cries. And he said to me, 'You've got to come to Sweden. Your mom has suffered a psychotic episode, and she's in an asylum.' "
Then, Smith's mother called. She had just been released from the psychiatric hospital in Sweden, and she said everything his father had told him was a lie. "She wasn't mad. My dad was involved in a criminal conspiracy, and she was flying to London to tell me the truth."
Soccer in Sun and Shadow is the most lyrical sports book ever written. Perhaps this is also because its writer is one of the most lyrical authors in any language: Eduardo Galeano.
Galeano's rhythmic prose as poetry is often used in the service of explaining the injustices faced by Latin America. He's written about despots, dictators and revolutions. Here, Galeano puts his unmatched gifts toward the sport he clearly still loves with the ardor of a smitten teenager.
A couple of years ago, film director and writer John Waters decided to hitchhike alone from his Baltimore home to his apartment in San Francisco — and see what happened. The so-called Pope of Trash — the man behind the films Pink Flamingos and Cry-Baby — managed to get many rides — 21 in all. He chronicles his cross-country adventure in a new book called Carsick.