Every once in a while, NPR's go-to books guru Nancy Pearl sends Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep a tall stack of books. They're generally "under-the-radar" reads â titles she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting.
"I just think that it's so important that readers learn about books that haven't been heavily promoted â what we would call mid-list books," Pearl says.
Here are some of her fiction picks, to kick off your summer reading list:
What's at the bottom of the bottom of the food chain? Well, think small ... smaller than you can see.
Microbes in the ocean!
There are (and scientists have done the math) trillions of microorganisms in the ocean: plankton, bacteria, krill (they're maybe bigger than "micro," but not by much), viruses, protists and archaea (they're like bacteria, but they aren't bacteria).
The case against trans fats is not new. For years, health experts have been telling us to avoid them.
And as retailing behemoths such as Wal-Mart have committed to the removal of all remaining, industrially produced trans fats in the products they sell, the food industry has stepped up its pace to reformulate its offerings.
For generations of Americans, Detroit was the place where people made things: powerful cars, amazing architecture, beautiful music. But now Detroit is entering a new chapter. After months of often tense and difficult negotiations, Detroit is now formally out of bankruptcy. Millions of dollars of contributions from private foundations and corporations helped the city preserve its acclaimed art collection. A new generation of artists and entrepreneurs, doers and makers is calling Detroit home. So we'd like to ask, what's next? What will drive Detroit's future now?