NPR music critic Tim Riley talked to Lennon's friends and enemies as well as his family and business associates, and in so doing, he uncovered never-before-seen memoirs and government documents to bring a fresh and fascinating look into the life of the seminal musician.

‘Lennon: The Man, the Myth and the Music –– the Definitive Life’ by Tim Riley

Since he is already the subject of several massive biographies and numerous magazine articles, is there really anything more that can be said about John Lennon? NPR music critic Tim Riley talked to Lennon's friends and enemies as well as his family and business associates, and in so doing, he uncovered never-before-seen memoirs and government documents to bring a fresh and fascinating look into the life of the seminal musician. He presents "Lennon: The Man, the Myth and the Music –– the Definitive Life.”

‘Jerusalem: The Biography’ by Simon Sebag Montefiore

For over 3,000 years, Jerusalem has been the touchstone of the world's great religions. It has stood at the heart of many major conflicts and has been the beloved destination of pilgrims for centuries. Historian Simon Sebag Montefiore masterfully recreates the long and vibrant story of this most sacred patch of earth in "Jerusalem: the Biography.”

‘Lunatics’ by Dave Barry and Alan Zweibel

So what do you get when two comic geniuses join forces to write a novel? Probably something like "Lunatics," the collaboration between Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Dave Barry and Emmy Award-winning TV screenwriter Alan Zweibel. One of the heroes of our tale is pet shop owner Phillip Horkman, who also referees for the local youth soccer league. He crosses paths with curmudgeonly Jeffrey Peckerman when he calls Peckerman's daughter offsides during a game. The mismatched duo ends up traveling the globe together on one crazy adventure after another, ending finally at the Republican National Convention where Horkman, despite being a Democrat, is nominated for president.

‘The Chalk Girl’ by Carol O'Connell

In 1994, Carol O'Connell introduced Kathleen Mallory, an unusual woman who had been adopted by an NYPD policeman when she was an 11-year-old streetwise homeless kid. Kathleen grew up to become a prickly loner, certainly one of the most challenging members of New York's Special Crimes Unit and a truly gifted detective. In her 10th investigation, "The Chalk Girl,” Mallory finds herself drawn to the charming little girl found wandering alone in Central Park. The child is the only witness to her uncle's grizzly murder –– one of a rash of such crimes –– but she is unable to talk about the incident.

‘Gossip’ by Joseph Epstein

Gossip certainly isn't anything new, claims Joseph Epstein, but we seem to be carrying it to incredible new heights, thanks in part to the media. Whether it is passing on juicy tidbits about co-workers and friends or eagerly tuning into the latest personal revelations about celebrities and politicians, gossiping, alas, seems to be hardwired into our brains. Epstein takes an entertaining yet thought-provoking look at the history and our seeming need for "Gossip.”

‘The Odds’ by Stewart O'Nan

What would you do if you were out of work and on the brink of losing your home to foreclosure while your 30-year marriage was starting to fray around the edges? Art and Marion Fowler decide to return to Niagara Falls, where they spent their honeymoon and hit the casinos with what little money they have left in one last desperate attempt to save their finances and their marriage. Stewart O'Nan deftly follows the Fowlers on that fateful Valentine's Day weekend in his latest finely crafted novel, "The Odds."