NPR Books

'Mental,' 'Gorilla And The Bird': Two Starkly Different Accounts Of Bipolar Disorder

NPR Books - October 3, 2017 - 3:01am

Both books vividly capture the dizzying highs of mania and the shattering lows of depression that mark the disease. Mental's approach is comprehensive, Gorilla and the Bird's more intimate.

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Cartoonist Roz Chast Draws A 'Love Letter' To New York City, Cockroaches And All

NPR Books - October 2, 2017 - 10:35am

The New Yorker cartoonist channels her affection for the city into a new tongue-in-cheek guidebook, Going Into Town. "It's just fun," Chast says of New York. "Everything seems to suggest stories."

(Image credit: Roz Chast/Bloomsbury)

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How An Epic Poem Helped Transform A Difficult Father-Son Relationship

NPR Books - October 2, 2017 - 10:30am

Author David Mendelsohn says having his 81-year-old father in the college seminar he was teaching on Homer's Odyssey led to an unexpected bonding.

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Antonin Scalia's Less Well-Known Legacy: His Speeches

NPR Books - October 2, 2017 - 1:00am

Scalia Speaks is an anthology of the late justice's speeches on everything from the arts, turkey hunting, games and sports, faith and judging — and even the "Italian view of the Irish."

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James McBride Says Fiction Writing Allows Him More Freedom

NPR Books - October 1, 2017 - 2:05pm

Journalist, writer and musician James McBride discusses his collection of short stories, Five-Carat Soul, his first work of fiction since winning the 2013 National Book Award for The Good Lord Bird.

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Pussy Riot's Masha Alyokhina Recounts Time In Prison In 'Riot Days'

NPR Books - October 1, 2017 - 4:08am

Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks with Masha Alyokhina, a member of the band Pussy Riot, who was sentenced to two years in prison after playing a protest song in a Moscow cathedral in 2012.

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Fitting Memphis Into The Southern Narrative

NPR Books - October 1, 2017 - 4:08am

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to writer and sociologist Zandria Robinson about the racial tensions that still exist in Memphis.

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Jeffrey Eugenides Calls Short Stories 'Maddening' — And Now He Has A Collection

NPR Books - October 1, 2017 - 4:08am

"You get it going and then you have to shut it down," Eugenides says. "And I am a novelist by inclination." His new short story collection is called Fresh Complaint.

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'The Language Of Thorns' Will Ensnare You With Dark Magic

NPR Books - October 1, 2017 - 3:00am

Leigh Bardugo's new The Language of Thorns is a collection of fairy tales set in the world of her Grishaverse books — a world of dangerous magic where happy endings may just involve minimal murder.

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Distillery Cat Wanted: Must Be Affable, Brand-Boosting, Cold-Blooded Killer

NPR Books - October 1, 2017 - 3:00am

A new book profiles some of the world's most fascinating felines, while telling how their job descriptions have evolved from rodent catchers to today's ambassadors for distilleries and breweries.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Distillery Cats/Julia Kuo)

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Hunger, Both Physical And Emotional, In 'The Comfort Food Diaries'

NPR Books - September 30, 2017 - 6:00am

Emily Nunn's sharp memoir chronicles an epic road trip she took in search of comfort — culinary and otherwise — after losing her job, her brother and her fiance and a descent into alcoholism.

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Brevity Is The Soul Of Wit: Shakespeare As A Pop-Up Book

NPR Books - September 30, 2017 - 4:08am

Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company tell NPR's Scott Simon about their book, Pop-Up Shakespeare, and how Shakespeare's plays are kind of like Looney Tunes.

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Singing With New Lungs In 'The Encore'

NPR Books - September 30, 2017 - 4:08am

NPR's Scott Simon talks with opera singer Charity Tillemann-Dick, whose new memoir chronicles her double lung transplant, her recovery and how it feels to sing with someone else's lungs.

(Image credit: John Armato/Courtesy of the artist)

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In Russia, 'The Future Is History'

NPR Books - September 30, 2017 - 4:08am

Russian-American journalist Masha Gessen talks with Scott Simon about how Russia went from communism back to authoritarianism without a stop at democracy in her new book, The Future Is History.

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Slave Poet's Lost Essay On 'Individual Influence' Resonates Through Centuries

NPR Books - September 30, 2017 - 4:08am

George Moses Horton published a book of poetry in 1829, when he was still a slave in North Carolina. Now, a new essay by Horton has been discovered, outlining some of his political thoughts.

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From Dinner Parties To Spy Rings, 'The Woman Who Smashed Codes' Bursts With Detail

NPR Books - September 30, 2017 - 3:00am

Jason Fagone's biography of pioneering code-breaker Elizebeth Friedman — who, with her husband William, helped catch both smugglers and Nazis — is the story of a fascinating woman in perilous times.

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