NPR Books

Just Trust Me: In Praise Of Strange Books

NPR Books - December 23, 2017 - 4:00am

Author Victoria Schwab says she loves the books that can't be categorized, that fall between library-shelf categories, and that spark passionate debate among readers who either love them or hate them.

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Heart 2 Sizes Too Small? Mr. Grinch, See Your Cardiologist

NPR Books - December 22, 2017 - 8:00am

Not many patients have a heart that grows three sizes in a day. Cardiologist David Kass ponders what could have caused the Grinch's abrupt change of heart in the classic holiday story.

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The 25th Anniversary Of David Sedaris Reading 'Santaland Diaries'

NPR Books - December 22, 2017 - 1:55am

Before he became a best-selling writer and humorist, David Sedaris worked as a department store elf. We bring you the 25th anniversary of David Sedaris reading from his essay "Santaland Diaries."

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From The Book Of Esther To Larry David: The History Of Jewish Comedy (Rebroadcast)

NPR Books - December 21, 2017 - 8:20am

In his new book, "Jewish Comedy: A Serious History," Professor Jeremy Dauber looks at how religion, persecution and assimilation affected the pioneers and practitioners of American comedy, and how comedians shaped Jewish identity in the United States.

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Pop Culture Happy Hour: Our Hanukkah Special

NPR Books - December 20, 2017 - 3:01am

While you may have wrapped up your Hanukkah celebrations, we wanted to share a conversation about the role that Hanukkah plays for kids and adults, and some of the pop culture that surrounds it.

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How Battles Over Sex, Gender And Sexual Orientation 'Fractured American Politics'

NPR Books - December 19, 2017 - 10:39am

Moral Combat author R. Marie Griffith says the fight for women's suffrage and legal birth control in the early 20th century helped create a political divide in the U.S. that still exists today.

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Inside America's Chemical Arms Race

NPR Books - December 19, 2017 - 8:06am

Facing difficult odds, the United States gathers its top minds and produces a weapon that can end World War II, but only at the cost of thousands of lives and a permanently changed world order.

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Return To 'B Planet' In this Timely New Anthology

NPR Books - December 19, 2017 - 4:00am

In Bitch Planet: Triple Feature, creators Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro turn a score of talented writers and artists loose in the world of their futuristic feminist dystopia comic.

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3 Books That Capture America In Poetry

NPR Books - December 18, 2017 - 1:59pm

Poetry reviewer Tess Taylor shares three collections she says speak to different slices of American life in a way that reminds her of Walt Whitman.

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For Novelist Jennifer Egan, 'The Joy Of Writing Is Being Delivered Out Of My Life'

NPR Books - December 18, 2017 - 11:19am

"I don't use my life as inspiration," says the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist. Her new book, Manhattan Beach, imagines the lives of the women who worked on the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II.

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Why Teens Find The End Of The World So Appealing

NPR Books - December 18, 2017 - 3:01am

Dystopian novels are all about consequences, choices and grey areas. And psychologists say that plays right into the sweet spot of the developing teenage brain.

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As She Turns 90, Suspense Still Thrills Author Mary Higgins Clark

NPR Books - December 18, 2017 - 2:00am

Known as the "queen of suspense," Higgins Clark still publishes two books a year. She says the greatest compliment she gets is when someone tells her, "'I read your darn book till 4 in the morning.'"

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In 'Fortress America,' Examining How Fear Crept Into American Life

NPR Books - December 17, 2017 - 3:36pm

Historian Elaine Tyler May says that since the Cold War, fear has crept into American life. Her new book, Fortress America, examines key events that shaped today's political climate.

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Ursula K. Le Guin's Voice Rings Out In New Nonfiction Collection

NPR Books - December 17, 2017 - 4:00am

Ursula K. Le Guin's mastery of fiction has remained so consistent, it's easy to overlook her accomplishments in other forms — but her new nonfiction collection goes a long way towards fixing that.

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PHOTOS: Animals That Could Disappear Because Of Us

NPR Books - December 16, 2017 - 4:00am

And the well-being of humans could suffer if the species go extinct. The images are from the new book Endangered by Tim Flach.

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Reinventing The Cheese Wheel: From Farmhouse To Factory And Back Again

NPR Books - December 15, 2017 - 8:00am

A new book traces the transatlantic cheese wars that led to the rise of factory cheeses and loss of traditional varietals, and looks at the farmhouse cheesemakers working to restore that lost legacy.

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A Look At The Man Who Started 21st Century Fox

NPR Books - December 14, 2017 - 1:45pm

NPR's Robert Siegel talks to Vanda Krefft, author of The Man Who Made the Movies: The Meteoric Rise and Tragic Fall of William Fox about the origins of the studio, 21st Century Fox, that was sold today. Born in Hungary, Wilhelm Fuchs came to the U.S. where officials changed the family name to Fox. As a teenager, Fox was inspired to buy a peepshow theatre and got into the movie business.

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Poetry's Not Dead, And Here Are Books To Help Appreciate It

NPR Books - December 14, 2017 - 1:45pm

Our poetry reviewer, Tess Taylor, received a stack of books over the course of this year to help encourage reading poetry. She began reading skeptically, but grew to love two of them: Why Poetry by Matthew Zapruder and A Little Book on Form by Robert Hass.

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Tiffany Haddish: 'I Know What I'm Supposed To Do Here On This Earth'

NPR Books - December 14, 2017 - 2:07am

The Girl's Trip actress has had what seems like a meteoric rise over the last year: a blockbuster movie, a gig hosting Saturday Night Live, and now a new memoir, The Last Black Unicorn.

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As Marriage Standards Change, A Therapist Recommends 'Rethinking Infidelity'

NPR Books - December 13, 2017 - 11:23am

Esther Perel has spent the past six years focusing on couples who are dealing with infidelity. "It's never been easier to cheat — and it's never been more difficult to keep a secret," she says.

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