NPR Books

'Sourdough' Rises Like A Good Loaf

NPR Books - September 3, 2017 - 12:42am

Robin Sloan's latest is a beautiful, small, sweet, quiet book that takes a deep dive into the world of food, underground restaurants and markets, and the magic power of a good sourdough starter.

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Nathan Englander Says His New Book Is 'A Turducken Of A Novel'

NPR Books - September 2, 2017 - 4:04am

Englander describes Dinner at the Center of the Earth as "a political thriller that's wrapped up in a historical novel that's really a love story that ends up being an allegory."

(Image credit: Joshua Meier/Courtesy of Alfred A. Knopf)

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Reading The Game: 'What Remains Of Edith Finch'

NPR Books - September 2, 2017 - 3:19am

Our occasional series on storytelling in video games continues with What Remains of Edith Finch, a complex, time-skipping family tragedy that'll leave you with scars — but trust us, it's worth it.

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Celia Perez's New Novel 'The First Rule Of Punk' Comes With Advice For Adolescents

NPR Books - September 1, 2017 - 12:31pm

NPR's Kelly McEvers talks with Celia Perez about her book, The First Rule of Punk for middle-grade readers. The first rule? Be yourself.

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Hunter S. Thompson's Widow Opens Doors To His 'War Room'

NPR Books - August 31, 2017 - 12:31pm

Years after his death, gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson's legend lives on. His widow takes Aspen Public Radio's Claire Woodcock on a visit to The War Room in his home, where Thompson spent 16 hours a day locked in, writing such pieces as Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.

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'The Burning Girl' Is More Than Just A Pretty Victim

NPR Books - August 31, 2017 - 8:00am

Edgar Allan Poe once wrote that the death of a beautiful woman is "unquestionably, the most poetical topic in the world." In her new book, The Burning Girl, Claire Messud responds: Not to us women.

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Writing Mississippi: Jesmyn Ward Salvages Stories Of The Silenced

NPR Books - August 31, 2017 - 7:37am

The author's books are set in the poor, black Mississippi community where she grew up, a place where, she says, "the past bears very heavily on the present."

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Tolkien's Plant Passion Moves Botanist To Create Guide To Middle Earth

NPR Books - August 31, 2017 - 1:12am

Botanist Walter Judd has created a book that tests the limits of The Lord of the Rings fandom. It's an examination of the many plants and trees that J.R.R. Tolkien used in his novels.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Graham Judd)

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In Fitting Postscript, Terry Pratchett Had His Unfinished Works Steamrolled

NPR Books - August 30, 2017 - 12:32pm

The late Discworld author didn't want anyone else polishing his unfinished books and publishing them after his death. So he asked for them to be crushed — and his estate manager dutifully complied.

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Celebrating 30 Years Of 'Fresh Air': Pulitzer Prize-Winning Novelist John Updike

NPR Books - August 30, 2017 - 10:37am

Over the course of his decades-long career, Updike authored more than 25 novels, including the Rabbit series. He also penned short stories, poems, essays and a memoir. Originally broadcast in 1989.

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Mirrors And Neck Ruffs: A Graphic Novel Takes On Velázquez

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

Writer Santiago García and artist Javier Olivares examine Diego Velázquez' painting Las Meninas and its influence down the centuries with a heady — and sometimes heavy — mix of comics and high art.

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'My Absolute Darling' Is Hard To Read, Harder To Put Down

NPR Books - August 29, 2017 - 3:00am

Gabriel Tallent's devastating debut novel about a young girl and her abusive but charismatic father has memorable characters, the pacing of a thriller, and still manages to work in some light moments.

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'Ghost Of The Innocent Man': A Story Of 24 Years Of Wrongful Imprisonment

NPR Books - August 27, 2017 - 3:58am

A Martinez interviews Willie Grimes, who spent 24 years in prison, wrongly accused of rape, and Benjamin Rachlin, who chronicles his fight for exoneration in Ghost of the Innocent Man.

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The Consequences Of Anti-Vaccination In 'Keep You Safe'

NPR Books - August 27, 2017 - 3:58am

Host A Martinez talks with Melissa Hill about her new novel, Keep You Safe, a story which takes on the heated topic of childhood vaccinations and the tragic repercussions of a parent's decision.

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'If The Creek Don't Rise' Traces Webs Of Hurt And Help

NPR Books - August 27, 2017 - 3:00am

Leah Weiss' debut novel — set in a remote Appalachian town — has a strong sense of place and a richly drawn cast of characters, all with their own voices, stories and interconnected relationships.

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Subtle, Brilliant 'Stay With Me' Blends The Personal And The Political

NPR Books - August 26, 2017 - 6:00am

Ayobami Adebayo's debut novel follows a young Nigerian couple struggling to conceive and caught between modern medicine and the traditional remedies — like a new wife — pushed by older relatives.

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'The Burning Girl': Girls Who Make Each Other Who They Are

NPR Books - August 26, 2017 - 4:03am

Claire Messud's newest novel, The Burning Girl, focuses on the adolescent relationships that deeply impact our lives. She talks with NPR's Scott Simon about the book.

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Love And Cruelty Are Bound Together In 'My Absolute Darling'

NPR Books - August 26, 2017 - 4:03am

Gabriel Tallent's debut novel has been called a masterpiece on the level of To Kill a Mockingbird. It's the difficult story of a young girl living in the California woods with her abusive father.

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Take A Walk On The Wilder Side Of Death With 'Reincarnation Blues'

NPR Books - August 26, 2017 - 3:00am

Michael Poore's new novel is surprisingly goofy for a book about dying. It's the story fishing guide Milo, who's just been eaten by a shark. Oh, and he's in love with Death, who's also named Suzie.

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The Brief, Tumultuous Reign Of An Erstwhile Best-Seller

NPR Books - August 25, 2017 - 4:05pm

For a while Thursday, Lani Sarem's debut, Handbook for Mortals, stood as the reigning best-seller in young adult literature. Within hours, it had been removed from the list entirely. What happened?

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