NPR Books

For October: 3 Romance Heroes Who Bare It All

NPR Books - October 14, 2017 - 3:00am

There's one thing romance heroes have in common — whether a duke, a workaholic billionaire or reality TV hunk: They look really good with their shirts off. Here are three of our favorites this month.

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'The Butchering Art': How A 19th Century Physician Made Surgery Safer

NPR Books - October 13, 2017 - 1:28pm

Before surgeons accepted germ theory, operations often killed patients. All Things Considered host Robert Siegel talks with the author of a new biography of antiseptic advocate Joseph Lister.

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Exclusive First Read: Philip Pullman's 'The Book Of Dust'

NPR Books - October 13, 2017 - 2:00am

Philip Pullman returns to the world of his beloved Dark Materials trilogy in The Book of Dust. We have an exclusive first peek at young protagonist Malcolm, his canoe, and the day his life changes.

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Jimmy Fallon On The School Of 'SNL' And His Tendency To Smile Too Much

NPR Books - October 12, 2017 - 10:22am

"There was a report card from kindergarten and the comment from the teacher was, 'Jimmy smiles too much,' " Fallon says. "I think I would smile even when I was getting yelled at."

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With 'Voices In The Dark,' An Artist Missteps

NPR Books - October 12, 2017 - 3:00am

Comic artist Ulli Lust's unique, surreal style proves a bad match for this adaptation of a historical novel about the children of Joseph Goebbels and their last days in Adolf Hitler's bunker.

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Chris Jackson And The Book Industry's Attempts To Diversify

NPR Books - October 12, 2017 - 1:18am

Chris Jackson is revitalizing One World, a division of Random House known for publishing black authors. To celebrate, it's releasing Ta-Nehisi Coates' new book, We Were Eight Years in Power.

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75 Years Later, A Look At The 'Life, Legend, and Afterlife' Of 'Casablanca'

NPR Books - October 11, 2017 - 10:20am

Film historian Noah Isenberg revisits the making of the classic Hollywood film in his new book, We'll Always Have Casablanca. "Seventy-five years after its premiere, its still very timely," he says.

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Rethinking Rx

NPR Books - October 11, 2017 - 7:06am

How many prescriptions medications have you taken this month?

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Electrifying 'Power' Flips The Gender Script To Unsettling Effect

NPR Books - October 11, 2017 - 6:00am

For most of recorded history, men have held power over women. Naomi Alderman's new novel imagines a world where women suddenly have power — actual electrical power — to oppress, hurt and kill men.

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'The Apparitionists' Raises The Specters That Haunted America

NPR Books - October 11, 2017 - 3:00am

Peter Manseau skillfully weaves together spirituality, technology and the legacy of the Civil War to tell the story of a "spirit photographer" on trial for claiming he could take pictures of ghosts.

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Here Are The 2017 MacArthur 'Genius' Grant Winners

NPR Books - October 10, 2017 - 10:00pm

Jason De León, Njideka Akunyili Crosby and Derek Peterson are among the 24 winners of this year's MacArthur Fellowship, which honors "extraordinarily talented and creative individuals."

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'The Year I Was Peter The Great': A Young American In Soviet Russia

NPR Books - October 10, 2017 - 12:49pm

Marvin Kalb's new book is about a very interesting year — 1956 — that he spent on a diplomatic mission to what was then the U.S.S.R. It's part memoir, part context for understanding the Cold War.

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Why Periods Are Political: The Fight For Menstrual Equity

NPR Books - October 10, 2017 - 7:06am

On any given day, more than 800 million girls and women around the world are menstruating. And for many of them, in the U.S. and elsewhere, it's a problem — sometimes with life-or-death consequences.

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There's Good Stuff In 'Hirschfeld,' Despite Style Stumbles

NPR Books - October 10, 2017 - 6:00am

Like a hidden NINA, there are great moments in Ellen Stern's hefty new biography of cartoonist Al Hirschfeld — but they're obscured by her off-puttingly glib tone and perpetual present tense.

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'Rules Of Magic' Blends The Charm Of The Familiar With New Enchantments

NPR Books - October 10, 2017 - 3:00am

Alice Hoffman returns to the world of her best-selling Practical Magic in this new book, a prequel dedicated to the early lives and loves of the first volume's elderly aunts Francis and Jet.

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Marc Maron On Robin Williams, Barack Obama And Learning To Be A Good Listener

NPR Books - October 10, 2017 - 1:08am

NPR interviewed Maron in the cramped garage where he tapes most of his podcast, WTF. When he's the interviewer, he says, "I generally don't have a page full of questions, like you have there."

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Podcaster Marc Maron On His New Book: 'Waiting For The Punch'

NPR Books - October 10, 2017 - 1:08am

Marc Maron's collected the wisdom of his WTF podcast guests and published the interview excerpts in the form of the book: Waiting For the Punch. David Greene talks to Maron about his new book.

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Collection Puts A Playful, Pulpy Twist On Preposterous Stories About Obama

NPR Books - October 9, 2017 - 9:18am

Fifteen writers riff on various wild conspiracy theories generated about President Obama over the years. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the sly short stories in The Obama Inheritance pack a punch.

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'Red Famine' Revisits Stalin's Brutal Campaign To Starve The Peasantry In Ukraine

NPR Books - October 9, 2017 - 9:18am

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Anne Applebaum explains how Stalin killed millions in the '30s by orchestrating a famine to suppress the nationalist movement and strengthen Russian influence in Ukraine.

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Poet Rupi Kaur: 'Art Should Be Accessible To The Masses'

NPR Books - October 9, 2017 - 12:58am

Rupi Kaur came to Canada from India when she was four years old and didn't learn English well for years; she says her raw, minimalist poems are tailored for readers like her, with limited English.

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