June 30, 2010 Sloane Crosley follows I Was Told There'd Be Cake with a new collection of sparkling personal essays. She serves up humorous observations and mordant opinions in carefully calibrated cocktails of self-absorption and self-deprecation.
Most people already know Kurt Cobain the rock star. But author Karan Mahajan says Kurt Cobain the writer is "funny, self-aware, and snotty with a knack for off-the-cuff profundity."
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
June 28, 2010 Page after page of Kurt Cobain's terrible handwriting is reproduced in faithful facsimile — covering forthcoming gigs, favorite songs, prophecies of fame, janitorial wages and the firing of terrible drummers. Author Karan Mahajan says these funny, self-aware writings are much more than a pacifier for weepy fans.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/128168070/128172290" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
June 28, 2010 Everything Lovely, Effortless, Safe follows Birdie Baker, an aging actress from an evangelical family, as she navigates the ups and downs of life in Hollywood. Birdie is either on the verge of great success or a complete breakdown, but Hollowell tells her story with compassion and humor in this beautifully executed debut novel.
June 25, 2010 In his new book, veteran journalist Stephen Kinzer calls for an about-face in America's approach to the Middle East. Kinzer argues that the best hope for stabilizing the Middle East lies in building a partnership with Turkey and nurturing the democratic potential of Iran.
June 24, 2010 V.C. Andrews' 1979 Flowers in the Attic tells the cringe-worthy tale of four beautiful children, forced to live in the attic by their cruel and conniving mother. Writer Heidi W. Durrow admits that she loves the sick, twisted plot — right down to the ill-fated, brother-sister romance.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/127740686/128088496" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
June 23, 2010 Nicholas Carr asks us to look up from our laptops long enough to appreciate the way multitasking and technology are changing the way we think. In his book The Shallows, he laments all that we are losing in exchange for our dynamic, interconnected, Internet-fueled world.
June 22, 2010 Sebastian Mallaby's book is an expert primer on hedge funds — the "Ferraris of finance" — and a detailed portrait of Wall Street's daredevils. Reviewer Susan Jane Gilman says More Money Than God is illuminating ... and infuriating.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/127601350/128014459" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
June 22, 2010 That diploma you worked so hard for can come with a lot of pressure. No worries, class of 2010. Lizzie Skurnick recommends three books about what happens when a diploma is followed by disaster.
June 21, 2010 Author and video game aficionado Tom Bissell is just one of millions of kids who grew up with console games and never abandoned the hobby. In his new book, Extra Lives: Why Video Games Matter, he describes the creative choices that go into creating the virtual worlds of mayhem and fantasy.
June 19, 2010 Sunday is the day we remember our doting, caring dads — but this Father's Day, Tess Callahan wonders whether it's possible for a dad to overextend his love. She looks at three books where a father's protection means keeping some dangerous secrets.
June 18, 2010 In his latest book, War, Sebastian Junger, author of The Perfect Storm, once more reveals his gift for riveting storytelling. NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson says readers won't get any closer to the front lines in Afghanistan unless they enlist. But the book fails to achieve a more nuanced look at the tangled politics of this particular war and the Afghans themselves.
June 16, 2010 Ever since his 1987 debut, The Object of My Affection, Stephen McCauley has helped revive and update the modern comedy of manners. His new novel, Insignificant Others, takes a gently satiric look at what it means to be in a serious relationship — but also see someone else on the side.
June 15, 2010 If the Dead Rise Not, the latest book in Philip Kerr's Bernie Gunther detective series, shifts the saga from prewar Nazi Germany to 1954 Havana. Critic John Powers says the Chandleresque novel kept him glued to his deck chair for days.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/127775069/127855410" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Alan Furst's works include Night Soldiers, Blood of Victory and The Foreign Correspondent.
June 15, 2010 Alan Furst's latest World War II thriller is packed with convincing details and heart-pounding plot. Furst draws readers into the world of a Macedonian police detective seized by a conviction to undermine the coming Nazi rule by helping one Jewish fugitive at a time.
June 10, 2010 The characters in Aimee Bender's latest novel could be modern-day descendants of J.D. Salinger's Glass family. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake tells the story of Rose, a precocious young girl with a blessing — and a curse: She can taste the emotions of those who cook her food.
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor