August 30, 2013 Critic Alan Cheuse reviews Here Comes Mrs. Kugelman by Minka Pradelski. He says it's a delightful novel that's a fascinating mix of comedy and pathos.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/217296276/217296279" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
August 28, 2013 Kim Stanley Robinson's latest novel, Shaman, paints a vivid portrait of life in 30,000 B.C. It's the story of young Loon, who's destined to become the new shaman of his tribe. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says the world of Shaman is so authentic, he dreamed he was living in it.
August 27, 2013 George Johnson's The Cancer Chronicles was inspired by his wife's battle with uterine cancer. It traces the history of the disease back to the very first tumor ever discovered — in a dinosaur bone. Reviewer John Wilwol says Johnson "writes clearly and colorfully without dumbing down his material."
August 26, 2013 National Book Award winner Andrea Barrett's new book is a collection of short stories called Archangel.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/215838755/215838760" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
August 25, 2013 Annemarie Selinko's Desiree, a novel about a silk merchant's daughter who almost married Napoleon, was the first book that author Fiona Maazel ever read with excitement. What book turned you into a reader? Tell us in the comments.
August 24, 2013 Aimee Bender's new story collection, The Color Master, is full of fractured fairy tales that flavor everyday lives and neuroses with a liberal dash of magic. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says Bender's work is "akin to the best of Italo Calvino in its matter-of-fact treatment of the fantastic."
August 23, 2013 James McBride's The Good Lord Bird follows 10-year-old ex-slave Henry, known as "the Onion," as he travels with abolitionist John Brown. Reviewer Bobbi Booker says the book "provides a new perspective on one of the most decisive periods in the history of this country."
August 22, 2013 In the pages of Marisha Pessl's Night Film, you'll uncover the death of a beautiful woman; her terrifying, filmmaker-father; even a seemingly haunted mansion. But reviewer Meg Wolitzer says that while the book dips into the unsavory and the scary, it stays surprisingly PG.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/207386392/216191866" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
Juan Gabriel Vasquez is also the author of The Informers.
August 21, 2013 The Sound of Things Falling by Juan Gabriel Vasquez takes readers on a journey through Colombia starting in the late '60s — but it's not your average detective story. Reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says the real mysteries in the book are in the minds of the characters.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/207362624/214241814" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
August 21, 2013 Stephane Michaka's novel Scissors fictionalizes the last 10 years in the life of short story master Raymond Carver and Carver's difficult relationship with his legendary editor Gordon Lish. Reviewer Jane Ciabattari says Scissors is an "empathetic exploration of an author's soul."
August 20, 2013 Thomas Kenneally's new novel, The Daughters of Mars, follows two Australian sisters who become nurses in World War I. Reviewer Jean Zimmerman says the book is "the work of a master storyteller, sharing a tale that is simultaneously sprawling and intimate."
August 18, 2013 The Bone Season kicks off a new fantasy series about a clairvoyant girl in a future dystopia. Author Samantha Shannon was a student when she started writing — now, she's being touted as the next J. K. Rowling. And reviewer Jane Ciabattari says her work lives up to the hype.
August 18, 2013 Every new generation of immigrants must meet the age-old challenges of building a new home — assimilation and conformity, old habits and new cultures, adjustment and isolation. Author Helene Wecker shares with us three books that explore the complexities of life on foreign shores.
August 17, 2013 Late lunches and literary rock stars: Such were the early days of publishing house Farrar, Straus and Giroux. Elissa Schappell says Boris Kachka's Hothouse (an expose of this cherished publisher) is a star-studded tell-all about the "good old, bad old days."
August 15, 2013 The prestigious publishing company Farrar, Straus and Giroux helped define the intellectual life of post-World War II America. Boris Kachka's book explores the company's history, from its founding in 1946 to its sale to a German conglomerate in 1994 and beyond.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/212273433/212308093" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor