September 29, 2013 As autumn kicks in, Swedish novelist Anne Swärd reflects on the magical, short-lived summers near the Arctic circle. In places where the sun doesn't set, she says, "light insomnia" makes the world dream-like. And in the Nordic novels she recommends, Arctic sunshine makes betrayals sharper, friendships more intoxicating and love more enthralling.
September 27, 2013 Alan Cheuse reviews a crime novel set in Mexico, The Return by Michael Gruber.
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September 27, 2013 Stanley Crouch, one of the nation's most prominent jazz critics, is the author of the just-released Kansas City Lightning -- part one of a biography of Charlie "Bird" Parker. Reviewer Craig Morgan Teicher says the story starts a little slowly, but when Parker picks up the saxophone, Crouch's writing cooks.
September 26, 2013 In his new memoir, Julian Barnes contemplates 19th century photography, the metaphorical exhilaration of ballooning and the sudden death of his beloved wife. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book is beautifully written, if a little disjointed.
September 25, 2013 Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai is known for his dense, challenging fiction. But reviewer Jason Farago says Krasznahorkai's latest book to appear in English, Seiobo There Below, is a "brighter and more open" work, involving a goddess's search for perfection, and the glorious and overwhelming effect art can have on us.
September 25, 2013 In his new memoir, An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist, the Oxford scientist reveals for the first time intimate details about his life — some of which are quite startling. Reviewer J.P. O'Malley says the book is "a fascinating account" of one man's quest for answers.
September 24, 2013 Alan Cheuse reviews The Woman Who Lost Her Soul by Bob Shacochis. The author's first novel in twenty years traverses the globe and spans decades, and is engaging for all 700-plus pages.
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September 24, 2013 RASL collects all 15 issues of Jeff Smith's comic of the same name, about a time-jumping physicist-turned-art-thief who knows more than is good for him about interdimensional travel. Reviewer Etelka Lehoczky says RASL's female characters can be a little one-dimensional, but overall the book is full of surprises.
September 23, 2013 It's been a good summer for author Jhumpa Lahiri. Her new novel, The Lowland, has been nominated for two major literary prizes. But reviewer Ellah Allfrey says that while the book is elegantly structured, she wished for more humanity from the characters.
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September 21, 2013 As a child, author Koren Zailckas was an introvert with numbed emotions. When her fourth-grade teacher, "Mr. Cool," assigned the works of Edgar Allan Poe, she was horrified. Murder? Torture? How inappropriate! But the terrifying stories and poems transformed her: she says they scared her into life.
Richard Dawkins, founder of The Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science, speaks at the March 2012 "Reason Rally" on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
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September 19, 2013 A joyful love of science permeates Richard Dawkins' new memoir. Reviewer Barbara J. King says the best-selling evolutionary scientist and famed atheist is at his best in An Appetite for Wonder as he tells the story of his early life, in Africa and England, and then details his passionate relationship with the world of reason.
September 19, 2013 Anya von Bremzen's new memoir is a delicious narrative of memory and cuisine in 20th century Soviet Union. She writes about her family's own history and contemplates the nation's "complicated, even tortured, relationship with food."
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September 19, 2013 Martin Limon's hard-boiled tales of military police in Korea in the early 1970s are collected in the new Nightmare Range. Reviewer Nick Mancusi says Limon is " a sensitive observer of the darker angels of human nature" who only occasionally veers into cliche.
September 18, 2013 Whatever happened to that kid in Stephen's King novel The Shining? King answers that question with his new book, Doctor Sleep, delving back into Danny Torrance's life. Alan Cheuse reviews King's new novel, and finds it just as terrifying as it's precursor.
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September 18, 2013 Doctor Sleep is Stephen King's sequel to his 1977 smash hit The Shining, about a haunted hotel. Sleep follows Danny Torrance, the troubled son of Shining protagonist Jack, as he gets drawn into a new battle against evil. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says King "is still scaring the hell out of me."
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