August 27, 2015 Alexandra Kleeman's novel, populated by TV-obsessed characters on a steady diet of Popsicles and oranges, is a controlled exercise in what critic Jason Sheehan calls "terrifying banality."
August 26, 2015 Literary critic Clive James revisits the work of great writers such as Joseph Conrad, Ernest Hemingway, Shakespeare and others, subjecting each to the "finicky test of delight."
August 25, 2015 Author Tracy Daugherty's new biography of Joan Didion is an honest attempt to construct a coherent narrative about her — but critic Michael Schaub says it doesn't completely work.
August 24, 2015 A posthumously published collection of stories steers recognition to Lucia Berlin, whose fictional narrators are the sort who have seen it all and aren't afraid to tell you about their crappy day.
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August 23, 2015 Ottessa Moshfegh's new novel follows a defiantly, triumphantly off-putting young woman who dreams of escaping her grim New England existence. Critic Jean Zimmerman calls it "pleasingly perverse."
August 20, 2015 NPR's Audie Cornish talks with Kathryn VanArendonk, who teaches developmental reading and writing at Union County College, about how some schools are including contemporary books on summer lists.
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August 20, 2015 Alaa Al Aswany's new book sets the dynamics of a fallen family and an elitist car club against the tensions of post-World War II Egypt, but a clunky translation and too many plots keep the brakes on.
August 20, 2015 Aliette de Bodard's new novel is set in a postapocalyptic Paris, devastated by a magical war between factions of fallen angels. It's a gritty mix of high gothic poetry and knotty angelic rivalries.
August 19, 2015 Chuck Wendig's brisk new thriller deals in cutting-edge tech, but it's traditional at heart, pitting a rag-tag band of hackers against a big, sinister cyber-entity and the threat of global disaster.
August 19, 2015 Adam Johnson's new story collection spans the globe from former East Germany to post-Katrina Louisiana. Reviewer Michael Schaub says the book is uneven but enlightening, and brilliant at its best.
August 18, 2015 Ruth Ware's In A Dark, Dark Wood brings together a group of 20-something women in an isolated rural house for a bachelorette party — a perfect setting for buried secrets and terrible deeds.
August 18, 2015 Stephanie Clifford's debut novel, about the desperate social strivings of a young woman in Manhattan, has its roots in the tragic, old-money fascinations of Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth.
August 16, 2015 This week, we're setting the NPR Books Time Machine for the Napoleonic Wars, and Lauren Willig's swashbuckling Pink Carnation series, about florally themed spies battling it out across Europe.
August 15, 2015 Our Summer of Love rolls on with a roundup of romance manga. Japanese comic books can be a daunting field to enter — but we've picked three of the sweetest for your summer reading pleasure.
August 15, 2015 Readers everywhere are rediscovering the work of Brazil's Clarice Lispector. Critic Juan Vidal calls Lispector a singular artist, whose newly collected stories linger in the mind like poetry.
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