NPR stories about Book Reviews
December 11, 2013 Fresh Air's book critic says it's just a fluke that 9 of the 11 titles she picked this year were written by female authors. Her favorites include a jumbo-sized Dickensian novel, a biography of Ben Franklin's sister, a comedy of manners, a stunning Scandinavian mystery and more.
December 9, 2013 Each year The New York Times highlights top children's books. But this year, not one book is by a Latino author. Guest host Celeste Headlee speaks with blogger Monica Olivera, and Latinas for Latino Lit co-founder, Viviana Hurtado, about books they feel were overlooked this year.
December 4, 2013 NPR staff and critics selected more than 200 standout titles. Now it's up to you: Choose your own adventure! Use our tags to search through books and find the perfect read for yourself or someone else.
December 3, 2013 Isabel Greenberg's new Encyclopedia of Early Earth weaves a human love story into a quasi-Biblical creation tale, full of capricious gods, feckless shamans and more-or-less doomed love. Reviewer Glen Weldon says the graphic novel is full of tasty visual gags, and "lands with an emotional impact you likely won't see coming."
December 2, 2013 The acrtess' new memoir might not be the kind of thing you'd expect from a longtime A-list actress and daughter of film royalty. Forget the glamour and debauchery of the familiar Hollywood tell-all. As reviewer Meg Wolitzer explains, Huston's story begins before Los Angeles, a story at once relatable and unique.
November 30, 2013 A new collection of Dickinson's poems — written on envelopes and found after her death — opens a rare porthole into the enigmatic writer's life and art. Literally and figuratively shaped by their unusual medium, the poems in The Gorgeous Nothings invite endless interpretations.
November 27, 2013 A determined travel writer sets out to produce the first guide to a mysterious middle-European country in Gene Wolfe's new The Land Across. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says Wolfe mixes Kafka-esque mystery and paranoia with dark supernatural influences for "supposedly realistic novel that gives off the feel of a closely viewed dream."
November 26, 2013 For critic Maureen Corrigan, this year's hybrid family holiday may be best celebrated by escaping into a book. Her recommendations include a kids' book about Russian Jews who identify with the Pilgrims, and a novel that contemplates class divides during wartime through the lens of a football game.
November 24, 2013 Boredom in the immobility of a quadriplegic. Ennui in a Manhattan high-rise cubicle. Monotony in the slow-moving life of a writer. Said Sayrafiezadeh takes a look at everyday drudgery, highlighting three great memoirs that found inspiration in dullness. Life can be boring, he says, but books offer a way out — whether we're reading or writing them.
November 23, 2013 Writer Nicholas Dawidoff spent a year living with the New York Jets and came away with a respect for players and coaches that not all fans will like. NPR's Mike Pesca says Dawidoff's new book, Collision Low Crossers: A Year Inside the Turbulent World of NFL Football, demystifies the game as it entrances.
November 22, 2013 With the invocation of the so-called "nuclear option," Senate Democrats moved to limit the power of the filibuster and dramatically change the nature of the institution. Many — on both sides — point to the maneuver as a sign of the system's failure. Writers Drew Toal and Kate Tuttle suggest books that might offer hope for us yet.
November 22, 2013 Dana Goodyear's new Anything That Moves is an eyes-(and-mouth)-wide-open trip through America's foodie subcultures, from raw food enthusiasts to underground supper clubs. Reviewer Jason Sheehan says Goodyear is a "fair guide to the underbelly," but doesn't exercise enough critical judgment when it comes to the crazier dishes.