NPR stories about Book Reviews
March 13, 2013 William H. Gass' fiction has been a secret handshake among brainy readers for years. Critics universally adored The Tunnel, his 1995 opus, even though it was nearly impossible to read. With Middle C, Gass has given us another dense, suffocating novel about language and the self.
March 14, 2013 In her new story collection, This Close, Jessica Francis Kane depicts a group of women who are worn down, overwhelmed by love and loss, yet familiar as old friends. Reviewer Jane Ciabattari says they are "our family, our friends and neighbors. They are us, at our most vulnerable."
March 17, 2013 Joy Williams' The Quick and the Dead, about three motherless girls traveling through the desert, left author Domenica Ruta with more questions than answers. Do you have a favorite book that left you confused — in a good way? Tell us in the comments.
March 19, 2013 Emily Rapp lived every parent's nightmare when her infant son was diagnosed with a fatal disease. The Still Point of the Turning World is not only a powerful memoir of a mother's endurance but also a meditation on how our mortality should inspire us all to live life ferociously in the present.
March 19, 2013 Aleksandar Hemon's first book of nonfiction, The Book of My Lives, is a collection of essays about a shifting sense of home and displacement. Reviewer Ben Percy says these stories, which balance despair with hope and anger with humor, slashed through his defenses.
March 20, 2013 Jean-Marie Blas de Robles' novel Where Tigers Are at Home won France's 2008 Prix Medicis. It's now out in English, and reviewer Alan Cheuse says it will appeal to readers who like the complexity of Umberto Eco, with "an adventure plot straight out of Michael Crichton."
March 21, 2013 Nalo Hopkinson's latest, Sister Mine, mixes urban fantasy and family tension in a story about semi-divine twin sisters struggling to come to terms with each other and avert a magical disaster. Reviewer Genevieve Valentine calls it a "suitably imperfect and vibrant story of family."
March 21, 2013 Morality emerges from our evolved nature: so claims primatologist Frans de Waal, who takes aim in his new book at the view that morality comes from God. Commentator Barbara J. King finds de Waal's argument persuasive.
March 24, 2013 Author Nicole J. Georges discovered Michael Azerrad's Come as You Are: The Story of Nirvana when she was 13. The book became the heart map for her teenage angst. What book helped you find yourself?
March 26, 2013 Kristopher Jansma's hyper-inventive debut novel The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards explores the blurred boundary between truth and lies in a writer's life. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book "reaches a dizzying complexity that borders on the tiresome."
March 27, 2013 The rich and good-looking get a taste of life among the 99 percent in Jonathan Dee's novels. In A Thousand Pardons, his protagonist, Helen Armstead, finds a secret talent for getting powerful men to apologize after her marriage falls apart and she is forced to enter the working world.