NPR stories about Book Reviews
February 14, 2013 A lot of people think Valentine's Day is a commercial, made-up holiday — but even Chaucer noted it as a day to send sweets and gifts to loved ones. And what better than to read romance on such a romantic day? Author Bobbi Dumas has recommendations for great romance reads in every genre.
February 14, 2013 By the time Wendy Plump learned that her husband had a longtime mistress and an 8-month-old son, their union already bore the scars of adultery — both his and hers. Plump's marital post-mortem, Vow, is a frank, intelligent inquiry into the thrills and anguish of infidelity.
February 13, 2013 The confounding title of the self-referential novel Percival Everett by Virgil Russell signals its method, which seeks to erase lines between author and subject, reality and fiction. For Alan Cheuse, Percival Everett's (or is that Percival Everett's?) postmodern mind games spoil what might have been a fine novel.
February 12, 2013 In a new memoir, James Lasdun describes how a former-student-turned-friend stalked and slandered him online. Give Me Everything You Have is a meditation on what it means to control your reputation on the Internet — and the book is Lasdun's attempt to fight back.
February 12, 2013 Swamplandia! author Karen Russell has a new story collection, Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Reviewer Michael Schaub says Russell puts the lie to the popular misconception that literary fiction must be boring and realistic, and fans of George Saunders will be right at home in these stories.
February 11, 2013 Poet and critic Craig Morgan Teicher says The Colossus, Plath's first book of poetry (and the only one published in her lifetime), shows us glimpses of the poet she would later become. Do you have a favorite Plath poem? Tell us in the comments.
February 10, 2013 Brian Moore's The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne, a book about an alcoholic looking for love, is the novel that author Ann Leary always turns to when she's depressed. What books do you read when you're sad? Tell us in the comments.
February 9, 2013 Margot Berwin's new novel Scent of Darkness follows a young woman rendered irresistible by a magical perfume. Reviewer Mary Bly says the problem isn't the magical-realism aspects of the story, but the dull and complacent heroine.
February 6, 2013 Reporter-turned-novelist Gene Kerrigan sets his story in Ireland after the 2008 financial crisis. The Rage is a boundlessly readable portrait of a country in which ordinary citizens have been hit the hardest and all the old certainties have vanished.
February 5, 2013 A new book chronicles the antics of hard-partying literary giants like Jack Kerouac and Dorothy Parker. But underneath the misbehavior there is a quieter — and much more admirable — story of perseverance.
February 5, 2013 See Now Then, Jamaica Kincaid's first novel in a decade, follows a neglected wife in a small New England town. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says the book reads as if "Gertrude Stein and Virginia Woolf had collaborated on a heartbroken housewife's lament."
February 4, 2013 The desert has inspired a rich literary landscape. Author Ruben Martinez recommends three reads that examine it both literally and figuratively. Do you have a favorite book that takes place in the desert? Tell us in the comments.
February 3, 2013 Guns N' Roses epitomized all of the glamour of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll. But, author Alex Stone writes, Duff McKagan's memoir shows the ugly underside of the legendary rock group. What's your favorite music memoir? Tell us in the comments.