NPR stories about Book Reviews
February 20, 2013 There are an increasing number of LGBT characters in mainstream superhero comics — but visibility isn't everything. NPR's comic-book guy Glen Weldon has a roundup of manga and independent graphic novels that offer a deeper and more nuanced portrayal of LGBT life.
February 20, 2013 Laura Kasischke offers her signature blend of the mundane and the uncanny in her first story collection, If a Stranger Approaches You. In these tight, dark stories, unease and impotence lurk behind tidy suburban facades.
February 19, 2013 Journalist Jess Bravin's new book details the secretive system of military tribunals used to try terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay. Reviewer Jason Farago says the book reads like a thriller — but the violation of American values inherent in the tribunals is a true tragedy.
February 25, 2013 Fiction is reality and reality fiction in Revenge, Yoko Ogawa's absorbing cycle of interlinked, eerie tales. Readers may detect the shadows of Murakami, Borges and Poe, but, says critic Alan Cheuse, Ogawa's delicious tales cast their own singular spell.
February 17, 2013 The money and mansions of the turn of the century provide rich fodder for some fabulous reads. Author Janet Wallach recommends three books that give a glimpse of Gilded Age houses. Do you have a favorite book that highlights architecture? Let us know in the comments.
February 15, 2013 Karen Russell's new collection of short stories has dead presidents reincarnated as horses, girls turning into silkworms, and vampires who quench their thirst for blood with lemons. Reviewer Meg Wolitzer says that in Russell's world we aren't fixed in space and time but can change at any moment.
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.