NPR stories about Book Reviews
May 4, 2013 Comedian Marc Maron just released his newest book, Attempting Normal, and his TV show Maron premiered on IFC this month. He still found time to speak with NPR's Molly Hart about learning from heartbreak, not wanting to be alone, and stealing from Whole Foods.
May 5, 2013 Ahmadou Kourouma's Allah Is Not Obliged recounts the story of a child soldier in Liberia. Author A. Igoni Barrett says in this book, horror and humor become bedfellows, making for a heartbreaking yet laughter-filled read.
May 6, 2013 The latest novel from three-time National Book Award finalist Gail Godwin takes inspiration from Henry James' The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge.
May 6, 2013 Anthony Marra's debut novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, takes place in war-torn Chechnya — a world of perpetual violence, fear and exploding land mines. But reviewer Meg Wolitzer says the characters are so vivid and the language so brilliant you want to stay there.
May 7, 2013 Full of sex, intrigue and clues based on Victorian poetry, Elanor Dymott's Every Contact Leaves a Trace is a literary mystery about a murder at Oxford University. This tale of a clueless husband who discovers his wife's true nature too late reminds critic Maureen Corrigan a little of Gone Girl.
May 8, 2013 In the multilayered graphic novel Red Handed, an ace detective solves a series of odd and seemingly unrelated crimes, only to find that they're all part of a grand design. Critic Glen Weldon admires artist Matt Kindt's mastery of the comics medium.
May 9, 2013 Lucas Mann's Class A combines baseball and sociology in this chronicle of a farm team from a fading Iowa factory town. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Mann "uses the full tool kit of literary nonfiction" in a book that "encompasses nostalgia, hope and failure."
May 12, 2013 Andrzej Szczypiorski's The Beautiful Mrs. Seidenman is a book set in Nazi-occupied Warsaw. Author Courtney Angela Brkic says reading it helped her understand her father, whose family had lived through the second world war.
May 13, 2013 Albert Camus' Algerian Chronicles, finally available in translation, collects essays, columns and speeches from the writer's days as a young journalist. Camus was criticized for his moderate approach to the French-Algerian war, but reviewer Jason Farrago says Chronicles is a guide to "how to be just in a difficult world."
May 20, 2013 Chimamanda Adichie's Americanah is about a young Nigerian woman who moves to the U.S. It's a story of relocation, far-flung love and life as an outsider. But reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin says that despite the author's talent, much of the storytelling feels flat.
May 14, 2013 Benjamin Percy's new literary werewolf novel, Red Moon, is packed with vivid, gory-lush description and heavy allegory about a world where "lycans" are a persecuted minority. But reviewer Nick Mancusi says the book gives short shrift to character development.
May 15, 2013 Some novels you read to find out what happens next, and some you read to linger in the moment. In Tom Drury's Pacific, plot takes a back seat to sharp observation and deadpan wit. The book juxtaposes scenes of teenaged Micah as he moves to Hollywood, with stories set in Micah's heartland hometown.
May 15, 2013 After six years, author Walter Mosley breathes life back into his detective hero Easy Rawlins — thought dead after crashing his car off a cliff. Easy embarks on another case, but as the lines blur between death and dying, he may discover answers to questions he hadn't thought to ask.