NPR stories about Book Reviews
July 31, 2013 Goliarda Sapienza's sprawling, posthumously published epic, The Art of Joy, follows the life of Modesta, born in Sicily on the first day of the 20th century. Reviewer Maria Russo says the book lacks editing, but that ultimately doesn't matter to a story of such "scale and seductive libertinism."
August 4, 2013 Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni first read Wilkie Collins' classic detective novel The Moonstone when she came across it in her grandfather's trunk on a rainy Bengali afternoon. When she rediscovered it years later, she realized it is even better than she remembered.
August 11, 2013 When the economy's dropping like an anvil, young professionals have to find ways to make do — and having friends always helps. Reviewer Alex Espinoza says Choire Sicha's Very Recent History is an insightful tale of friends weathering a tough economy in the big city.
August 6, 2013 The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. is a debut novel about a sharp and assured young man living among young, aspiring literary types in Brooklyn. Book critic Maureen Corrigan says never before has a novel made her feel so grateful to be middle-aged.
August 7, 2013 Japanese crime writer Natsuo Kirino's latest veers into myth and legend: The Goddess Chronicle retells Japan's creation story with a feminist perspective. Reviewer Annalisa Quinn says it's a dark and lovely tale, unfortunately marred by stiff, awkward writing.
August 8, 2013 Emily Croy Barker's debut novel follows a struggling grad student into an otherworldly adventure pitting fairies against magicians. Reviewer Genevieve Valentine says The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic is a classic portal fantasy with occasional stumbles in characterization
August 8, 2013 A lengthy interview with Leonard Bernstein. One man's quest to understand obsessive Phish fandom. A look at the life of a jazz legend. We survey these and other highlights of music-themed books worth reading this summer.
August 11, 2013 Science fiction has long offered us the image of "the final frontier," but some sci-fi authors have mapped frontiers of their own. Author Stephen Burt says James Tiptree Jr. (pen name of Alice Sheldon) was a pioneer in writing about gender and sexuality when most sci-fi authors were male.
August 12, 2013 Spanish novelist Javier Marías is well-known in Europe, but not as popular in the United States. Critic John Powers says Marías' latest work — an unsettling, slightly sinister twist on the mystery novel — ought to raise the author's profile here in America.
August 12, 2013 If the town of Tombstone, Ariz., sounds familiar, it probably has to do with what happened there in 1881 — the year of the infamous gunfight between lawman Wyatt Earp and a rival gang. A new memoir by Justin St. Germain weaves the story of the O.K. Corral into another, more personal tale.
August 14, 2013 Congressman John Lewis has co-authored a new graphic novel about the 1963 March on Washington, which he helped plan. Reviewer Jody Arlington says March: Book One is a "fresh and sometimes shocking work," with a message of reconciliation and hope that still resonates.
August 15, 2013 Paul Yoon's new novel, Snow Hunters, follows a Korean War POW who starts a new life in Brazil. Yoon drew on his own family's experiences to write the book, and reviewer Alana Levinson says his "ruminations on the role of memory in shaping our identity speak perfectly to the experience of war."