NPR stories about Book Reviews
November 5, 2012 The great Sanskrit epic The Birth of Kumara details the heavenly lovemaking of Shiva and Parvati. Author Aatish Taseer tells how reading the fifth-century epic connected him to classical India. What work of literature brought you closer to home? Tell us in the comments.
November 16, 2012 Novelist Richard Russo's new memoir, Elsewhere, is the uncompromisingly tragic — yet beautifully told — story of his relationship with his mentally ill mother. Reviewer Michael Schaub calls it "one of the most honest, moving American memoirs in years."
October 31, 2012 Swedish writer Karin Tidbeck's debut story collection, Jagannath, is suffused with the myths of her homeland — and the American oddities she picked up as a student here. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says the stories are weird — but it's a good kind of weird.
October 31, 2012 The classic horror novel The Exorcist inspired an even creepier movie, but author Mark Danielewski says after he saw the film, it changed the book in his mind forever. Has a movie ever overtaken its literary counterpart in your imagination? Tell us in the comments.
October 31, 2012 Hellboy creator Mike Mignola and collaborator Christopher Golden have written a spooky novella about a priest using puppets to convey the word of God to war-scarred children in 1940s Sicily. Reviewer Glen Weldon says the exhaustively researched plot is let down by bad pacing.
October 30, 2012 Kurt Vonnegut aspired to be a sort of "cultivated eccentric." Reviewer Drew Toal says a new collection of Vonnegut's letters — by turns hilarious, heartbreaking and mundane — reveals just how uneccentric the writer actually was.
October 29, 2012 Liars are sometimes the best storytellers. Author Amy Wilson shares three books with less-than-trustworthy narrators.Who is your favorite unreliable narrator? Tell us in the comments.
October 26, 2012 The Science Friday Book Club meets this week to talk about our fall pick: "Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!" : Adventures of a Curious Character. Physicist Lawrence Krauss joins the club to discuss Feynman's contributions to physics and his unconventional life.
October 25, 2012 True Grit author Charles Portis is the cult writer for people who hate cult writers. He hasn't published a book since 1991, and reviewer John Powers says the short pieces collected in Escape Velocity have been treasured for decades, passed around like samizdat by Portis fans.
October 25, 2012 In his new book, What Are You Looking At?: The Surprising, Shocking, and Sometimes Strange Story of 150 Years of Modern Art, Will Gompertz takes an intelligent, accessible approach to a head-scratching subject.
October 24, 2012 A few years ago, you might not have thought that something as basic as the food we eat would become trendy. But that's what's happened. Now a new novel takes on the subject of appetite and excess. Author Meg Wolitzer says The Middlesteins, by Jami Attenberg, is worth picking up.
October 24, 2012 Tom Wolfe's new novel is a sprawling portrait of Miami and its many ethnic groups, centering around a Cuban-American police officer and an immigration conflict. NPR editor Luis Clemens says the book nails the physical descriptions of Miami, but falls down badly in the portrayal of actual humans.
October 24, 2012 Adele Geras' Troy has everything The Iliad doesn't: graphic details and some really bad writing. NPR intern Annalisa Quinn explains why that's exactly what she wanted. What is your favorite remake of a classic? Tell us in the comments.
October 23, 2012 Howard Jacobson's new novel, Zoo Time, is the comic tale of a frustrated writer, tormented by the women in his life and struggling to finish his novel in a disintegrating publishing industry. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says the book, sadly, is nowhere near as funny as it's trying to be.