NPR stories about Book Reviews
December 7, 2012 Critic Alan Cheuse maps out a winter wonderland of fiction and poetry — from ancient Greece to the near-future visions of Walter Mosley, a selection of the best books to give and receive this holiday season. Cheuse says these five books strike the perfect balance between lyricism and narrative.
December 7, 2012 Two new biographical studies that read like novels explore the familial relationships that shaped two of the 19th century's most beloved authors. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls Great Expectations: The Sons And Daughters Of Charles Dickens "a Gothic nightmare" and Marmee & Louisa "a romance."
December 6, 2012 To bring the past to life and make it matter, historical fiction must do more than conjure up an exotic backdrop for a conventional story. These six books challenge our preconceptions and help show how the past shaped the world we live in today.
December 5, 2012 Lois Duncan's 1979 novel, Daughters of Eve, takes revenge to a whole new level. Author Mary Stewart Atwell explains why this classic novel is still relevant. Do you have a favorite story of revenge that goes too far? Tell us in the comments.
December 3, 2012 Philip Roth recently announced that he had written his last novel. Author Matthew Specktor explains why Sabbath's Theater, released in 1995, is not only Roth's most disgusting novel but also his best. Do you have a favorite book that breaks all the rules? Tell us in the comments.
December 3, 2012 This year's treasures include a heart-racing memoir, a fun first novel, a fascinating study of fraternal bonds, plus Toni Morrison's Home and Christopher Hitchens' last work. Critic Heller McAlpin has sifted through piles of new publications and panned for literary gold.
November 30, 2012 Astrophysicist Adam Frank doesn't usually read self-help books, but something about Walker Percy's existential optimism in Lost In The Cosmos actually changed his outlook on life. Do you have a favorite self-help book? Tell us in the comments below.
November 26, 2012 The Battlefield Where The Moon Says I Love You may be more than 15,000 lines of almost entirely unpunctuated poetry, but author Steve Stern says this Southern gothic fun house is so bewitching you'll have to finish it. Do you have a favorite impossible book? Tell us in the comments.
November 24, 2012 The author of the widely acclaimed Same Difference returns with a new graphic novel. An engaging tale of disaffected 20-somethings, Tune will feel familiar to fans of Kim's earlier work. Maybe a little too familiar — until the aliens arrive.
November 22, 2012 Storyteller Bailey White tells a tale of home renovation and insects called "The Second Hand or the Roach." Two women are living in an old house. One is in charge of doing the much-needed chimney and roof work, the other does the cooking and has a day job. There's tension as the renovations proceed slowly because the woman doing the construction work is stubborn and doesn't want outside help. White weaves in a parallel story about the cooking habits of an older neighbor. It's a funny and spirited examination of how people proceed to get things done, and a comment on doing one thing well at a time.