NPR stories about Book Reviews
November 21, 2012 The Venetian painter Titian is one of the most enduringly influential artists of the Renaissance. Yet his last full biography was written in the 19th century. Sheila Hale's new book, Titian: His Life, contrasts the Italian master's quiet existence with that of the turbulent city that nurtured his talent.
November 21, 2012 Vampires and other creatures of the night are modern pop-culture staples — not least within the Twilight franchise — but these gothic novels show why sometimes older is better. Author John Connolly explores three of his favorite Anglo-Irish gothic thrillers.
November 20, 2012 Jami Attenberg's black comedy about the fallout of one woman's food addiction is a tough but affecting story about family members putting up with each other. Critic Maureen Corrigan says the novel's fragmented narration and jumpy timeline add to its emotional punch.
November 20, 2012 The latest book by former New Yorker editor Robert Gottlieb, Great Expectations: The Sons and Daughters of Charles Dickens, reads more like scintillating gossip about the famous writer and his family than literary scholarship. NPR's Heller McAlpin is fine with that.
November 18, 2012 As diagnoses of autism have risen, so too have autistic characters in literature. Tasha Robinson explains how an "intelligent outsider's view of humanity" has led to a growing number of autistic characters in young adult fiction.
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."
November 15, 2012 Poet Tess Taylor reviews a collection of poems by C.K. Williams called Writers Writing Dying. She says it's a jaunty and surprisingly cheerful collection of poems about being mortal and loving poetry; cheerfully accessible, slightly morbid. Williams is a Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winner.
November 15, 2012 Alice Munro delivers a collection of stories that makes ordinary existence seem extraordinary, from the costly nature of first love to the literal cost of a small-town affair to the love between two strangers who are perfectly unsuited for each other.
November 14, 2012 The novelist has won the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Booker Prize and the Whitbread Award. His latest novel, however, earns the ire of critic Maureen Corrigan, who usually numbers among McEwan's fans but finds herself dismayed by this book's attitudes toward women.
November 14, 2012 Colm Toibin's latest novel reimagines the life and death of Jesus through the eyes of his mother. Elegantly subversive, The Testament of Mary examines the nature of truth and storytelling from the point of view of the world's most famous virgin.
November 14, 2012 In 2009, New York Post reporter Susannah Cahalan was hospitalized for one horrific month because of a rare disorder. After recovering, she remembered almost nothing about the ordeal, so she decided to find out what happened. Her new book provides a remarkable reconstruction of the events of her sickness.
November 14, 2012 The Bird Artist, Howard Norman's 1994 novel about the murder of a lighthouse keeper, is set in Witless Bay. Author Da Chen writes that the distinctive setting makes this novel a success. What is your favorite book with an unforgettable setting? Tell us in the comments.
November 13, 2012 British author Ian McEwan is known for multilayered tales with surprise endings, and his latest novel doesn't disappoint. The story of a Cold War intelligence agent who falls for the target of her investigation is sprinkled with hints of subversive intents, making it a clever bonbon of a book.