NPR stories about Book Reviews
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.
November 12, 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 12, 2012 For Alan Shapiro, reading Lawrence Ferlinghetti's poems was like an discovering an alternate universe. A Coney Island of the Mind elevated him out of the staid world of his parents and changed his sense of self forever. Is there a book that shook your convictions? Tell us about it in the comments.
November 8, 2012 Barbara Kingsolver's new novel starts when millions of monarch butterflies alight on a mountain in eastern Tennessee. Yet, as author Brian Kimberling describes, the beautiful winged visitors in the novel reveal both humankind's effect on nature and the nature of humankind.
November 8, 2012 Cartoonist Ellen Forney documents her bipolar disorder in Marbles, a graphic memoir that sustains its honesty and humor through both manic and depressive phases. No matter what she's experiencing, Forney wants you to be there with her — and chances are you'll want to be there, too.
November 7, 2012 The cult favorite 1965 novel Dune was a classic of sci-fi literature. But author Leigh Bardugo says that when she was 12, Dune wasn't just an escape — it changed her world. Has a book ever opened your eyes to an alternate reality? Tell us in the comments.
November 6, 2012 Barbara Kingsolver's seventh novel addresses global warming and the failings of public education through the story of a Tennessee woman whose thus-far disappointing life changes when 15 million monarch butterflies alight in the woods near her home.
November 5, 2012 Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Richard Russo began looking out for his mother early in life. In his new memoir, Elsewhere, Russo writes not only of his mother, but of the vanished world that shaped her. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls the book "gorgeously nuanced."
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.