NPR stories about Book Reviews
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.
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.