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NPR stories about Excerpts: Recommended Books

Excerpt: 'The Family Man'()  

May 26, 2009 Elinor Lipman writes dialogue that sizzles with playful, effortless wit — but even at its breeziest The Family Man finds time to fully imagine its characters and linger over the unspoken cues that pass between them.


Excerpt: 'Genesis'()  

May 26, 2009 New Zealand writer Bernard Beckett's slim yet satisfyingly cerebral novella is set at some point in the future, on an island nation that seals itself off from the outside world to survive a mysterious plag


Excerpt: 'Awakening'()  

Cover: 'Awakening' (hidden)

May 26, 2009 In S. J. Bolton's Awakening, someone in a quaint English village is stashing poisonous snakes in closets, beds and even a baby's crib.


Excerpt: 'The Way Home'()  

May 26, 2009 While ripping up old carpet in a Washington, D.C. rowhouse that's being remodeled and "flipped" by a real estate agent, two workmen discover an Adidas bag stuffed with thousands of dollars' worth of cash in George Pelecanos' newest novel.


Excerpt: 'The Scarecrow'()  

Cover: 'The Scarecrow' (hidden)

May 26, 2009 Crime reporter Jack McEvoy is being forced out of The Los Angeles Times, but that doesn't stop him from tracking down a serial killer who wraps his female victims in plastic and implicates other men as the murderer.


Excerpt: 'The Manual of Detection'()  

May 26, 2009 Jedidiah Berry's debut novel, featuring a decidedly soft-boiled detective, is a fascinating, intricately crafted puzzle that's a lot of fun to solve.


Excerpt: 'Castle'()  

May 26, 2009 J. Robert Lennon's creepy and wickedly smart new novel is a story of paranoia and simmering violence, set amidst 612 acres on the far western edge of the country.


Excerpt: 'The Shanghai Moon'()  

Cover: 'The Shanghai Moon' (hidden)

May 26, 2009 S. J. Rozan's The Shanghai Moon elegantly riffs on the stolen jewels plot that constitute about 99 percent of the classic Nancy Drew mysteries.


Excerpt: 'Road Dogs'()  

Cover: 'Road Dogs' (hidden)

May 20, 2009 What are "road dogs"? Prison buddies who live among incarcerated gang members but not with them, watching each others' backs. In Elmore Leonard's new novel of the same name, the "dogs" are smart, handsome, and big-hearted.


Excerpt: 'The Increment'()  

May 13, 2009 David Ignatius' new spy novel The Increment is set in Washington, London, and Iran. The book gets its title from the small team of British special operatives whose specialty is the out-of-the-ordinary, and particularly dangerous, undercover operation.


Excerpt: 'In Other Rooms, Other Wonders'()  

March 6, 2009 Other Rooms, Other Wonders, a collection of stories by the Pakastani-American writer Daniyal Mueenuddin. Mueenuddin has the gifts of insight into human behavior of Alice Munro, the gift for detail we find in Updike and William Trevor and the ability to make sentences and paragraphs that pack the punch of something out of James Salter and Richard Ford.



Excerpt: 'Lark & Termite'()  

January 6, 2009 Jayne Anne Phillips' new novel Lark & Termite, which came along in darkest January, is a dense, sharply rhythmical work of fractured narrative about a nearly fractured West Virginia family.


Excerpt: 'The Silver Linings Playbook'()  

October 16, 2008 Matthew Quick's heart-warming, humorous and soul-satisfying first novel opens as 30-year-old Pat Peoples, a former high school history teacher, is being sprung from a Baltimore mental institution.


Excerpt: 'Atmospheric Disturbances'()  

July 9, 2008 Rivka Galchen's debut novel Atmospheric Disturbances offers an inventive twist on the man-loves-woman, man-loses-woman convention.


Excerpt: 'What Happened to Anna K.'()  

May 23, 2008 Irina Reyn's deft debut novel dusts off Tolstoy's great 19th-century romantic heroine and re-imagines her as a complex — yet still dreamy-eyed — modern woman of today.


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