NPR stories about Excerpts: Recommended Books
August 20, 2009 Josephine Tey's Brat Farrar features a young man masquerading as the heir to a fortune.
August 20, 2009 Set in 2007, Val McDermid's new novel features detective inspector Karen Pirie, who finds herself working with two cases that originated in the 1980s — one concerning a missing man; the other a missing baby.
August 20, 2009 Alan Bradley's first novel, makes perfect summer reading — it's gore-free, very funny in places, nicely written, not too sweet (despite the title) and narrated by a real charmer.
August 20, 2009 Romulus Ledbetter, the homeless caveman of the title, is a Julliard-trained classical pianist who's on a mission to find a murderer.
August 20, 2009 Jane Haddam's most recent novel featuring ex-FBI agent Gregory Demarking, is centered on the controversy over the biology curriculum in a small, very conservative town in Pennsylvania.
July 2, 2009 China Mieville's police procedural novel is set in neighboring, nearly identical fictional cities. The catch is, these cities — Beszel and Ul Qoma — co-exist in the same physical space, and their separation ultimately depends on how well each city's citizens do in ignoring the existence of the other.
June 24, 2009 Richard Rayner's nonfiction account of Los Angeles in the 1920s demonstrates the truth behind the noir.
June 24, 2009 In this stimulating book, Oxford professor Margaret MacMillan exposes politicized manipulations of history and argues for the necessity of accurate understandings of the past.
June 24, 2009 With a superbly woven narrative, this history examines the unexpected connections between science and Romanticism.
June 24, 2009 Don't expect to read any recipes in Jason Sheehan's memoir of his time as a line cook — you'd probably rather not know what goes into these dishes.
June 24, 2009 Hunter S. Thompson, the original gonzo journalist, reveals himself to be an artisan reporter, not a hack, in this collection of interviews.
June 19, 2009 Originally published in 1988, Muriel Spark's novel leads the reader satirically through literary London society, with a lovably droll narrator as guide.
June 19, 2009 Paulette Jiles crafts a novel from the scraps of a real historical life, evoking the clashes between settlers and American Indians in the years following the Civil War in powerful, moving prose.
June 19, 2009 This teen novel, with its irresistibly charming narrator, is perfect for 12- to 15-year-old girls looking for a relationship novel with a spine and some bite.