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NPR stories about Excerpts: Recommended Books

Excerpt: 'Mirrors: Stories Of Almost Everyone'()  

June 11, 2009 Composed of brief, enigmatic prose poems inventively organized, Mirrors ambitiously strives to paint a history of the whole world.


Excerpt: 'Laura Rider's Masterpiece'()  

June 11, 2009 Jane Hamilton's constantly entertaining novel centers around a Midwestern couple who become involved with a radio star.


Excerpt: 'Tunneling To The Center Of The Earth'()  

June 11, 2009 Kevin Wilson's stories combine keen explorations of love, family and absence with a slight sense of the absurd.


Excerpt: 'Stone's Fall'()  

June 11, 2009 Iain Pears knows how to deliver a complex historical mystery. Stone's Fall is one of those gloriously long books that is never long enough.


Excerpt: 'The Housekeeper and the Professor'()  

June 11, 2009 Yoko Ogawa's poignant new story reminds us that the heart remembers what the mind forgets, and people can find order and solace in unexpected places.


Excerpt: 'The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet'()  

June 11, 2009 Reif Larsen's book is a uniquely constructed novel whose story is enhanced by drawings and separate stories and musings in the margins.


Excerpt: 'The Stolen Child'()  

June 11, 2009 Without an excess of sentimentality, this novel updates and explores the changeling myth.


Excerpt: 'Oh!: A mystery of 'mono no aware"()  

June 11, 2009 Set in Japan, Oh! follows a young man's search for the experience of mono no aware — "the beauty of sad things."


Excerpt: 'The Latehomecomer'()  

June 11, 2009 Kao Kalia Yang's memoir is both a family chronicle and a history of the Hmong people.


Excerpt: 'The School of Essential Ingredients'()  

June 11, 2009 Whether you love to cook or not, you will be charmed by The School of Essential Ingredients. You need to be warned, though... you will want to eat your way through it.


Excerpt: 'Sonata Mulattica'()  

May 29, 2009 Former Poet Laureate Rita Dove's Sonata Mulaticca, is a book-length group of poems about the life of George Polgreen Bridgetower, an African-European who played violin with Beethoven and then had a falling out with the great man over a woman.


Excerpt: 'Shannon: A Poem of the Lewis and Clark Expedition'()  

May 28, 2009 Campbell McGrath's book length poem Shannon dramatizes the story of George Shannon, the youngest member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, while lost on the Great American Desert.


Excerpt: 'Woodsburner'()  

May 26, 2009 Before he built his cabin on Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau accidentally scorched 300 acres of the Concord woods. In Woodsburner, author John Pipkin recreates the events of that day from the perspective of Thoreau and several other Concord residents.


Excerpt: 'The Scenic Route'()  

May 26, 2009 In Binnie Kirshenbaum's The Scenic Route, divorcee Sylvia meets Henry in an Italian cafe and cancels the rest of her vacation plans in order to drive around Europe with him. It's only after they hit the road that she learns he's married.


Excerpt: 'Dark Places'()  

May 26, 2009 In Gillian Flynn's Dark Places, the only survivor of the "Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas" massacre that wiped out her family is forced to confront the lies she told that convicted her brother of the killings.


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