NPR stories about Books We Like
October 13, 2011 When divorced Tony Webster receives an unexpected inheritance, he's pulled back into the past, to the end of his first relationship and the boyhood friend who picked up where he left off. Barnes tells a quietly devastating tale of memory, aging, time and remorse in The Sense of an Ending.
October 12, 2011 The latest from cartoonist Daniel Clowes isn't meant to thrill. It's meant to unnerve. The 48 pages of The Death-Ray are supersaturated with art, dialogue and ideas — not to mention bitter high school vengeance.
October 11, 2011 Middlesex is a hard act to follow, but Jeffrey Eugenides' latest is a sly, meta-fictional love triangle. Eugenides both satirizes and empathizes with his young intellectual characters' mix of pretentiousness, urgency and earnestness.
October 9, 2011 Paule Constant's novel, first published in France in 1981, has finally been translated into English. Nine-year-old Tiffany is alone in the world; her parents, French colonialists living in Africa, have sent her back to France alone to live and be schooled at the aptly named Convent for Slaughterhouse Ladies.
October 6, 2011 With her dogged optimism and goofy dance moves, there is something endlessly likeable about DeGeneres, and her personality jumps off every page. Seriously ... I'm Kidding is a mirthful celebrity memoir that manages to entertain without divulging juicy bits of gossip.
October 5, 2011 Few today know Elbert Tuttle's name, but for those interested in America's racial history, this engaging biography is a must. As chief judge of the federal appeals court covering the Deep South, it was Tuttle who ensured that the promise of Supreme Court desegregation rulings became a reality.
October 4, 2011 Invisibility is often used for mischief, but in Chuck Klosterman's new novel, his invisible character sits still, looks deeply and disrupts only when necessary. Love him or hate him, Klosterman's stoner-genius extemporizing is unmatched in this sly work of fiction.
September 29, 2011 Susan Orlean chronicles the life of the beloved four-legged movie star and the owner who adored him. Rin Tin Tin: The Life and the Legend is Orlean's magnum opus, exploring unlikely survival, Hollywood friendship and the tribulations of American life in the early 20th century.
September 28, 2011 With grace and compassion, French writer Emmanuel Carrere tells somber stories of loss. Lives Other Than My Own demonstrates that narrative is not just a vessel for what is considered off-limits in life. It can be a vessel for knowledge one never wished to possess.
September 27, 2011 Reality and fantasy masterfully collide in Helen Oyeyemi's folklore-filled fourth novel. St. John Fox, a 1930s-era English writer, is locked in a love triangle with his wife, Daphne, and an imaginary muse named Mary Foxe, who comes off the page to haunt, help and entertain.
September 21, 2011 French artist David B. renders ecstatic visions, religious fervor and bloody battles in his new collection of graphic novellas, The Armed Garden and Other Stories. His mysterious and melancholy style saturates every panel of the artfully told tales.
September 19, 2011 Set somewhere in a modern yet resolutely mythical Middle East, Craig Thompson's latest graphic novel is a love story that also tackles the roots of religion and the nature of masculinity and femininity.
September 15, 2011 The small town Magdalena Tulli imagines in her quirky new novel is inhabited by strapping young soldiers, fair maidens, oligarchs and one notable insomniac — all of whom behave in the most unexpected ways.
September 14, 2011 In an intriguing and insightful new book, anthropologist Jeanne Guillemin looks back at the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five and infected 17 others.