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NPR stories about Best Books of 2008

Librarian Nancy Pearl Dips Below The Reading Radar()  

Shelves of books

January 1, 2009 There are so many books published these days that it's often hard for readers to plow through everything that's available. That's when Nancy Pearl, librarian extraordinaire, swoops in for the rescue.


On Morning EditionPlaylist

Marriage By The Book: Five Tales Of Uncivil Union()  

Broken figurines on a wedding cake

December 29, 2008 If previous years' bookshelves were crowded with woeful tales of single living, 2008 marked the year of marriage; even Anna Karenina, the ne plus ultra of domestic dissatisfaction, got back into the act, returning as a resident of Rego Park in Irina Reyn's What Happened to Anna K.


Five Books To Give Yourself This Year()  

Person reading

December 19, 2008 You've shopped for the family, put up the tree, baked the kugel, prepped the brisket and mailed off your packages. Now give yourself a present: time alone with a good book.


Maureen Corrigan's Best Books Of 2008()  

Best Books of 2008

December 17, 2008 You know you have a terrific book in your hands when you encounter language or elegantly presented research that startles you into fresh awareness; you know it when the atmosphere of a novel doesn't leave you for days, or years.


On Fresh Air from WHYYPlaylist

Best Superhero Graphic Novels Of 2008()  

President-elect Barack Obama depicted as Superman

December 16, 2008 Don't let the capes and external underwear fool you; no longer escapist entertainment, superhero comics capture the timbre of the times as no pollster can. And this year, the mood is dark.


Best Collections Of Literary Letters 2008()  


December 15, 2008 Dear reader, sitting down with a collection of letters — or a vivid reflection on them — affords a singularly intimate encounter with a writer, so please give a look to these exercises in mail bonding.


Give A Book (And Yourself) This Holiday Season()  

art of giving books

December 12, 2008 If reading a story is — as John Gardner said — like falling into a vivid and continuous waking dream, then is giving a book like giving someone a dream? Reviewer Alan Cheuse puzzles over the perfect books for your loved ones this year.


On All Things ConsideredPlaylist

Booksellers' Picks For Your Holiday Lists()  


December 11, 2008 Small-town America may or may not be the heart of the country, but it sure is at the heart of many of the books suggested by the independent booksellers this year.


On Morning EditionPlaylist

Best Books For A Transformative New Year()  

Maureen Corrigan's book recommendations

December 8, 2008 This holiday season, as we stand at the brink of a new administration, there's a thrill of history in the air. These books will help anyone, whatever his or her politics, understand what the nation has come though to reach this moment.


On Fresh Air from WHYYPlaylist

Best Graphic Novels Of 2008()  

An image from 'Skyscrapers Of The Midwest'

December 4, 2008 No longer only for kids, geeks, nerds and aging baby boomers longing for a second childhood, graphic novels are showing themselves a medium of startling breadth and grace. Don't call them a genre anymore; cutting-edge graphic novels exist for everyone.


Migration And Memory: Top Five 2008 Books()  

Men wave goodbye

December 3, 2008 Nothing bridges the gap between here and there, then and now like a story. These powerful, personal books examine the exile's life and celebrate lost cities of memory.


Best Foreign Fiction Of 2008()  

Book by the Eiffel Tower

December 1, 2008 Works of humor, wisdom, supreme originality and stunning ambition top Jessa Crispin's foreign fiction list. Engage the global conversation with these five novels from five countries.


Best Political And Current Affairs Books Of 2008()  

Sandstorm In Iraq

November 26, 2008 The events of 2008 raised a raft of controversies to national consciousness. These powerful books wrap the issues in compelling narratives — and provide the perspective of history.


Book Tour

Listen To The 2008 National Book Award Winners()  

November 25, 2008 A novel about a notorious Florida outlaw and a history of Thomas Jefferson's hidden slave family were among the winners at the 59th annual awards.



The Big Pictures: Best Gift Books 2008()  

Best Gift Books for 2008

November 24, 2008 The season of giving makes us think big, and that means picture books — from coffee-table extravaganzas to smaller stuff that's big on surprise and ambition.


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