NPR's Book of the Day In need of a good read? Or just want to keep up with the books everyone's talking about? NPR's Book of the Day gives you today's very best writing in a snackable, skimmable, pocket-sized podcast. Whether you're looking to engage with the big questions of our times – or temporarily escape from them – we've got an author who will speak to you, all genres, mood and writing styles included. Catch today's great books in 15 minutes or less.

NPR's Book of the Day

From NPR

In need of a good read? Or just want to keep up with the books everyone's talking about? NPR's Book of the Day gives you today's very best writing in a snackable, skimmable, pocket-sized podcast. Whether you're looking to engage with the big questions of our times – or temporarily escape from them – we've got an author who will speak to you, all genres, mood and writing styles included. Catch today's great books in 15 minutes or less.

Most Recent Episodes

Pantheon

'Shubeik Lubeik' imagines a world where you can buy and sell wishes

In Arabic, the rhyme Shubeik Lubeik means "your wish is my command." So it's an apt title for a new graphic novel by Deena Mohamed, which explores a world in which wishes are commodified and classified for consumption. Cheap wishes are packaged and sold in cans, while expensive wishes belong in bottles. In today's episode, Mohamed explains to NPR's Ayesha Rascoe how this system is meant to illustrate the ways wealth already works in our society, and how difficult it can be to decide what wishes are worth hoping for.

'Shubeik Lubeik' imagines a world where you can buy and sell wishes

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Soft Skull

In 'The Survivalists,' doomsday prepping becomes a way to regain control

Comedy writer Kashana Cauley grew up watching the film Conspiracy Theory, starring Mel Gibson and Julia Roberts, with her parents. She says that's likely her earliest entryway into a world she explores in her debut novel, The Survivalists – it follows a millennial lawyer falling in with a community of doomsday preppers. In this episode, Cauley tells NPR's Juana Summers about the control people might feel preparing for an impending apocalypse, and how that experience is ultimately shaped by our understanding of race in the U.S.

In 'The Survivalists,' doomsday prepping becomes a way to regain control

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Gallery Books

'Sorry, Sorry, Sorry' believes in the power of a good apology

Saying sorry can be really difficult sometimes – it requires a certain amount of accountability, reflection and empathy. But that's precisely why it can go so far in a familial, romantic or professional relationship. In their new book, Sorry, Sorry, Sorry, Marjorie Ingall and Susan McCarthy break down six essential steps to a good apology – and explain why it's more important to think about the impact of our words than the intent behind them. They tell NPR's Mary Louise Kelly that while focusing on regret centers our own feelings, saying sorry actually puts the other person first.

'Sorry, Sorry, Sorry' believes in the power of a good apology

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Simon & Schuster/Viking

Two books trace enslaved people's journey to freedom in the 19th century

Today's episode features two books examining the sacrifices made by enslaved people in the U.S. First, NPR's Steve Inskeep speaks with author Ilyan Woo about Master, Slave, Husband, Wife. It's a true story about a young couple that poses as an elderly white man and his slave in order to escape the South. Then, author Kai Thomas tells NPR's Ari Shapiro about how his novel, In the Upper Country, takes a closer look at the relationship between Black and indigenous people – and how free Black communities in Canada became a safe haven during the American Civil War.

Two books trace enslaved people's journey to freedom in the 19th century

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Doubleday

In 'Bad Cree,' a horror mystery unfolds in the aftermath of loss and colonialism

Jessica Johns' thriller, Bad Cree, opens with a startling image: a severed crow's head in someone's hand. In today's episode, Johns tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe she hoped that image would set the tone for the winding mystery within her new novel. It follows a young Cree woman who returns to a home and culture she left behind in hopes of helping her cope with grief. Much of Mackenzie's story involves her dreams, and Johns explains why she felt it was so important to honor that world – especially after a professor told her otherwise.

In 'Bad Cree,' a horror mystery unfolds in the aftermath of loss and colonialism

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Knopf

'Life on Delay' chronicles what it means to live with – and accept – a stutter

In 2019, John Hendrickson wrote a piece for The Atlantic about then-presidential candidate Joe Biden's life with a stutter. Hendrickson himself stutters – and in his new reported memoir, Life on Delay, he takes a closer look at his relationship with talking out loud. In this episode, Hendrickson tells NPR's Scott Simon about the physical discomfort that he and others experience when stuttering and how, beyond that, there are layers of mental work to be done to remember it's still worth it to keep speaking up.

'Life on Delay' chronicles what it means to live with – and accept – a stutter

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Bloomsbury Publishing

'Decent People' is a murder mystery grappling with race in the segregated South

In a small North Carolina town in 1976, three siblings are shot to death. That's the mystery at the center of De'Shawn Charles Winslow's new book, Decent People – and it's one the segregated town's white police officers aren't paying much attention to. In today's episode, Winslow tells NPR's Scott Simon about the heroine who takes it upon herself to solve the case, and why the author feels a need to paint a nuanced portrait of even the antagonists in his books.

'Decent People' is a murder mystery grappling with race in the segregated South

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Beacon Press

'You Just Need to Lose Weight' aims to change your thinking about being 'fat'

Author and podcast host Aubrey Gordon brings up an important reminder early in today's episode: In the United States, the average size is plus-sized. And yet there's an overwhelmingly negative connotation attached to both the word "fat" and to fat bodies. Gordon explores those societal taboos – as well as some of the misinformation surrounding them – in her new book, You Just Need to Lose Weight. She tells NPR's Juana Summers that there's a lot of power in reframing concerns about body image, especially when it comes to addressing judgments we may hold against ourselves.

'You Just Need to Lose Weight' aims to change your thinking about being 'fat'

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Candlewick/Oni Press

Susan Kuklin and Maia Kobabe's books explore gender identity throughout adolescence

Today's episode features interviews with two authors whose books on trans and queer gender identity are facing challenges in school districts across the U.S. First, NPR's Steve Inskeep sits down with writer and photographer Susan Kuklin to discuss her book, Beyond Magenta, which features the photos and narratives of six trans and nonbinary teens around the country. Then, NPR's Rachel Martin asks Maia Kobabe about Gender Queer, the graphic memoir detailing Kobabe's own experience navigating gender and communicating that journey to friends and family.

Susan Kuklin and Maia Kobabe's books explore gender identity throughout adolescence

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Pantheon

Art Spiegelman reissues 'Breakdowns' with new perspective on book bans

Author and cartoonist Art Spiegelman is familiar with the hysteria surrounding certain library books. In today's episode, he tells NPR's Scott Simon about how comic book burnings during his childhood in the 1950s weren't all that different from book bans taking place across the country today. Spiegelman says that though they tackled difficult subjects, he found then – and continues to find today – great emotional power in comics, such as his reissued collection Breakdowns. And he says he's felt deeply unsettled by the ongoing challenges against these kinds of books.

Art Spiegelman reissues 'Breakdowns' with new perspective on book bans

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