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

Nikole Hannah Jones and Adam Rubin work to make kids' books more approachable

Today's interviews center on children's books with wildly different topics, but they both aim to make reading more accessible for kids. Nikole Hannah Jones, working with Renee Watson, turned the 1619 Project into a picture book called Born On The Water. They told NPR their goal was "to say to young people - to young Black Americans, you belong here." Next, Adam Rubin has on his collection of short stories that are all different but share the same title: The Ice Cream Machine. Rubin told NPR's Rachel Martin that there are so many ways to tell a story. This is an encore episode from March 2022.

Nikole Hannah Jones and Adam Rubin work to make kids' books more approachable

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'South To America' shows how southern history shaped our nation

Author Imani Perry is a child of the South. In her newest book South to America: A Journey Below the Mason-Dixon to Understand the Soul of a Nation, she gives the reader a look at the South's complicated history, interwoven with her own personal anecdotes. Even though the South has a difficult history, Perry contends, it provides important context for America today. Perry told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly that in order to write this book she had to stop romanticizing the place she calls home – and, instead, look at it starkly. This is an encore episode from January 2022.

'South To America' shows how southern history shaped our nation

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Chinese American culture, murder mystery, and Dostoyevsky in 'The Family Chao'

Patriarch Leo Chao is murdered at his restaurant at the beginning of Lan Samantha Chang's new novel The Family Chao. Eventually family secrets and bitterness reveal themselves — much like a Dostoyevsky novel, from whom Chao took a lot of inspiration. But NPR's Scott Simon points out that even though this novel is about a murder, it's quite funny. Chang told Simon that she just enjoyed writing it so much that humor became a natural part of it. This is an encore episode from February 2022.

Chinese American culture, murder mystery, and Dostoyevsky in 'The Family Chao'

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Devon Price on self-acceptance and expression for people with autism

For people with autism, navigating a neurotypical world can be exhausting. Many deploy strategies to fit in with others, a tactic often referred to as masking. Social psychologist Devon Price spoke to Eric Garcia, author of Unmasking Autism, on Life Kit about the freedom that comes from unmasking. Price says neurodivergent people can find greater self-acceptance by getting in touch with the person they were before they started trying to fit in. Price and Garcia, who both have autism, talk about how unmasking means progress for disability justice. This is an encore episode from May 2022.

Devon Price on self-acceptance and expression for people with autism

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Failure motivates Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn

The 2022 Winter Olympics are right around the corner, so to prepare we are bringing you a conversation with skier Lindsey Vonn. Her new memoir, Rise, looks at her road to becoming a ski champion and Olympic medalist. Spoiler alert: it was not all sunshine and roses. Vonn told NPR's A Martinez that she's lucky she is wired in a way that makes negativity a driving force because she has seen the pressure and stress of being an Olympic athlete derail other people's careers.

Failure motivates Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn

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Michael di Capua Books/Random House Books for Young Readers

Family pets and complicated emotions in two children's books

Today, two children's books that touch on a little bit of everything: from pets and illustrations to managing complicated emotions. First, Ian Falconer talks about his new book Two Dogs, a story inspired by his sister's dachshunds. In an interview with Ailsa Chang on All Things Considered, Falconer spoke about the deeper message – or lack thereof – of his work. Then, we hear from Darryl McDaniels of Run-DMC about his new book, Darryl's Dream, inspired by his personal story. In an interview with Here and Now's Peter O'Dowd, McDaniels spoke about using books to teach kids about adult feelings.

Family pets and complicated emotions in two children's books

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Rodale Books

Journalist Alan Henry's new book is an invitation to get Seen, Heard, and Paid

The workplace can be a tricky - even fraught - place to navigate for anyone, but for those who come from marginalized backgrounds, it can be even tougher. How can you most effectively advocate for yourself? How can you make sure your work is being seen? Alan Henry's new book, Seen, Heard, and Paid, is an invitation to do just that. In an interview with Ana Sale on It's Been a Minute, the journalist and Wired editor gives practical advice for feeling empowered at work, taking control of your own schedule, and ultimately making work work for you, too.

Journalist Alan Henry's new book is an invitation to get Seen, Heard, and Paid

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Doubleday

Candice Millard explores the complicated legacy of exploration in 'River of Gods'

The quest to find the headwaters of the Nile River was the mid-19th century's equivalent to the space race. In her new nonfiction book, River of God, Candice Millard follows the story of two bitter rivals on an adventure into uncharted places to claim that prize for England. In an interview with Scott Simon on Weekend Edition Saturday, Millard spoke about the complicated legacy of the Nile's exploration and the arrogance behind "discovering" a land that has been populated for millions of years. And don't say we didn't warn you about the part where a beetle gets in someone's ear...

Candice Millard explores the complicated legacy of exploration in 'River of Gods'

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Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

In 'Freewater' Amina Luqman-Dawson uses YA fiction to dive deep into Black history

Today, the Great Dismal Swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge stretching between Virginia and North Carolina. But from the late 1600s to the Civil War, indigenous peoples and slaves sought refuge from persecution in the sprawling forested wetland. In her novel for young adults, titled Freewater, author Amina Luqman-Dawson imagines a world inside the swamp's colonies, filled with freedom, love, and change. In an interview with Here and Now's Celeste Headlee, Luqman-Dawson talks about her decision to stay away from writing a non-fiction book and the power of historical fiction for teens and kids.

In 'Freewater' Amina Luqman-Dawson uses YA fiction to dive deep into Black history

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Simon & Schuster

'The Inheritors' explores the lasting effects of Apartheid in South Africa

It's been 28 years since Apartheid ended in South Africa, but the country's people are still wrestling with the aftermath of segregationist policies. In her book, The Inheritors, journalist Eve Fairbanks shows – through the stories of three people – how decades of institutionalized racism etched themselves into the country's psyche. In an interview with Ayesha Rascoe on Weekend Edition Saturday, Fairbanks said she wanted to help people understand South Africa and its history in a more complex and nuanced way.

'The Inheritors' explores the lasting effects of Apartheid in South Africa

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