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

Scribner/Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Two authors on writing unlikable characters and the power of storytelling

The two books in today's episode point up how authors write and empathize with characters that aren't exactly likable. First we hear from Anthony Doerr who spoke to NPR correspondent Arun Rath about his Pulitzer-Prize winning novel All The Light We Cannot See. Doer talks about how we can better understand the moral choices people make by tuning into untold stories. Then, Scott Simon of NPR's Weekend Edition interviews author Yiyun Li about her new novel The Book of Goose. It's a story of two ruthless French girls who write a book that alters their lives.

Two authors on writing unlikable characters and the power of storytelling

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Tordotcom

A futuristic novel about the powerful escaping to space echoes today's world

Author Tochi Onyebuchi says that a majority of space stories he's come across favor those in power. Rich and white people get to escape in spaceships, whereas less affluent Black and brown people are left behind on an increasingly inhabitable Earth. His new science-fiction novel Goliath gets at this power imbalance, and the author spoke to Juana Summers about how it tells us so much about racial and economic disparities right now.

A futuristic novel about the powerful escaping to space echoes today's world

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Ten Speed Press

A family grows and changes in graphic memoir 'It Won't Always Be Like This'

In her new graphic memoir, It Won't Always Be Like This, NPR Editor Malaka Gharib revisits the summers she spent in Cairo, Egypt and how they shaped who she is today. She writes about her relationship with her dad and her step-mom, and how that relationship strengthened over the years even as the distance between them grew. The author, her dad, and her step-mom all spoke with NPR's Leila Fadel.

A family grows and changes in graphic memoir 'It Won't Always Be Like This'

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Knopf

'The Marriage Portrait' is a renaissance story of marriage, survival, and murder

The Marriage Portrait is Maggie O' Farrell's fictional interpretation of Lucrezia de Cosimo de Medici, who fights to survive her forced marriage with her abhorrent husband, Duke Alfonso II. In an interview with Mary Louise Kelly, O'Farrell discusses themes of loss of control and explains her philosophy in how she portrays these historical figures.

'The Marriage Portrait' is a renaissance story of marriage, survival, and murder

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Doubleday

'The Divider' looks at Trump's years in office through the eyes of his aides

When former President Donald Trump was in office, a number of his aides said they wanted to quit out of concern for the country's political and military future. Some did quit, some didn't. Political reporters Susan Glasser and Peter Baker conducted 300 interviews for their new book The Divider – two of those with the former President himself. They spoke to Ayesha Rascoe about Trump's White House tenure – and what it means for the American presidency at large.

'The Divider' looks at Trump's years in office through the eyes of his aides

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Balzer + Bray | Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books

Two YA books spark conversation about race and racial justice activism in youth

Today, YA adult novels – both of which have faced bans from schools and libraries – focus on conversations with kids regarding race and police brutality. First, Angie Thomas talks about The Hate You Give, in which an unarmed black teenager is killed by a police officer. Thomas reflects on victims of racial injustice in this discussion. Then, we hear from Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely about All American Boys, in which a white teen witnesses his black friend be brutalized by a cop. The two authors discuss in an interview with Karen Grigsby Bates the importance of being proactive in racial justice.

Two YA books spark conversation about race and racial justice activism in youth

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Hanover Square Press

'Daughter of Auschwitz' tells the harrowing story of a child Holocaust survivor

Tova Friedman says she's telling her story of having survived the Holocaust in her memoir, Daughter of Auschwitz, to honor the victims' memories. In a profound conversation with Scott Simon, she recalls her childhood – from her tiny apartment in the Jewish ghetto to the crematorium in the concentration camp – and grapples with how such atrocities could have even happened.

'Daughter of Auschwitz' tells the harrowing story of a child Holocaust survivor

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Viking

'The Unfolding' examines values of old, wealthy Republicans after Obama's election

The Unfolding examines the socio-political upheaval in the U.S. following the election of President Barack Obama – as seen through the lens of a wealthy, influential Republican power broker. Author A.M. Homes talks with Ari Shapiro about how she writes characters who she thinks wouldn't normally tell their stories – and also discusses the political evolution of America.

'The Unfolding' examines values of old, wealthy Republicans after Obama's election

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Orchard Books

Ruby Bridges recounts civil rights history through kid's eyes in new children's book

In her new children's book, I Am Ruby Bridges, civil rights activist Ruby Bridges tells the story of how she was the first black child to desegregate an all-white elementary school – through the eyes of her 6-year-old self. She shares in a conversation with Mary Louise Kelly stories of the racism she endured and how her loneliness at school may resonate with kids today.

Ruby Bridges recounts civil rights history through kid's eyes in new children's book

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Atria/One Signal Publishers

Zelensky aide gives insight on war in Ukraine in 'The Fight for Our Lives'

Iuliia Mendel, press secretary to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, offers a peek behind the curtain in her new memoir, The Fight of Our Lives: My Time with Zelenskyy, Ukraine's Battle for Democracy and What it Means for the World. In an interview with Mary Louise Kelly, Mendel talks about Vladimir Putin – and the resilience of Ukraine.

Zelensky aide gives insight on war in Ukraine in 'The Fight for Our Lives'

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