The Week's Best Stories From NPR Books This week: Meg Wolitzer's latest, Charles Frazier returns to the Civil War, the pressures of being the only black person in the room, a new Macbeth, and marriage-saving tips from a divorce lawyer.
books
Special Series

The Week's Best Stories From NPR Books

This week: Meg Wolitzer, Charles Frazier, Jo Nesbo, Nafissa Thompson-Spires and James Sexton.

With 'Sophia,' A Forgotten Suffragette Is Back In The Headlines

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/461512217/461627763" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Lady Churchill in April 1965 Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images

How Clementine Churchill Wielded Influence As Winston's Wife

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/461480007/461568511" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

How much do editors shape the final book we read? iStockphoto hide caption

toggle caption
iStockphoto

What Exactly Does An Editor Do? The Role Has Changed Over Time

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/461289330/461409330" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Claire Vaye Watkins' new novel is Gold Fame Citrus. Heike Steiweg hide caption

toggle caption
Heike Steiweg

Whom Do You Write For? 'Pandering' Essay Sparks A Conversation

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/459234225/459313099" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
NPR

NPR's Book Concierge Returns With More Than 260 Recommended Titles

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458959430/458959431" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Reginald Dwayne Betts serves as a national spokesman for the Campaign for Youth Justice. He is also the author of A Question of Freedom and Shahid Reads His Own Palm. Four Way hide caption

toggle caption
Four Way

In 'Bastards Of The Reagan Era' A Poet Says His Generation Was 'Just Lost'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458901392/458941159" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Downtrodden Protagonist Reveals Himself Room-By-Room In 'Hotels Of North America'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458767650/458809190" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Nataliya Arzamasova/iStockphoto

Maureen Corrigan's Best Books Of 2015: Short(ish) Books That Pack A Big Punch

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/458461851/458808029" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Historian Mary Beard says real gladiator competitions were probably not as brutal as the film Gladiator (starring Russell Crowe) would have us believe. Still, she says, "I loved Gladiator and I thought its depiction of gladiatorial combat, although it was an aggrandizing picture, was cleverly and expertly done." Universal/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Universal/Getty Images

From Gladiator Duels To Caesar's Last Words: The Myths Of Ancient Rome

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/457319066/457893133" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Rosa Parks joins in a march at the South African Embassy in Washington, Dec. 10, 1984, protesting that country's racial policies. She's famous for refusing to give up her seat on a bus in 1955, sparking the Montgomery boycotts — but her activism spanned her entire life. AP hide caption

toggle caption
AP

No Meekness Here: Meet Rosa Parks, 'Lifelong Freedom Fighter'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/457627426/457795130" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
iStockphoto

A Star-Crossed 'Scientific Fact': The Story Of Vulcan, Planet That Never Was

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/457782813/457795142" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Author David Mitchell's Number9Dream and Cloud Atlas were both shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Paul Stuart /Deckle Edge hide caption

toggle caption
Paul Stuart /Deckle Edge

Soul-Sucking Vampires Of David Mitchell's 'Slade House' Started On Twitter

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/456198580/456378008" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Brigitte Lacombe/Doubleday

'This Old Man' Looks Back On A Full Life

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/455920045/456007850" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript