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.
Brandon Chew

The Many Masks Of Batman In 'Caped Crusade'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/471603073/471622200" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

British newspaper the Independent announced it will move to a digital-only format later this month. Dan Kitwood/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Whither Bridget Jones? Britain's 'Independent' Newspaper Goes Digital

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/471299638/471543356" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Author Helen Oyeyemi's new book reflects her fascination with keys. Manchul Kim hide caption

toggle caption
Manchul Kim

Keys Are The Key To 'What Is Not Yours'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/470878476/471233429" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, who died in 2012, spent much of his life obsessed with death. In 2011 he told Fresh Air's Terry Gross: "There are so many beautiful things in the world which I will have to leave when I die, but I'm ready, I'm ready, I'm ready." Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

toggle caption
Mary Altaffer/AP

With Fear, Determination And Poetry: How Great Writers Face Death

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/470280341/470280342" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

It took a little over a year for Sara Baume's debut novel — about a troubled man who adopts a one-eyed dog — to go from being accepted for publication to being published. "I made the clay dogs to keep the thing alive for myself after it was finished, but before it was a book," she writes on her blog. Sara Baume hide caption

toggle caption
Sara Baume

For A Young Irish Artist And Author, Words Are Anchored In Images

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/470670864/470776703" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Left: Julia Ward Howe, pictured during her honeymoon in England. Right: Her husband, Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe. He would soon prove controlling of every aspect of her life, including what she ate. The Yellow House Papers: The Laura E. Richards Collection, Gardiner Library Association and Maine Historical Society, Coll. 2085, RG10, F6; Samuel Gridley Howe, 1857. Courtesy of Perkins School for the Blind Archives. hide caption

toggle caption
The Yellow House Papers: The Laura E. Richards Collection, Gardiner Library Association and Maine Historical Society, Coll. 2085, RG10, F6; Samuel Gridley Howe, 1857. Courtesy of Perkins School for the Blind Archives.

Author Interview: Annie Dillard, Author of 'The Abundance'

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/470102363/470194317" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Bartender Sunny Balzano (left) transformed a longshoremen's bar in Red Hook, Brooklyn into a local institution. He's pictured above with Tim Sultan, who recounts Balzano's story in Sunny's Nights. Evan Sung hide caption

toggle caption
Evan Sung

Longtime Brooklyn Bartender Who Inspired 'Sunny's Nights' Has Died

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/468932247/470120026" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

According to the U.S. Census, single adult women now outnumber married adult women in America. Oivind Hovland/Ikon Images/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption
Oivind Hovland/Ikon Images/Getty Images

Single By Choice: Why Fewer American Women Are Married Than Ever Before

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/468688887/468738208" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

'The Ballad Of Black Tom' Offers A Tribute To And Critique Of Lovecraft

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/468558238/468586638" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A Writer-Engineer's Historical Fiction Hack: Add Dragons

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/467810806/468366675" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Marley Dias Andrea Cipriani Mecchi hide caption

toggle caption
Andrea Cipriani Mecchi

Where's The Color In Kids' Lit? Ask The Girl With 1,000 Books (And Counting)

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/467969663/468216230" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

The Indecisive Chicken combines the recipes and life stories of eight women from communities across India who now live in Dharavi, a teeming Mumbai slum. Sarita Rai, from a village in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, contributed a recipe for pharas, "semi-circular pockets of rice dough" filled with chickpea flour, served steamed or deep-fried. Neville Sukhia/Courtesy of The Indecisive Chicken: Stories and recipes from eight Dharavi cooks hide caption

toggle caption
Neville Sukhia/Courtesy of The Indecisive Chicken: Stories and recipes from eight Dharavi cooks