NPR Books

In 'The Ninth Hour,' A Tonic For The Ills Of The World

NPR Books - September 21, 2017 - 6:00am

Alice McDermott's new novel immerses readers in the homely details of Irish Catholic Brooklyn in the early decades of the 20th century, but also addresses bigger, universal questions of love and life.

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In 'The Twelve-Mile Straight,' Characters Are Symbols First, People Second

NPR Books - September 21, 2017 - 3:01am

Eleanor Henderson's novel, set in 1930s Georgia, seeks to portray a time when "slavery was over, but not past," says our reviewer. But a lack of nuance keeps its characters from emerging as individuals.

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At Duke University, A Bizarre Tour Through American History And Palates

NPR Books - September 21, 2017 - 3:00am

Through the Rubenstein Test Kitchen project, librarians and staff re-create historical recipes from thousands of cookbooks in the collections. Some dishes are culturally telling ... and comical.

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Novel 'Forest Dark' And Dog Book 'Afterglow' Consider The Meaning Of Life

NPR Books - September 20, 2017 - 8:54am

Critic Maureen Corrigan reviews two books that use experimental forms to tackle weighty topics. "Both of these odd new books offer something special," she says.

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'Cuz' Examines The Tragic Life And Death Of A Young Black Man In LA

NPR Books - September 20, 2017 - 8:52am

Danielle Allen's memoir centers on her cousin Michael, who was sentenced to a long prison term for carjacking when he was 15. Three years after his release, he was found shot to death in a parked car.

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Zine And Heard: In 'Moxie,' A Young Woman Fights Back

NPR Books - September 20, 2017 - 6:00am

In Jennifer Mathieu's novel, "nice girl" Vivian secretly publishes a zine decrying her high school's culture of sexist harassment. Our reviewer says Moxie works on a "pure, wish-fulfillment level."

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In A Future Ruled By Big Pharma, A Robot Tentatively Explores Freedom — And Sex: 'Autonomous'

NPR Books - September 20, 2017 - 3:01am

Annalee Newitz's tale of a pharmaceutical pirate and the dangerous agents hunting her is built on tender, intimate characterizations that probe notions of selfhood, gender and ownership.

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'The Autobiography Of Gucci Mane': A Story Of Rap And Rebirth

NPR Books - September 19, 2017 - 12:49pm

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks to rapper about his new book, The Autobiography of Gucci Mane. It traces his life as an artist who forged an unlikely path to stardom and personal rebirth.

(Image credit: Cameron Kirkland/Courtesy of the artist)

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Could The Trump Presidency Lead To An Era Of Democratic Renewal?

NPR Books - September 19, 2017 - 10:55am

Journalists E.J. Dionne and Norm Ornstein say that a new wave of political activism springs from the fact that Trump is unfit for office. Their new book (with Thomas Mann) is One Nation After Trump.

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Wooooo! 'Second Nature' Is A Winningly Unadorned Memoir Of The Wrestling Life

NPR Books - September 19, 2017 - 6:01am

"Nature Boy" Ric Flair is one of the greatest pro wrestlers of all time. His daughter Charlotte followed him into the ring, and now, they've written a joint memoir that's moving and brutally honest.

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'Landslide' Probes A Mother-Daughter Bond In Spare, Careful Prose

NPR Books - September 19, 2017 - 3:00am

In her new essay collection, Minna Zalman Proctor digs deep into her relationship with her late mother. Her descriptions of her mother are beautiful, though the fragmented writing can feel evasive.

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Silicon Valley's Ellen Pao Tackles Sex Discrimination, Workplace Diversity In Memoir

NPR Books - September 19, 2017 - 1:21am

The tech investor dives into the lawsuit that thrust her into the national spotlight and the workplace conditions that prompted it. She says firms are largely applying "tepid diversity solutions."

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December 31, 1969 - 4:00pm