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Updated: 17 hours 27 min ago

Denis Johnson, Author Of 'Jesus' Son' And 'Tree Of Smoke,' Dies At 67

Fri, 05/26/2017 - 06:56

The National Book Award-winning novelist was perhaps best known for Jesus' Son, a book of interwoven stories focused on the lives of addicts. A spokesman for his publisher tells NPR he died Thursday.

(Image credit: Cindy Johnson/ Courtesy of Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

Categories: Book Reviews

Confronting the Legacy of Racism in America

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 08:06

A conversation with National Book Award-winning author Ibram X. Kendi about race and racism in America.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Bowie State University)

Categories: Book Reviews

Reading The Game: Witcher 3

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 07:00

Our occasional series on storytelling in video games returns with an epic, week-long journey into The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, the latest installment of the adventures of monster-hunter Geralt of Rivia.

(Image credit: CD Projekt Red)

Categories: Book Reviews

A Dancer Is Unstrung By Grief In 'Isadora'

Thu, 05/25/2017 - 04:00

The great American dancer Isadora Duncan led a tragic life, and her worst year — just after the deaths of her first two children in an accident, forms the core of Amelia Gray's powerful new novel.

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Categories: Book Reviews

Searching For A Summer Escape? These 6 Books Will Carry You Away

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 11:55

Journeys, near and far, into the past and even into near space, are the subject of the novels, memoirs and narrative histories that make up book critic Maureen Corrigan's early summer reading list.

Categories: Book Reviews

It's A Bird, It's A Plane ... It's Our Comics And Graphic Novels Reader Poll!

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 04:00

Our famous summer reader poll is back, and this year we're all about comics and graphic novels! Whether it's your childhood favorite or the webcomic you binged last week, we want to know about it.

(Image credit: Shannon Wright for NPR)

Categories: Book Reviews

The Power Of Music Is At The Heart Of 'Black Mad Wheel'

Wed, 05/24/2017 - 02:00

Detroit garage-rocker Josh Malerman's second novel follows a fictional 1950s rock bad recruited by the government to find the source of a mysterious, ominous sound emanating from the Namib Desert.

(Image credit: Liam James Doyle/NPR)

Categories: Book Reviews

'Times' Book Review Editor Shares Her Love Of Reading In 'My Life With Bob'

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:15

Pamela Paul of The New York Times talks about her own new book, which chronicles every book she's read since she was 17 years old. Even if a work isn't great, she refuses to brush it aside cavalierly.

Categories: Book Reviews

'Smile Stealers' Recalls A Time When Dentists Routinely Reached For The Pliers

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 10:15

Medical historian Richard Barnett traces the history of dentistry in his new book. He says that prior to the 18th century, the profession was often practiced by charlatans with "big muscles."

Categories: Book Reviews

Second Thoughts About A Second Marriage In 'Standard Deviation'

Tue, 05/23/2017 - 04:00

Katherine Heiny's first novel for adults is a warmhearted and funny — if overly long — portrait of a man who begins to doubt his chaotic, talkative second wife after 12 years of marriage.

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Categories: Book Reviews

Churchill, Orwell And The Fight Against Totalitarianism

Mon, 05/22/2017 - 10:29

Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Tom Ricks says the writings of Winston Churchill and George Orwell still resonate today. Ricks also discusses the generals serving in the Trump administration.

Categories: Book Reviews

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Writes About His Friendship With Coach Wooden

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 04:13

NPR's Lulu Garcia-Navarro talks to writer and sports legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar about his book, Coach Wooden and Me, about his 50-year relationship with his UCLA basketball coach John Wooden.

Categories: Book Reviews

In 'Margot Sanchez,' A Teen Grows Up And Learns To Love The Bronx

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 04:11

Instead of going to the beach with her prep school friends, Margot is stuck working at her father's supermarket in the Bronx. Lilliam Rivera says her YA novel was inspired by her own Bronx childhood.

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Categories: Book Reviews

In 'A King's Obsession,' Anne Boleyn's True Love Is Power

Sun, 05/21/2017 - 04:00

Alison Weir takes a fresh look at familiar territory in this retelling of the story of Anne Boleyn. Weir's version of Anne is fiercely smart and guilty only of craving power that was hers by right.

(Image credit: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR)

Categories: Book Reviews

'Standard Deviation' Is A Story Of Marriage And Origami

Sat, 05/20/2017 - 05:02

A husband and wife are complete opposites. She's charming and effusive, he's a buttoned-down man of routine. Katherine Heiny tells NPR's Scott Simon about her first novel, Standard Deviation.

Categories: Book Reviews

Leaving High School Behind For A Dangerous Life In 'A Good Country'

Sat, 05/20/2017 - 05:02

Laleh Khadivi's new novel traces the path of a young Muslim man in California, the son of strict Iranian immigrant parents, from his first bong hit at age 14 to his eventual radicalization.

(Image credit: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR)

Categories: Book Reviews

We Have Always Been Bored — 'Yawn' Wonders Why

Sat, 05/20/2017 - 04:00

Mary Mann's new book digs into a phenomenon as old as humanity: boredom. Why do we get bored? Is there a cure? Yawn is a thoughtful read, but its mix of autobiography and scholarship doesn't jell.

(Image credit: Raquel Zaldivar/NPR)

Categories: Book Reviews

Baseball Player David Ortiz On Being 'Big Papi'

Fri, 05/19/2017 - 02:10

David Greene talks with legendary baseball player David Ortiz. His career includes three World Series wins with the Boston Red Sox. Ortiz retired in 2016 and is out with a new memoir.

Categories: Book Reviews

An American Abroad Searches For Self In 'Florence In Ecstasy'

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 09:30

Jessie Chaffee's novel about a troubled young American woman in Florence is beautiful and exhausting; stick with it, and you'll find a thoughtful reexamination of a classic trope, the American abroad.

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Categories: Book Reviews

Sir Harold Evans Gets Righteous About Writing

Thu, 05/18/2017 - 08:40

What's the value of choosing the right word? How has the political jargon of our day muddied our sense of clear writing?

(Image credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images for TIME)

Categories: Book Reviews