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Updated: 4 hours 24 min ago

'Unforgivable Love' Resets Steamy 'Dangerous Liaisons' In 1940s Harlem

7 hours 14 min ago

The retelling of the 1782 French novel has just as much betrayal and bed-hopping as the original, but in a new locale. Author Sophfronia Scott explains why Harlem — and how she writes good sex scenes.

(Image credit: Jennifer Kerrigan/NPR)

Categories: Book Reviews

Leveling Up In The Video Game Industry, Without Checkpoints: 'Significant Zero'

8 hours 16 min ago

Videogame writer Walt Williams describes his Red-Bull-and-Adderal-fueled advancement in a competitive and secretive industry. Critic Jason Sheehan says the book "plays out ... like a videogame."

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Categories: Book Reviews

'Inside Studio 54' Takes You Behind The Velvet Rope, And Into Some Dark Corners

Sat, 09/23/2017 - 07:00

Owner Mark Fleischman's memoir drops plenty of celebrity names while detailing the day-to-day logistics (and the drugs) that kept the nightspot running.

(Image credit: Allan Tannenbaum/Getty Images)

Categories: Book Reviews

A Suicide Reverberates In 'The Ninth Hour'

Sat, 09/23/2017 - 05:11

NPR's Scott Simon talks to author Alice McDermott about her new novel, The Ninth Hour. It starts with a suicide and then reveals how the kindness of faithful strangers can steer people's lives.

Categories: Book Reviews

Poetry For Kids Who Are 'Just No Good At Rhyming'

Sat, 09/23/2017 - 05:11

Poetry has to rhyme, doesn't it? Chris Harris talks with Scott Simon about his new book for kids called I'm Just No good at Rhyming.

Categories: Book Reviews

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

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 07:00

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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Categories: Book Reviews

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

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 04:01

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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Categories: Book Reviews

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

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 04:00

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.

(Image credit: Jerry Young/Getty Images)

Categories: Book Reviews

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

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:54

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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Categories: Book Reviews

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

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 09:52

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.

Categories: Book Reviews

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

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 07:00

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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Categories: Book Reviews

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

Wed, 09/20/2017 - 04:01

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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Categories: Book Reviews

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

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 13:49

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)

Categories: Book Reviews

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

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 11:55

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.

Categories: Book Reviews

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

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 07:01

"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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Categories: Book Reviews

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

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 04:00

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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Categories: Book Reviews

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

Tue, 09/19/2017 - 02:21

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."

(Image credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Categories: Book Reviews

'School For Good And Evil' Is A Kids' Fantasy Series For The Fake News Era

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 13:45

"Good and evil — they mix in the world," says author Soman Chainani. "Both sides claim to be good, both sides claim to be telling the truth." His latest in the series is called Quests for Glory.

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Categories: Book Reviews

Clinton Won't Rule Out Questioning 2016 Election, But Says No Clear Means To Do So

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 09:49

Hillary Clinton tells Fresh Air the mechanism for such a challenge does not exist in the U.S. "and usually we don't need it." She also says she is "optimistic about our country, but I am not naive."

(Image credit: Courtesy of Jessica Kourkounis)

Categories: Book Reviews

Spies, Betrayal, And Some Really Good Food In 'Dinner At The Center Of The Earth'

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 07:00

Nathan Englander's latest tells the fraught history of Israel and Palestine with quotidian details that make the story feel not historically accurate, but historically intimate.

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Categories: Book Reviews