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Books at NPR

Thursday, Nov 29

21

Author And Artist Illustrates Life After A Sudden Death In 'Widower's Notebook'

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When Jonathan Santlofer's wife died five years ago, he was thrown into a "fugue state" of grief. Sketching her portrait from old photographs has helped him stay close to her.

20

'Come With Me' Lays Bare The Risks And Regrets Of Our Online Lives

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Helen Schulman splices together an old-school family drama with high-tech fantasy in her new novel, a rich, closely observed story about regrets and risk-taking in the Internet age.

14

Gorgeous 'Black Future Month' Tracks A Writer's Development

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N.K. Jemisin's new story collection is a story in itself, a chronicle of her career that has the seeds of her award-winning novels, but also lovely and thought-provoking stand-alone work.

Wednesday, Nov 28

21

Witty And Stylish, 'Insurrecto' Offers An Inside View Of The Pain Of Colonization

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Gina Apostol's dizzying new novel begin in present-day Manila before diving into the late 19th century — and the tortuous relationship between the U.S. and the Philippines.

A Trauma Surgeon Who Survived Gun Violence Is Taking On The NRA

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When Joseph Sakran was 17, he was shot in the throat after a high school football game. That experience inspired him to become a surgeon — and to speak out against gun violence.

19

Margaret Atwood Is Writing A Sequel To 'The Handmaid's Tale'

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Atwood said that she was inspired by readers' questions about the dystopian world of Gilead — and, she says, by "the world we've been living in." It's set to be released next September.

'In Search Of The Canary Tree' Highlights The Links Between Nature, Climate And Us

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Conservation scientist Lauren E. Oakes weaves her musings about humans' place in a warming world together with conservation science in a moving and effective way.

17

'Evening In Paradise' Remembers Those Who Might Otherwise Be Forgotten

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This second posthumous anthology of stories by Lucia Berlin is full of deeply felt stories about lives on the fringe, alternately comic and tragic, bound together by Berlin's love for her characters.

Tuesday, Nov 27

20

New Biography Reveals The Life And Legacy Of Saxophonist Dexter Gordon

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Gordon started out as a bebop prodigy in the '40s, and went on to star in the '86 film 'Round Midnight. Maxine Gordon captures her late husband's voice and music in the book Sophisticated Giant.

16

Bernie Sanders Criticizes Democrats And Republicans In 'Where We Go From Here'

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The former presidential candidate's latest book is just what you might expect from this genre: His platforms are presented but not interrogated — and there is little self-reflection.

12

NPR's Book Concierge: Our Guide To 2018's Great Reads

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The Book Concierge is back! Explore more than 300 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics.

Monday, Nov 26

23

Kate DiCamillo, Chronicler Of The Hard Truths Of Youth

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She's hugely popular and comes across as something of a smart aleck, but the children's author says she retains the timidity of her youth. She says that helps her connect to her young readers.

20

'The Beautiful Cure' Reveals The 'Profound' Power Of The Immune System

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Immunologist Daniel Davis says scientists are harnessing the power of the immune system to create new medications to fight cancer, auto-immune conditions and other diseases.

'Dance In America' Aims To Chronicle The Art In The U.S.

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Mindy Aloff has attempted the nearly impossible task of collecting, in an anthology, the essays, excerpts, and asides that create a snapshot of the history of American dance.

17

'Why We Dream' Is A Spirited, Cogent Defense Of Dreams And Dream-Telling

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"If we fail to take the simple steps to remember and understand our dreams, we are throwing away a gift from our brains without bothering to open it," writes Alice Robb.

Sunday, Nov 25

14

Book Review: 'Tales From The Inner City'

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NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer speaks with author and illustrator Shaun Tan about his new book, "Tales from the Inner City," which explores the relationship between humans and animals living in a city.

Just How Tight Are Family Ties When Your Sister's A 'Serial Killer'?

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Oyinkan Braithwaite's wry, sly debut novel follows two sisters, dowdy Korede and gorgeous Ayoola — who has a habit of killing her boyfriends. Korede cleans up her sister's messes, but for how long?

Saturday, Nov 24

00

How To Stay 'Vegan Strong' These Holidays

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How to survive the holidays if you're a vegan? Bill Muir has some ideas. He speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about his new book, Vegan Strong.

14

Book Review: 'The Friend' Wins 2018 National Book Award For Fiction

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NPR's Scott Simon speaks with author Sigrid Nunez about her novel, "The Friend," which just won the 2018 National Book Award for Fiction.

Unseen Forces Menace 'The Houseguest'

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Amparo Dávila is often described as Mexico's answer to Shirley Jackson, and The Houseguest -- her first collection to be translated into English --radiates a sense of unease and calamity.

Thursday, Nov 22

17

'Hardly Children' Is Restless And Strange — Just Like Humanity

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The spare, slightly creepy off-white cover of Laura Adamczyk's debut collection is perfect for the uncomfortable stories within it, works that examine family, childhood, adulthood, gender and race.

15

Here's What College Freshmen Are Reading

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Colleges across the U.S. assign books to introduce new ideas to incoming students. This year, colleges selected books on topics that ranged from climate change to race, fiction and non-fiction

Wednesday, Nov 21

18

'Heirs Of The Founders' Looks At Efforts To Stave Off Civil War

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H.W. Brands brings to life a transitional era of American politics when the scope and power of the federal government was unknown, as were the boundaries of the United States.

14

An Artist Looks Back — Way Back — In 'I Am Young'

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M. Dean's psychedelic collection of graphic short stories chronicles how music affects the lives of a group of young people in the 1960s and '70s, with masterfully nostalgia-invoking illustrations.

'Extinctions' Digs Up Buried Memories and Unacknowledged History

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The title Josephine Wilson's new novel refers to its protagonist, an elderly man who feels useless, extinct — and whose journey is to find the means for growth and change within himself.

Tuesday, Nov 20

23

Author Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall Embarks On The Quest To Cure Hangovers In 'Hungover'

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As long as humans have imbibed alcohol, they've had hangovers. NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall about his book, Hungover: The Morning After and One Man's Quest for the Cure.

16

'Che' Graphic Biography Explores The Myths And Truths Of The Legend

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While José Hernández and Jon Lee Anderson struggle continually to balance nuanced truth with cartoony distillation, Che remains a remarkable accomplishment.

'Little Dancer' Brings Us To See The Person Behind The Famous Degas Sculpture

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Degas's sculpture "Little Dancer Aged Fourteen" is known the world over. But who is that young lady he depicts? Camille Laurens aims to find out — and realizes something about herself in the process.

Monday, Nov 19

18

Exclusive: 'Friday Black,' 'There There' And More Longlisted For Aspen Words Prize

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Other titles include Ling Ma's Severance and Elaine Castillo's America is Not the Heart. This is the second year for the prize, which focuses on fiction that addresses contemporary issues.

Sunday, Nov 18

23

Bookstore's Tweet On The Sale Of A Children's Book After 27 Years Goes Viral

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Broadhursts Bookshop in Southport, England, sold the book about William the Conqueror that had sat on the shelf for decades. The store's tweet about the sale has inspired thousands of replies.