Book Reviews

'F' Is For Fraudster In A Family Novel For Our Modern Times

NPR Books - August 20, 2014 - 1:31pm

Daniel Kehlmann's F, about three brothers abandoned by their father, examines the detail of lives lived without integrity. It is brilliantly translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway.

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To Achieve Diversity In Publishing, A Difficult Dialogue Beats Silence

NPR Books - August 20, 2014 - 12:13pm

The American publishing industry has long been the realm of the privileged few. Lately, though, some writers of color are making their voices heard — and starting some uncomfortable conversations.

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Book News: Laura Ingalls Wilder's Memoir To Be Published

NPR Books - August 20, 2014 - 3:51am

Also: Poet Simin Behbahani, known as the "Lioness of Iran," has died; novelist Lev Grossman on finding his vocation.

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The Depths Of Memory And Pain In 'Ancient Oceans'

NPR Books - August 20, 2014 - 3:03am

David Connerley Nahm's debut, Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky, is full of what critic Michael Schaub calls "anti-nostalgia," the pain of intrusive memories that come when you're least prepared.

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'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 12:58pm

Protests in Ferguson, Mo., continue in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by police on Aug. 9. The incident reminds author Laila Lalami of James Baldwin's Notes of a Native Son.

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Simin Behbahani, 'Lioness Of Iran,' Dies At 87

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 12:05pm

Iranian poet and women's rights advocate Simin Behbahani has died. Her work probed the social and political challenges that faced Iran after its Islamic Revolution. She was 87.

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A Frustrated Professor Sounds Off To 'Committee Members'

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 12:05pm

The protagonist of Julie Schumacher's new Dear Committee Members is frustrated with the future of American arts and letters — and the feckless students who pester him for recommendation letters.

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In Elite MFA Programs, The Challenge Of Writing While 'Other'

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 11:54am

Budding writers often turn to graduate workshops for lessons on the craft and as a gateway to publishers. But in classes filled with middle-class white people, many writers of color feel typecast.

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Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America's Medical System

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 11:01am

In his new memoir, Doctored, Sandeep Jauhar describes a growing discontent among doctors and how it's affecting patients. He says rushed doctors are often practicing "defensive medicine."

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Malala Yousafzai: By the Book

New York Times book reviews - August 19, 2014 - 10:16am
The activist and co-author of “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World” relished “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” the first book she read in the hospital when recovering from an attack by the Taliban.






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Poet Known As The 'Lioness Of Iran' Dies At 87

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 6:48am

Simin Behbahani, renowned for her piercing and fierce language, published 19 books of poetry over the course of six decades.

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Bookends: Can Writing Be Taught?

New York Times book reviews - August 19, 2014 - 6:00am
Rivka Galchen and Zoë Heller discuss whether writing can be taught.






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Book News: J.K. Rowling Profiles 'Singing Sorceress' Celestina Warbeck

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 3:10am

Also: King Richard III's "privileged" diet; novelist Karen Russell on the fantastical.

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You Would Think 'Adultery' Would Be A Little More Tantalizing

NPR Books - August 19, 2014 - 3:03am

Critic Heller McAlpin says readers picking up Paulo Coelho's new Adultery in search of deep philosophical insight on marital infidelity and a lack of cliches might be better off with Madame Bovary.

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A Native American Story That Leaves 'Feathers Or Leather' Cliches Behind

NPR Books - August 18, 2014 - 11:37pm

Filmmakers Alex and Andrew Smith knew American Indian writer James Welch — he was a family friend. But as non-Native Americans, they had concerns about adapting his iconic novel, Winter in the Blood.

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Haruki Murakami Paints A 'Colorless' Character In A Vividly Imagined World

NPR Books - August 18, 2014 - 1:03pm

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki, about a young man looking for closure, offers Haruki Murakami's trademark blend of fantasy and reality. Some moments fall flat, but many others are intoxicating.

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‘Churchill and Empire,’ by Lawrence James

New York Times book reviews - August 18, 2014 - 12:25pm
A study of Winston Churchill’s contradictions and passions and his long relationship with empire.






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Seeking Proof For Why We Feel Terrible After Too Many Drinks

NPR Books - August 18, 2014 - 11:35am

Author Adam Rogers says there are lots of myths about what causes hangovers. His new book, Proof: The Science of Booze, explores these and other scientific mysteries of alcohol's effect on the body.

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'Sweetness #9' Satirizes Food Wars And Artificial America

NPR Books - August 18, 2014 - 10:46am

The novel is about a flavor chemist who tests a sweetener on lab rats and monkeys and finds side effects the company covers up. Author Stephan Eirik Clark says he was inspired by Fast Food Nation.

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Book News: Ann Leckie's 'Ancillary Justice' Wins Hugo Award

NPR Books - August 18, 2014 - 5:17am

Also: the virtues of Fanny Price; notable books coming out this week.

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