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NPR's brings you news about books and authors along with our picks for great reads. Interviews, reviews, the NPR Bestseller Lists, New in Paperback and much more.
Updated: 1 hour 43 min ago

Prepare For 'The End Of College': Here's What Free Higher Ed Looks Like

7 hours 45 min ago

In his new book, Kevin Carey envisions a future in which online education programs solve two of colleges' biggest problems: costs and admissions.

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'Welcome To Braggsville' Isn't Quite 'Invisible Man,' But It's Close

7 hours 45 min ago

T. Geronimo Johnson's latest follows four Berkeley students who take an American history class that leads to disaster. It's an ambitious book about race that wants to say something big about America.

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'The Devil's Detective' Is A Grim Tour Through A Noirish Hell

11 hours 51 min ago

Hell is actually a bureaucracy in Simon Kurt Unsworth's debut novel. Reviewer Jason Heller says the tale of a demonic murder investigation starts strong but gets mired in the details of infernal life.

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A Life Examined — And Examined, And Examined In 'Ongoingness'

14 hours 51 min ago

Writer Sarah Manguso has been a compulsive diarist since childhood; her new memoir documents the ways motherhood has changed her writing. Critic Heller McAlpin says it's full of lovely observations.

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Ever Cheat At Monopoly? So Did Its Creator: He Stole The Idea From A Woman

18 hours 18 min ago

The game Charles Darrow sold in the 1930s bore a striking resemblance to a game Lizzie Magie patented in 1904. In The Monopolists, Mary Pilon tells Monopoly's origin story.

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Chris Offutt Reveals A Family Secret In 'My Father, The Pornographer'

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 11:17am

Offutt's late father went from running a small insurance agency to writing more than 400 books, mostly pornography. The writer tells Fresh Air his dad believed he would be "extremely famous" for it.

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'Beholder' Has An Eye For The Absurd, And A Smirk Beneath Its Beard

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 8:03am

Francis Falbo, sad sack hero of Know Your Beholder, hasn't shaved in weeks. His wife's left him, his mom's died, his band's fallen apart. Good thing his author, Adam Rapp, has kept his sense of humor.

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'The Sellout' Is A Scorchingly Funny Satire On 'Post-Racial' America

Mon, 03/02/2015 - 5:03am

Paul Beatty takes no prisoners in this tale of two men trying to save their dying town through provocative moves like reinstituting segregation. Critic Michael Schaub calls it a comic masterpiece.

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For An Author In India's Capital, 'Hope, In Many Ways, Is Fiction'

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 3:19pm

In his novel She Will Build Him a City, Raj Kamal Jha weaves the reality he sees as a journalist in New Delhi — where many gravitate looking for a better future — into a fictional, magical world.

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Robert Christgau Reviews His Own Life

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 3:19pm

One of rock music's most loved, feared and prolific scribes, the 72-year-old Christgau says he knew early on that he liked criticism better than journalism: "I didn't want to get into people's faces."

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This Weekend, Experience The Enduring Power Of 'The Millstone'

Sun, 03/01/2015 - 4:04am

Margaret Drabble's The Millstone, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a young, unmarried woman who finds herself pregnant. Author Tessa Hadley says this 50-year-old novel is a weekend must-read.

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A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 8:03am

Racial tensions between blacks and whites are at the heart of the "Ol' Man River" musical. Asian-American actors say it doesn't make sense to get onboard.

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'The Sellout' Is A Profane Riff On Race And Culture

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 6:01am

In Paul Beatty's new satirical novel, The Sellout, the narrator wants to re-segregate his hometown outside of Los Angeles. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the author about using humor to write about race.

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Pakistani Author Mohsin Hamid And His Roving 'Discontent'

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 6:01am

Mohsin Hamid combines the personal and political in his new book, Discontent and Its Civilizations. NPR's Scott Simon talks with the Pakistani author about his new collection of essays.

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Uncovering Hidden Black History, On Screen And On The Page

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 5:03am

On TV and in the movies, it can sometimes seem like black people only existed during slavery or the civil rights era. K. Tempest Bradford recommends some books that bring hidden history to light.

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The Persistence — And Impermanence — Of Memory In 'The Buried Giant'

Sat, 02/28/2015 - 4:08am

Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade follows an old couple on what might be their last journey: Hunting for memories of a son they think they had, in a land covered with memory-shrouding mists.

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Book Review: 'Satin Island' By Tom McCarthy

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:42pm

Alan Cheuse reviews a new experimental novel by Tom McCarthy called Satin Island.

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NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of February 26, 2015

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:03pm

Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, about how human activity is affecting different species, appears at No. 6.

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NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of February 26, 2015

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:03pm

An isolated bookstore owner starts to change his life after receiving a mysterious package in Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. It appears at No. 7.

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NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of February 26, 2015

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:03pm

Falconer Helen Macdonald looks back on her decision to train a fierce goshawk in the wake of her father's sudden death in H is for Hawk. It debuts at No. 7.

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