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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: 19 hours 28 min ago

Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 6:42am

From witnesses to reluctant gang members, Jill Leovy says, "everybody's terrified." Her book, Ghettoside, uses the story of one murder to explore the city's low arrest rate when black men are killed.

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Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me'

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:59am

Painter's daughter Esther Freud weaves her own experiences into the story of a lonely little boy in a British seacoast town, who befriends the great Art Nouveau designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

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Do You Have To Read 'Frog?' No, But You Might Want To

Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:03am

Reviewer Jason Sheehan says Mo Yan's Frog is not without issues, but still offers a thoughtful tale of a dark era in modern Chinese history, touched with humor and occasional magic.

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When Pop Broke Up With Jazz

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:35pm

For the first half of the 20th century, Tin Pan Alley songwriters like Irving Berlin and the Gershwins dominated pop music. By the the 1950s, tastes had changed, and the music changed with them.

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NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of January 22, 2015

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:03pm

After obsessively observing a "perfect couple" every day on her commute, Rachel Watson sees something dark that forces her to get involved. Paula Hawkin's The Girl on the Train debuts at No. 2.

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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:20am

Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today's extinction, humans are the culprit. Originally broadcast Feb. 12, 2014.

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Debate: Is Amazon The Reader's Friend?

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 2:01pm

Two teams of editors and writers, including best-selling author Scott Turow, face off over Amazon's influence over the publishing industry, in the latest debate from Intelligence Squared U.S.

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Delicious Short Stories, Ripe On The Vine In 'Honeydew'

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 10:03am

Reviewer Alan Cheuse has rapturous praise for Edith Pearlman's new story collection: "The first thing I wanted to do after finishing was, well, I wanted to go right back and start from the beginning."

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The Vastness Of Violent Loss In 'See How Small'

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 5:03am

Scott Blackwood's new novel, based on a real murder case, follows a community rocked by the slaying of three teenage girls. Reviewer Michael Schaub calls it "brutal, necessary and near perfect."

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The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 1:39am

Steve Inskeep talks with NPR Ed's Anya Kamenetz about her book, The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing — But You Don't Have to Be.

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Bulgakov's 'Master' Still Strikes A Chord In Today's Russia

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:16pm

Russian author Mikhail Bulgakov's classic, The Master and Margarita, ridiculed Soviet leaders and bureaucracy. It wasn't published until 27 years after his death, but it still resonates with Russians.

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'The B-Side' Sings A Sad, Sad Song

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 8:03am

Ben Yagoda uses the battle between music licensing organizations ASCAP and BMI to sketch out a broader lament about the long fade-out of the American Songbook and the segue to modern pop music.

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A Cool, Painstaking Account Of A Difficult Past In 'Fatherland'

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 5:03am

Nina Bunjevac tackles two troublesome subjects in Fatherland: Her Serbian nationalist father, and the occasionally violent, extremist history of his country — all in a controlled, icy-cool style.

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Book Review: 'The Jaguar's Children' By John Vaillant

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 2:26pm

Alan Cheuse reviews The Jaguar's Children by John Vaillant.

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In 'The Evil Hours,' A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 12:01pm

While embedded with troops in Iraq, David Morris almost died when a Humvee he was riding in ran over a roadside bomb. His book explores the history and science of post-traumatic stress disorder.

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'Whipping Boy' Is Part Memoir, Part Crime Thriller

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 10:03am

Allen Kurzweil's new book Whipping Boy starts out as the story of his obsessive 40-year search for the boy who bullied him at boarding school — but it becomes something much deeper and stranger.

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Exclusive First Read: Scott McCloud's 'The Sculptor'

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 5:03am

Understanding Comics creator Scott McCloud is sometimes called the "Aristotle of comics" for his analysis of the medium. The Sculptor, a meditation on love, art and death, is his first graphic novel.

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A 'Guantanamo Diary' From A Prisoner Still On The Inside

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 3:06am

In the first memoir from a prisoner still being held at Guantanamo, Mohamedou Ould Slahi tells how he went from his native Mauritania to joining al-Qaida in Afghanistan to the U.S. prison in Cuba.

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Heavily Redacted, Detainee's 'Guantanamo Diary' Goes On Sale

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 3:06am

Renee Montagne talks to Larry Siems, editor of Guantanamo Diary, and Nancy Hollander, attorney for its author, Guantanamo inmate Mohamedou Ould Slahi.

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Book Club: Hector Tobar Answers Your Questions About 'Deep Down Dark'

Tue, 01/20/2015 - 1:17am

Tobar says it was a "great honor" to interview the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. They lived "one of the great adventure stories of the 21st century," he says.

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