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NPR's Book of the Day

NPR's Book of the Day

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In need of a good read? Or just want to keep up with the books everyone's talking about? NPR's Book of the Day gives you today's very best writing in a snackable, skimmable, pocket-sized podcast. Whether you're looking to engage with the bi

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#Society & Culture

Episodes


Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book is part memoir, part history of the 1960s

When Dick Goodwin reached his 80s, he asked his wife – historian Doris Kearns Goodwin – to finally open and sift through the hundreds of boxes he'd kept from his time as a presidential aide and speechwriter to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and as advisor to Robert Kennedy. What resulted is An Unfinished Love Story, a new book by Kearns Goodwin with a personal lens to the history of the 1960s. In today's episode, she speaks to NPR's Steve Inskeep about what she found in her husband's archives and what she learned revisiting that time period. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Doris Kearns Goodwin's new book is part memoir, part history of the 1960s

When Dick Goodwin reached his 80s, he asked his wife – historian Doris Kearns Goodwin – to finally open and sift through the hundreds of boxes he'd kept from his time as a presidential aide and speechwriter to John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson and as advisor to Robert Kennedy. What resulted is An Unfinished Love Story, a new book by Kearns Goodwin with a personal lens to the history of the 1960s. In today's episode, she speaks to NPR's Steve Inskeep about what she found in her husband's archives and what she learned revisiting that time period. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:51

27 May 24

Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Selleck memoirs look back at their beginnings

Today's episode is about two massive stars: Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Selleck. First, Goldberg speaks with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about her new memoir, Bits and Pieces, which touches on her relationship with her mother, the way she navigated beauty standards growing up, and what it means to grapple with grief over time. Then, Selleck joins NPR's Scott Simon to discuss You Never Know, his initial reluctance to take on his role in Magnum P.I. and his thoughts on being labeled a "mustachioed hunk." To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Selleck memoirs look back at their beginnings

Today's episode is about two massive stars: Whoopi Goldberg and Tom Selleck. First, Goldberg speaks with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about her new memoir, Bits and Pieces, which touches on her relationship with her mother, the way she navigated beauty standards growing up, and what it means to grapple with grief over time. Then, Selleck joins NPR's Scott Simon to discuss You Never Know, his initial reluctance to take on his role in Magnum P.I. and his thoughts on being labeled a "mustachioed hunk." To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

18:55

24 May 24

'The SalviSoul Cookbook' celebrates Salvadoran food and the matriarchs who cook it

Years ago, Karla Tatiana Vasquez tried to search up a recipe for one of her favorite Salvadoran dishes, Salpicón Salvadoreño. The scarce results not only disappointed Vasquez, but created a new mission: to collect and preserve the recipes of the Salvadoran diaspora along with the stories of the women who've been passing them down for generations. In today's episode, NPR's A Martinez visits Vasquez's kitchen to discuss The SalviSoul Cookbook and the relationship between food, migration and trauma.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The SalviSoul Cookbook' celebrates Salvadoran food and the matriarchs who cook it

Years ago, Karla Tatiana Vasquez tried to search up a recipe for one of her favorite Salvadoran dishes, Salpicón Salvadoreño. The scarce results not only disappointed Vasquez, but created a new mission: to collect and preserve the recipes of the Salvadoran diaspora along with the stories of the women who've been passing them down for generations. In today's episode, NPR's A Martinez visits Vasquez's kitchen to discuss The SalviSoul Cookbook and the relationship between food, migration and trauma.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:40

23 May 24

'The Paris Novel' revels in a good meal, a beautiful dress and a romantic city

A plane ticket to Paris, a vintage Dior dress and a spectacular first-ever oyster — these three things upend the life of Stella, the sheltered, cautious protagonist at the heart of The Paris Novel, a coming-of-age story about losing all inhibitions in one of the world's most romantic cities. In today's episode, author Ruth Reichl speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about indulging in life's simple pleasures, writing in honor of her late editor and choosing to set her story in the Paris of the 1980s. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Paris Novel' revels in a good meal, a beautiful dress and a romantic city

A plane ticket to Paris, a vintage Dior dress and a spectacular first-ever oyster — these three things upend the life of Stella, the sheltered, cautious protagonist at the heart of The Paris Novel, a coming-of-age story about losing all inhibitions in one of the world's most romantic cities. In today's episode, author Ruth Reichl speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about indulging in life's simple pleasures, writing in honor of her late editor and choosing to set her story in the Paris of the 1980s. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:24

22 May 24

In 'The White Bonus,' Tracie McMillan analyzes the monetary cost of racism

Racism is a major contributor to economic disparities in the U.S. – but in her new book, The White Bonus, writer Tracie McMillan crunches the numbers to understand just how much money white privilege can mean. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about the different families she profiled, the generations of economic policy she analyzed, and the rift created within her own family during the process of reporting this book . To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'The White Bonus,' Tracie McMillan analyzes the monetary cost of racism

Racism is a major contributor to economic disparities in the U.S. – but in her new book, The White Bonus, writer Tracie McMillan crunches the numbers to understand just how much money white privilege can mean. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about the different families she profiled, the generations of economic policy she analyzed, and the rift created within her own family during the process of reporting this book . To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:40

21 May 24

'The Alternatives' is a novel about grief, sisterhood and working women

Caoilinn Hughes' novel The Alternatives revolves around the four Flattery sisters, each with a more impressive career or degree than the last, all with a profound grief for the parents they lost at a young age. When one of the sisters purposely goes off the grid, the other three are reunited in the Irish countryside in an attempt to find her. In today's episode, NPR's Andrew Limbong asks Hughes about crafting the witty dialogue between the sisters, writing side characters that jump off the page and getting feedback from her own siblings. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Alternatives' is a novel about grief, sisterhood and working women

Caoilinn Hughes' novel The Alternatives revolves around the four Flattery sisters, each with a more impressive career or degree than the last, all with a profound grief for the parents they lost at a young age. When one of the sisters purposely goes off the grid, the other three are reunited in the Irish countryside in an attempt to find her. In today's episode, NPR's Andrew Limbong asks Hughes about crafting the witty dialogue between the sisters, writing side characters that jump off the page and getting feedback from her own siblings. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:24

20 May 24

Brittney Griner's memoir recounts her detention in Russia and finally 'Coming Home'

In 2022, WNBA star Brittney Griner was detained by Russian authorities, convicted of drug charges and given a nine-year prison sentence. Her new memoir, Coming Home, details the conditions she was held in and her eventual return to the U.S. following a swap deal. In today's episode, NPR's Juana Summers asks Griner about the mental and physical toll she's still grappling with, reuniting with her wife and trying to forgive herself for what happened. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Brittney Griner's memoir recounts her detention in Russia and finally 'Coming Home'

In 2022, WNBA star Brittney Griner was detained by Russian authorities, convicted of drug charges and given a nine-year prison sentence. Her new memoir, Coming Home, details the conditions she was held in and her eventual return to the U.S. following a swap deal. In today's episode, NPR's Juana Summers asks Griner about the mental and physical toll she's still grappling with, reuniting with her wife and trying to forgive herself for what happened. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

13:18

17 May 24

'Lessons for Survival' thinks about parenting through social and environmental crises

As a parent, how do you navigate – and feel hope – raising kids through a pandemic, a climate crisis and with police brutality in the news? That's the question at the center of Emily Raboteau's new book, Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against 'The Apocalypse.' In today's episode, Raboteau tells Here & Now's Celeste Headlee what she learned about radical care, resilience and interdependence through the people she met in her community and in her travels, and how she thinks about parenting through personal and global hardships. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Lessons for Survival' thinks about parenting through social and environmental crises

As a parent, how do you navigate – and feel hope – raising kids through a pandemic, a climate crisis and with police brutality in the news? That's the question at the center of Emily Raboteau's new book, Lessons for Survival: Mothering Against 'The Apocalypse.' In today's episode, Raboteau tells Here & Now's Celeste Headlee what she learned about radical care, resilience and interdependence through the people she met in her community and in her travels, and how she thinks about parenting through personal and global hardships. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:48

16 May 24

Colm Tóibín's long-anticipated sequel to 'Brooklyn' is 'Long Island'

The writer Colm Tóibín says he never meant to write a sequel to his 2009 novel Brooklyn. But an image came to him years later, of his protagonist from that book suddenly finding out her husband has had an affair that resulted in a pregnancy — and so he followed the story in Long Island. In today's episode, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Tóibín about revisiting Eilis Lacey in her 40s and upending her domestic life. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Colm Tóibín's long-anticipated sequel to 'Brooklyn' is 'Long Island'

The writer Colm Tóibín says he never meant to write a sequel to his 2009 novel Brooklyn. But an image came to him years later, of his protagonist from that book suddenly finding out her husband has had an affair that resulted in a pregnancy — and so he followed the story in Long Island. In today's episode, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Tóibín about revisiting Eilis Lacey in her 40s and upending her domestic life. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:55

15 May 24

Chanel Miller's new children's book follows lost socks in New York City

Chanel Miller's first book was a critically acclaimed memoir about her sexual assault and the following trial. But she always wanted to write and illustrate books for kids. In today's episode, Miller tells NPR's Andrew Limbong how moving to New York City and ingraining herself into her community inspired Magnolia Wu Unfolds It All, a new book about a young girl and her BFF traversing their neighborhood to return socks that were left behind at the laundromat to their owners. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Chanel Miller's new children's book follows lost socks in New York City

Chanel Miller's first book was a critically acclaimed memoir about her sexual assault and the following trial. But she always wanted to write and illustrate books for kids. In today's episode, Miller tells NPR's Andrew Limbong how moving to New York City and ingraining herself into her community inspired Magnolia Wu Unfolds It All, a new book about a young girl and her BFF traversing their neighborhood to return socks that were left behind at the laundromat to their owners. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

15:00

14 May 24

Rachel Khong's new novel explores who gets to be 'Real Americans'

Real Americans, the new novel by Rachel Khong, spans generations and decades within a family to understand the ongoing struggle to make sense of race, class and identity in the United States. Like with any family story, there are secrets and confrontations and difficult conversations, too; that desire to fill in the gaps about where we come from and how it has shaped our lineage is at the center of today's interview with Khong and NPR's Juana Summers. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Rachel Khong's new novel explores who gets to be 'Real Americans'

Real Americans, the new novel by Rachel Khong, spans generations and decades within a family to understand the ongoing struggle to make sense of race, class and identity in the United States. Like with any family story, there are secrets and confrontations and difficult conversations, too; that desire to fill in the gaps about where we come from and how it has shaped our lineage is at the center of today's interview with Khong and NPR's Juana Summers. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:54

13 May 24

For Mother's Day, two books that tackle motherhood

This weekend is Mother's Day, a good occasion to reflect on the art of parenting. First, comedian Glenn Boozan speaks to Celeste Headlee on Here and Now about her book There Are Moms Way Worse Than You, a joke-book that uses examples of bad parenting from the animal kingdom to soothe those who might be worried about their own child-raising skills.Then, an interview from our archives: a 1989 chat with Amy Tan on All Things Considered about her novel The Joy Luck Club, the story of four Chinese American families living in San Francisco inspired by Tan's experience as a child of immigrants. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

For Mother's Day, two books that tackle motherhood

This weekend is Mother's Day, a good occasion to reflect on the art of parenting. First, comedian Glenn Boozan speaks to Celeste Headlee on Here and Now about her book There Are Moms Way Worse Than You, a joke-book that uses examples of bad parenting from the animal kingdom to soothe those who might be worried about their own child-raising skills.Then, an interview from our archives: a 1989 chat with Amy Tan on All Things Considered about her novel The Joy Luck Club, the story of four Chinese American families living in San Francisco inspired by Tan's experience as a child of immigrants. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

18:44

10 May 24

In 'Soil,' Camille Dungy weaves together gardening, race and motherhood

For poet Camille Dungy, environmental justice, community interdependence and political engagement go hand in hand. She explores those relationships in her book, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden. In it, she details how her experience trying to diversify the species growing in her yard, in a predominantly white town in Colorado, reflects larger themes of how we talk about land and race in the U.S. In today's episode, she tells NPR's Melissa Block about the journey that gardening put her on, and what it's revealed about who gets to write about the environment.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'Soil,' Camille Dungy weaves together gardening, race and motherhood

For poet Camille Dungy, environmental justice, community interdependence and political engagement go hand in hand. She explores those relationships in her book, Soil: The Story of a Black Mother's Garden. In it, she details how her experience trying to diversify the species growing in her yard, in a predominantly white town in Colorado, reflects larger themes of how we talk about land and race in the U.S. In today's episode, she tells NPR's Melissa Block about the journey that gardening put her on, and what it's revealed about who gets to write about the environment.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:25

9 May 24

Two mothers clash over integration in 'What's Mine & Yours'

At the center of author Naima Coster's novel What's Mine & Yours are two struggling mothers. Jade is a Black single mother who is trying to provide a better life for her son, and Lacey May is a white mother who is trying to give her daughters the life she never had. Their stories will intertwine over decades, starting with when Lacey May opposes the integration of her daughters' school – the same school Jade is trying to get her son into. Coster told NPR's Audie Cornish that fiction gives us a window into other people's lives but that does not mean we have to condone their actions.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Two mothers clash over integration in 'What's Mine & Yours'

At the center of author Naima Coster's novel What's Mine & Yours are two struggling mothers. Jade is a Black single mother who is trying to provide a better life for her son, and Lacey May is a white mother who is trying to give her daughters the life she never had. Their stories will intertwine over decades, starting with when Lacey May opposes the integration of her daughters' school – the same school Jade is trying to get her son into. Coster told NPR's Audie Cornish that fiction gives us a window into other people's lives but that does not mean we have to condone their actions.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:50

8 May 24

Poet Ocean Vuong shares his grief in 'Time Is A Mother'

Poet Ocean Vuong's collection,Time Is A Mother, is about his grief after losing family members. Vuong told NPR's Rachel Martin that time is different now that he has lost his mother: "when I look at my life since she died in 2019, I only see two days: Today when she's not here, and the big, big yesterday when I had her."To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Poet Ocean Vuong shares his grief in 'Time Is A Mother'

Poet Ocean Vuong's collection,Time Is A Mother, is about his grief after losing family members. Vuong told NPR's Rachel Martin that time is different now that he has lost his mother: "when I look at my life since she died in 2019, I only see two days: Today when she's not here, and the big, big yesterday when I had her."To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:59

7 May 24

'The Three Mothers' who paved the way for three extraordinary men

It's almost Mother's Day – so today, we learn about the women who raised some of history's most important men in The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped A Nation. Author Anna Malaika Tubbs told 1A's Jenn White that history is often told by and about men, but knowing these women's stories - "taking their lives from the margins and putting them in the center" - is just as important. As Tubbs notes, "If they'd never had these famous sons, they still were worthy of being seen."To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Three Mothers' who paved the way for three extraordinary men

It's almost Mother's Day – so today, we learn about the women who raised some of history's most important men in The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped A Nation. Author Anna Malaika Tubbs told 1A's Jenn White that history is often told by and about men, but knowing these women's stories - "taking their lives from the margins and putting them in the center" - is just as important. As Tubbs notes, "If they'd never had these famous sons, they still were worthy of being seen."To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

12:41

6 May 24

Amy Tan opens up about her birding obsession in 'The Backyard Bird Chronicles'

Author Amy Tan spends hours in her backyard, watching and drawing birds go about their business. Her new book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, is full of essays and illustrations about her connection to these small creatures. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Leila Fadel about how an overwhelming sense of gloom from racism and political division in 2016 forced her to find a way to immerse herself in nature, and how her obsessive hobby led to a pretty high bird food budget – and mealworms in her fridge. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Amy Tan opens up about her birding obsession in 'The Backyard Bird Chronicles'

Author Amy Tan spends hours in her backyard, watching and drawing birds go about their business. Her new book, The Backyard Bird Chronicles, is full of essays and illustrations about her connection to these small creatures. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Leila Fadel about how an overwhelming sense of gloom from racism and political division in 2016 forced her to find a way to immerse herself in nature, and how her obsessive hobby led to a pretty high bird food budget – and mealworms in her fridge. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:45

2 May 24

Emily Henry's 'Funny Story' centers a new character in rom-com tropes

Two childhood best friends realize they're in love and break up with their significant others to be together – that's a classic romantic-comedy storyline. But in her new book, Funny Story, author Emily Henry wonders about some of the other forgotten cast members: what happens to the people who got dumped along the way? In today's episode, NPR's Juana Summers asks Henry about writing male characters that go to therapy, leaning into the cringey moments of falling in love and looking up to her own parents' relationship. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Emily Henry's 'Funny Story' centers a new character in rom-com tropes

Two childhood best friends realize they're in love and break up with their significant others to be together – that's a classic romantic-comedy storyline. But in her new book, Funny Story, author Emily Henry wonders about some of the other forgotten cast members: what happens to the people who got dumped along the way? In today's episode, NPR's Juana Summers asks Henry about writing male characters that go to therapy, leaning into the cringey moments of falling in love and looking up to her own parents' relationship. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:37

1 May 24

'Mid-Air' is a middle grade book about fitting in, friendship and grief

Middle school can be a rough time no matter what. But for Isaiah, the eighth grader at the heart of Alicia D. Williams' book Mid-Air, there are some added challenges: feeling like his affinity for rock music and nail polish makes him weird, grieving the loss of a close friend, and drifting further and further apart from his other best bud. In today's episode, Williams speaks with NPR's Andrew Limbong about the particular difficulties Black boys face to feel like they belong, and why — in the face of tragedy or discomfort — it can be even harder for them to connect with one another. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Mid-Air' is a middle grade book about fitting in, friendship and grief

Middle school can be a rough time no matter what. But for Isaiah, the eighth grader at the heart of Alicia D. Williams' book Mid-Air, there are some added challenges: feeling like his affinity for rock music and nail polish makes him weird, grieving the loss of a close friend, and drifting further and further apart from his other best bud. In today's episode, Williams speaks with NPR's Andrew Limbong about the particular difficulties Black boys face to feel like they belong, and why — in the face of tragedy or discomfort — it can be even harder for them to connect with one another. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:50

30 Apr 24

'New Cold Wars' examines the relationship between the U.S., Russia and China

Reporter David Sanger has covered five American presidents for The New York Times. But in today's episode, he tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelly that there's an unpredictability to the politics of today — particularly on an international stage. His new book, New Cold Wars, analyzes how the ties between the United States, Russia and China have rapidly evolved in recent decades, and how technology, military intelligence and economic sanctions play into the conflict To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'New Cold Wars' examines the relationship between the U.S., Russia and China

Reporter David Sanger has covered five American presidents for The New York Times. But in today's episode, he tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelly that there's an unpredictability to the politics of today — particularly on an international stage. His new book, New Cold Wars, analyzes how the ties between the United States, Russia and China have rapidly evolved in recent decades, and how technology, military intelligence and economic sanctions play into the conflict To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:10

29 Apr 24

Salman Rushdie's memoir 'Knife' recounts his attack and recovery

In 2022, the author Salman Rushdie was onstage at a public event when a man ran up and stabbed him. His new memoir, Knife, delves into that moment when Rushdie thought he was going to die — and everything that's come after, as he's healed from the attack. In today's episode, he speaks at length with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about how the miracles found in his fiction might've manifested themselves in his real life, how his wife – poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths – has helped him move forward, and how writing about that experience became a way for him to fight back. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Salman Rushdie's memoir 'Knife' recounts his attack and recovery

In 2022, the author Salman Rushdie was onstage at a public event when a man ran up and stabbed him. His new memoir, Knife, delves into that moment when Rushdie thought he was going to die — and everything that's come after, as he's healed from the attack. In today's episode, he speaks at length with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about how the miracles found in his fiction might've manifested themselves in his real life, how his wife – poet Rachel Eliza Griffiths – has helped him move forward, and how writing about that experience became a way for him to fight back. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

17:15

26 Apr 24

'Edith Holler' follows a young girl cursed – and trapped – in her father's theater

To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Edith Holler' follows a young girl cursed – and trapped – in her father's theater

To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:01

25 Apr 24

Scout Bassett recalls her journey to becoming a Paralympian in 'Lucky Girl'

Scout Bassett is a gold medalist runner – but it was a long road to get there. In her new memoir, Lucky Girl, Bassett details how when she arrived in the United States as a young girl from China, she felt like an outsider in more ways than one. She speaks with NPR's Lakshmi Singh about her earliest years living in an orphanage in Nanjing, exposing her disability when she began running track as a teenager, and preparing for the upcoming Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Scout Bassett recalls her journey to becoming a Paralympian in 'Lucky Girl'

Scout Bassett is a gold medalist runner – but it was a long road to get there. In her new memoir, Lucky Girl, Bassett details how when she arrived in the United States as a young girl from China, she felt like an outsider in more ways than one. She speaks with NPR's Lakshmi Singh about her earliest years living in an orphanage in Nanjing, exposing her disability when she began running track as a teenager, and preparing for the upcoming Paris 2024 Paralympic Games. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:20

24 Apr 24

Carys Davies tackles communication, isolation and the Scottish Clearances in 'Clear'

In the 1840s, a Scottish minister named John Ferguson accepts the task of traveling to a remote island to evict Ivar, the only man who lives there. When Reverend Ferguson falls off a cliff, Ivar brings him back to life — and the two find a common understanding even as they realize they don't speak the same language. That's the basis of Carys Davies' new novel, Clear. In today's episode, NPR's Scott Simon asks the author about how she discovered a real-life extinct language called Norn, and how the historic Highland Clearances of Scotland inspired the events of the book. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Carys Davies tackles communication, isolation and the Scottish Clearances in 'Clear'

In the 1840s, a Scottish minister named John Ferguson accepts the task of traveling to a remote island to evict Ivar, the only man who lives there. When Reverend Ferguson falls off a cliff, Ivar brings him back to life — and the two find a common understanding even as they realize they don't speak the same language. That's the basis of Carys Davies' new novel, Clear. In today's episode, NPR's Scott Simon asks the author about how she discovered a real-life extinct language called Norn, and how the historic Highland Clearances of Scotland inspired the events of the book. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:28

23 Apr 24

For Earth Day, Susan Casey dives into 'The Underworld' of the deep ocean

Susan Casey has traveled about 17,000 feet deep into the ocean – and in her book The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean, the diver and author speaks with oceanographers, marine biologists and geologists to explain some the of the wonders that exist way beyond what we can see in the water. For our Earth Day episode, Casey speaks with NPR's A Martinez about the millions of shipwrecks that are still preserved underwater, the creatures that call the deep ocean home and the humility it takes to learn about the sea.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

For Earth Day, Susan Casey dives into 'The Underworld' of the deep ocean

Susan Casey has traveled about 17,000 feet deep into the ocean – and in her book The Underworld: Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean, the diver and author speaks with oceanographers, marine biologists and geologists to explain some the of the wonders that exist way beyond what we can see in the water. For our Earth Day episode, Casey speaks with NPR's A Martinez about the millions of shipwrecks that are still preserved underwater, the creatures that call the deep ocean home and the humility it takes to learn about the sea.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:53

22 Apr 24

Two collections of horror stories modernize the genre

Spooky season is year-round, and so are our episodes about scary stories. First up, NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Jeanette Winterson about The Night Side of the River, a collection of ghost stories that weaves in the liminal spaces — Metaverses, one might say — created through technology to coexist with the dead. Then, NPR's Juana Summers asks Desiree Evans and Saraciea Fennell about The Black Girl Survives in This One, an anthology of horror stories by Black writers that contend with the genre's relationship to race. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Two collections of horror stories modernize the genre

Spooky season is year-round, and so are our episodes about scary stories. First up, NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Jeanette Winterson about The Night Side of the River, a collection of ghost stories that weaves in the liminal spaces — Metaverses, one might say — created through technology to coexist with the dead. Then, NPR's Juana Summers asks Desiree Evans and Saraciea Fennell about The Black Girl Survives in This One, an anthology of horror stories by Black writers that contend with the genre's relationship to race. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

17:10

19 Apr 24

'The Anxious Generation' analyzes the harmful effects of growing up online

While screens have become a totally normalized part of kids' development today, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that the negative effects might outweigh the benefits. His new book, The Anxious Generation, details the correlation between an increasingly online social life and rising mental health concerns amongst young people. In today's episode, NPR's Steve Inskeep asks Haidt about how boys and girls experience socialization on the Internet, and how some of these behaviors might be curbed to get kids playing offline. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Anxious Generation' analyzes the harmful effects of growing up online

While screens have become a totally normalized part of kids' development today, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that the negative effects might outweigh the benefits. His new book, The Anxious Generation, details the correlation between an increasingly online social life and rising mental health concerns amongst young people. In today's episode, NPR's Steve Inskeep asks Haidt about how boys and girls experience socialization on the Internet, and how some of these behaviors might be curbed to get kids playing offline. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:12

18 Apr 24

'Sociopath' is a memoir about how to live with – and treat – the social disorder

Patric Gagne says she realized at a young age that she wasn't like other kids. Shame, guilt, empathy — feelings running rampant on the playground — evaded her. Her new book, Sociopath, is about how she came to be diagnosed with sociopathy in college and how her own studies into clinical psychology shaped her understanding of the disorder. In today's episode, Gagne speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about her lived experiences as a sociopath, and how they actually led her to working as a therapist. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Sociopath' is a memoir about how to live with – and treat – the social disorder

Patric Gagne says she realized at a young age that she wasn't like other kids. Shame, guilt, empathy — feelings running rampant on the playground — evaded her. Her new book, Sociopath, is about how she came to be diagnosed with sociopathy in college and how her own studies into clinical psychology shaped her understanding of the disorder. In today's episode, Gagne speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about her lived experiences as a sociopath, and how they actually led her to working as a therapist. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:47

17 Apr 24

'Memory Piece' follows female friendships over several decades

Memory Piece, the new novel from National Book Award finalist Lisa Ko, kicks off in the 1980s with three teenage girls who find a deep connection to one another. Into the1990s and eventually the 2040s, the book delves into their growth as individuals and friends. In today's episode, Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes speaks with Ko about how art, gentrification and activism plays a role in each woman's life, and how memory and interdependence helps them find hope for their futures. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Memory Piece' follows female friendships over several decades

Memory Piece, the new novel from National Book Award finalist Lisa Ko, kicks off in the 1980s with three teenage girls who find a deep connection to one another. Into the1990s and eventually the 2040s, the book delves into their growth as individuals and friends. In today's episode, Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes speaks with Ko about how art, gentrification and activism plays a role in each woman's life, and how memory and interdependence helps them find hope for their futures. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:22

16 Apr 24

In 'We Loved It All,' Lydia Millet dives into nonfiction

Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet is known for writing novels that are sometimes dark, yet funny peeks into communities and relationships. Her new book, We Loved It All, still follows some of those satirical undertones, but it's a nonfiction work that blends the author's real life experiences with anecdotes about the natural world. In today's episode, NPR's Leila Fadel asks Millet how what started as an encyclopedia of animals morphed into a bigger project about the nature of life, and how it changed her writing process.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'We Loved It All,' Lydia Millet dives into nonfiction

Pulitzer Prize finalist Lydia Millet is known for writing novels that are sometimes dark, yet funny peeks into communities and relationships. Her new book, We Loved It All, still follows some of those satirical undertones, but it's a nonfiction work that blends the author's real life experiences with anecdotes about the natural world. In today's episode, NPR's Leila Fadel asks Millet how what started as an encyclopedia of animals morphed into a bigger project about the nature of life, and how it changed her writing process.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:52

15 Apr 24

Two books offer lessons on love and acceptance for young readers

Today's episode features two books for younger readers. First, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with John Schu about Louder Than Hunger, his new semi-fictional memoir that follows a middle school boy's journey with an eating disorder. Then, NPR's Scott Detrow asks author Omar Abed and illustrator Hatem Aly — both older siblings — about The Book That Almost Rhymed, their story about a big brother finding the silver lining in his little sister's constant interruptions. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Two books offer lessons on love and acceptance for young readers

Today's episode features two books for younger readers. First, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with John Schu about Louder Than Hunger, his new semi-fictional memoir that follows a middle school boy's journey with an eating disorder. Then, NPR's Scott Detrow asks author Omar Abed and illustrator Hatem Aly — both older siblings — about The Book That Almost Rhymed, their story about a big brother finding the silver lining in his little sister's constant interruptions. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

15:49

12 Apr 24

'All The World Beside' explores a queer relationship in a 1700s Puritan community

Garrard Conley's memoir Boy Erased chronicled his upbringing as a Baptist preacher's son and his experience being sent to conversion therapy. His new novel, All The World Beside, explores similar themes of faith, love and queer identity — but through the lens of a relationship between two men in Puritan New England. In today's episode, Conley speaks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about how fiction allowed him to actually provide even more autobiographical details than a memoir, and how writing this book grounded him in his relationship to Christianity. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'All The World Beside' explores a queer relationship in a 1700s Puritan community

Garrard Conley's memoir Boy Erased chronicled his upbringing as a Baptist preacher's son and his experience being sent to conversion therapy. His new novel, All The World Beside, explores similar themes of faith, love and queer identity — but through the lens of a relationship between two men in Puritan New England. In today's episode, Conley speaks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about how fiction allowed him to actually provide even more autobiographical details than a memoir, and how writing this book grounded him in his relationship to Christianity. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:47

11 Apr 24

'Wild Kingdom' co-host Rae Wynn-Grant found nature on TV

Rae Wynn-Grant grew up in the Bay Area of California. But even if she was in the city, she was still fascinated by nature, eventually becoming one of those on-screen nature adventurers she spent her youth watching on TV. She speaks with NPR's Ayesha Roscoe about her new memoir Wild Life, and what she learned from other Black experts in the outdoors.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Wild Kingdom' co-host Rae Wynn-Grant found nature on TV

Rae Wynn-Grant grew up in the Bay Area of California. But even if she was in the city, she was still fascinated by nature, eventually becoming one of those on-screen nature adventurers she spent her youth watching on TV. She speaks with NPR's Ayesha Roscoe about her new memoir Wild Life, and what she learned from other Black experts in the outdoors.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:55

10 Apr 24

Amor Towles revisits an old protagonist in 'Table for Two'

In Amor Towles' story collection Table for Two, the writer revisits a character from his very first book – Rules of Civility. Towles talks to NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about checking into the Beverly Hills Hotel for research purposes, and why he avoids technology in his stories.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedaycLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Amor Towles revisits an old protagonist in 'Table for Two'

In Amor Towles' story collection Table for Two, the writer revisits a character from his very first book – Rules of Civility. Towles talks to NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about checking into the Beverly Hills Hotel for research purposes, and why he avoids technology in his stories.To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedaycLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:34

9 Apr 24

Hanif Abdurraqib's new book ponders LeBron James, growing up and going home

Hanif Abdurraqib's new book, There's Always This Year, is difficult even for the author to summarize — it's part memoir, part basketball analysis, part poetry and essay collections. In today's episode, the MacArthur Fellow and writer speaks with NPR's Scott Detrow about how growing up in Columbus, Ohio, watching LeBron James' spectacular ascent, and understanding the passage of time all led to a meditation on mortality and success. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Hanif Abdurraqib's new book ponders LeBron James, growing up and going home

Hanif Abdurraqib's new book, There's Always This Year, is difficult even for the author to summarize — it's part memoir, part basketball analysis, part poetry and essay collections. In today's episode, the MacArthur Fellow and writer speaks with NPR's Scott Detrow about how growing up in Columbus, Ohio, watching LeBron James' spectacular ascent, and understanding the passage of time all led to a meditation on mortality and success. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

14:32

8 Apr 24

Two picture books use vivid colors to convey messages of joy and unity

Today's episode features two books that use bright, colorful illustrations to convey larger messages about acceptance and community. First, Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes speaks with author-illustrator Steve Asbell about Flap Your Hands, which celebrates how stimming is an act of self-care for autistic children. Then, NPR's Samantha Balaban gathers actress Julie Andrews, her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrator Elly MacKay to describe how shadows operate in their new fairytale, The Enchanted Symphony, about how music revives the plants – and people – in a village. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Two picture books use vivid colors to convey messages of joy and unity

Today's episode features two books that use bright, colorful illustrations to convey larger messages about acceptance and community. First, Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes speaks with author-illustrator Steve Asbell about Flap Your Hands, which celebrates how stimming is an act of self-care for autistic children. Then, NPR's Samantha Balaban gathers actress Julie Andrews, her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton and illustrator Elly MacKay to describe how shadows operate in their new fairytale, The Enchanted Symphony, about how music revives the plants – and people – in a village. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

18:25

5 Apr 24

'Grief Is for People' is Sloane Crosley's memoir about losing a close friend

Editor's note: This episode contains a discussion of suicide.Early in today's episode, writer Sloane Crosley tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe something that troubled her when paging through the self-help books she was gifted after a big loss. There was no chapter for how to grieve a close friend – partners, siblings, parents, sure. But while not everyone has those relationships, she says, friendships are universal. Her new memoir, Grief Is for People, chronicles how she's coped with losing one of the most important people in her life. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Grief Is for People' is Sloane Crosley's memoir about losing a close friend

Editor's note: This episode contains a discussion of suicide.Early in today's episode, writer Sloane Crosley tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe something that troubled her when paging through the self-help books she was gifted after a big loss. There was no chapter for how to grieve a close friend – partners, siblings, parents, sure. But while not everyone has those relationships, she says, friendships are universal. Her new memoir, Grief Is for People, chronicles how she's coped with losing one of the most important people in her life. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:33

4 Apr 24

'Wuhan' analyzes China's management and response to the COVID-19 pandemic

It's been four years since the world went into lockdown mode as COVID-19 rapidly spread across the globe. But a new book by political scientist Dali Yang dives into the information about, and mitigation of, the disease in its earliest days in China. In today's episode, Yang speaks with Here & Now's Scott Tong about the research that went into Wuhan, the way local governments and medical officials abstained from disclosing crucial intelligence in the early days, and the strict lockdown that followed. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Wuhan' analyzes China's management and response to the COVID-19 pandemic

It's been four years since the world went into lockdown mode as COVID-19 rapidly spread across the globe. But a new book by political scientist Dali Yang dives into the information about, and mitigation of, the disease in its earliest days in China. In today's episode, Yang speaks with Here & Now's Scott Tong about the research that went into Wuhan, the way local governments and medical officials abstained from disclosing crucial intelligence in the early days, and the strict lockdown that followed. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:23

3 Apr 24

'Whalefall' by Daniel Kraus is a thriller about diving, loss and new beginnings

Jay, the 17-year-old at the heart of Daniel Kraus' novel Whalefall, has an hour of oxygen left on his tank. He's been diving in the ocean off the coast of Monterey, California trying to recover a skeleton — but his mission is complicated when he's swallowed whole by a sperm whale. In today's episode, Kraus speaks with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about how a book that's so enmeshed in death also reveals quite a lot about life, and how he conceptualized the pacing of his chapters to emphasize Jay's race against time. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Whalefall' by Daniel Kraus is a thriller about diving, loss and new beginnings

Jay, the 17-year-old at the heart of Daniel Kraus' novel Whalefall, has an hour of oxygen left on his tank. He's been diving in the ocean off the coast of Monterey, California trying to recover a skeleton — but his mission is complicated when he's swallowed whole by a sperm whale. In today's episode, Kraus speaks with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about how a book that's so enmeshed in death also reveals quite a lot about life, and how he conceptualized the pacing of his chapters to emphasize Jay's race against time. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:34

2 Apr 24

'Climate Capitalism' projects an optimistic future for environmental policy

Early in today's episode, Here & Now's Scott Tong poses what a lot of activists and listeners might think — that the two words titling Akshat Rathi's new book, Climate Capitalism, are at odds with one another. But Rathi says governments can play a role in shifting economic policy to prioritize both profit and environmental protections. In his book and in this interview, he explains how business leaders, students and politicians are already implementing ideas that connect the dots between the climate crisis and global markets. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Climate Capitalism' projects an optimistic future for environmental policy

Early in today's episode, Here & Now's Scott Tong poses what a lot of activists and listeners might think — that the two words titling Akshat Rathi's new book, Climate Capitalism, are at odds with one another. But Rathi says governments can play a role in shifting economic policy to prioritize both profit and environmental protections. In his book and in this interview, he explains how business leaders, students and politicians are already implementing ideas that connect the dots between the climate crisis and global markets. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:27

1 Apr 24

Don Paterson and Michael Ondaatje's new books meditate on poetry, time and memory

Today's episode features interviews with two poets whose new works look back in time, either in their own lives or those of their subjects. First, Don Paterson speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about his new memoir, Toy Fights, which recounts his childhood in Scotland. The two get to talking about Paterson's self-described "descent into madness" and the reason his poems go unmentioned in the book. Then, Simon speaks with Michael Ondaatje about A Year of Last Things, and how the Booker Prize-winning writer thinks about going back and forth between fiction and poetry. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Don Paterson and Michael Ondaatje's new books meditate on poetry, time and memory

Today's episode features interviews with two poets whose new works look back in time, either in their own lives or those of their subjects. First, Don Paterson speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about his new memoir, Toy Fights, which recounts his childhood in Scotland. The two get to talking about Paterson's self-described "descent into madness" and the reason his poems go unmentioned in the book. Then, Simon speaks with Michael Ondaatje about A Year of Last Things, and how the Booker Prize-winning writer thinks about going back and forth between fiction and poetry. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

16:08

29 Mar 24

'Hard by a Great Forest' is a novel about returning home decades after fleeing war

The story of Saba, the protagonist of Leo Vardiashvili's novel Hard by a Great Forest, is much like the author's own. A young boy flees the Soviet Republic of Georgia with his father and brother as the country is ravaged by a war. Decades later, when his father goes back to their homeland and promptly disappears, Saba must face his family's past – and immense loss – in an effort to find him. In today's episode, Vardiashvili tells NPR's Scott Simon about being separated from his own family, and the feeling of time-travel he felt when he finally made his way back to Georgia. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Hard by a Great Forest' is a novel about returning home decades after fleeing war

The story of Saba, the protagonist of Leo Vardiashvili's novel Hard by a Great Forest, is much like the author's own. A young boy flees the Soviet Republic of Georgia with his father and brother as the country is ravaged by a war. Decades later, when his father goes back to their homeland and promptly disappears, Saba must face his family's past – and immense loss – in an effort to find him. In today's episode, Vardiashvili tells NPR's Scott Simon about being separated from his own family, and the feeling of time-travel he felt when he finally made his way back to Georgia. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:21

28 Mar 24

Charles Spencer's memoir 'A Very Private School' opens up about boarding school abuse

A new memoir by historian Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer and brother of Princess Diana, details a difficult childhood marked by alleged physical and sexual abuse at Britain's Maidwell Hall in the 1970s. In today's episode, Spencer tells NPR's Scott Simon how childhood naivete – thinking his parents were all-knowing authorities who must've known about the school's cruelty when they sent him there – prevented him and others from speaking up about what was happening, and why writing A Very Private School felt like an important reclamation of his boyhood. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Charles Spencer's memoir 'A Very Private School' opens up about boarding school abuse

A new memoir by historian Charles Spencer, 9th Earl Spencer and brother of Princess Diana, details a difficult childhood marked by alleged physical and sexual abuse at Britain's Maidwell Hall in the 1970s. In today's episode, Spencer tells NPR's Scott Simon how childhood naivete – thinking his parents were all-knowing authorities who must've known about the school's cruelty when they sent him there – prevented him and others from speaking up about what was happening, and why writing A Very Private School felt like an important reclamation of his boyhood. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

11:08

27 Mar 24

'Say Hello to My Little Friend' explores manhood, 'Scarface' and Miami stereotypes

To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Say Hello to My Little Friend' explores manhood, 'Scarface' and Miami stereotypes

To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:31

26 Mar 24

In 'The Exvangelicals,' Sarah McCammon analyzes loving and leaving the church

NPR's Sarah McCammon grew up in the white evangelical church — and though she left the tradition as an adult, she's continued to cover its ties to Trump's politics closely as a journalist. Her new book, The Exvangelicals, chronicles why so many people like herself have removed themselves from evangelicalism. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about the different breaking points she heard from other defectors — from COVID to racial justice — and why a decline in people who identify as evangelical might actually explain the group's rising political profile. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'The Exvangelicals,' Sarah McCammon analyzes loving and leaving the church

NPR's Sarah McCammon grew up in the white evangelical church — and though she left the tradition as an adult, she's continued to cover its ties to Trump's politics closely as a journalist. Her new book, The Exvangelicals, chronicles why so many people like herself have removed themselves from evangelicalism. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about the different breaking points she heard from other defectors — from COVID to racial justice — and why a decline in people who identify as evangelical might actually explain the group's rising political profile. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:39

25 Mar 24

Percival Everett centers a new voice in 'James,' a retelling of 'Huckleberry Finn'

Percival Everett is a prolific author – his 2001 book Erasure was recently adapted into the Oscar-winning film American Fiction. But his latest book, James, expands on a story readers around the world already know: Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. In today's episode, Everett speaks with NPR's Andrew Limbong about why he wanted to reframe the classic novel from the perspective of the enslaved titular character, why he doesn't think of his new work as a direct response to Twain, and why he doesn't buy into the controversy surrounding the original. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Percival Everett centers a new voice in 'James,' a retelling of 'Huckleberry Finn'

Percival Everett is a prolific author – his 2001 book Erasure was recently adapted into the Oscar-winning film American Fiction. But his latest book, James, expands on a story readers around the world already know: Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn. In today's episode, Everett speaks with NPR's Andrew Limbong about why he wanted to reframe the classic novel from the perspective of the enslaved titular character, why he doesn't think of his new work as a direct response to Twain, and why he doesn't buy into the controversy surrounding the original. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

15:50

22 Mar 24

'Feeding Ghosts' is a graphic memoir grappling with generational trauma

Tessa Hulls' grandmother, Sun Yi, was a dissident journalist in Shanghai who faced intense political persecution during the Chinese Communist Revolution; she suffered severe mental distress after fleeing to Hong Kong. In today's episode, Hulls tells Here & Now's Scott Tong that her grandmother's trauma often cast a shadow over their family – one she had been running away from for years, and one she decided to finally face in her new graphic memoir, Feeding Ghosts. It's a reexamining of Hulls' matriarchal lineage, of Chinese history and of generational love and healing. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Feeding Ghosts' is a graphic memoir grappling with generational trauma

Tessa Hulls' grandmother, Sun Yi, was a dissident journalist in Shanghai who faced intense political persecution during the Chinese Communist Revolution; she suffered severe mental distress after fleeing to Hong Kong. In today's episode, Hulls tells Here & Now's Scott Tong that her grandmother's trauma often cast a shadow over their family – one she had been running away from for years, and one she decided to finally face in her new graphic memoir, Feeding Ghosts. It's a reexamining of Hulls' matriarchal lineage, of Chinese history and of generational love and healing. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:35

21 Mar 24

'Headshot' follows 8 teenage girls into the boxing ring

Eight young women are competing at the 12th Annual Women's 18 and Under Daughters of America Cup, a boxing competition at the heart of Headshot. Each girl has her reasons for fighting her way to this ring in Reno, Las Vegas — and Rita Bullwinkel's debut novel is a searing look inside the mental and physical state of her protagonists. In today's episode, the author speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about how her own childhood as a polo player informed her writing, and why she chose to follow her characters way beyond their time in the ring. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Headshot' follows 8 teenage girls into the boxing ring

Eight young women are competing at the 12th Annual Women's 18 and Under Daughters of America Cup, a boxing competition at the heart of Headshot. Each girl has her reasons for fighting her way to this ring in Reno, Las Vegas — and Rita Bullwinkel's debut novel is a searing look inside the mental and physical state of her protagonists. In today's episode, the author speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about how her own childhood as a polo player informed her writing, and why she chose to follow her characters way beyond their time in the ring. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:40

20 Mar 24

Christine Blasey Ford tells her own story in 'One Way Back'

Christine Blasey Ford says the time leading up to her 2018 testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee – and its aftermath – is a lot like surfing, venturing out into unknown waters. Her new memoir, One Way Back, recounts her experience coming forward with an accusation that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. In today's episode, Blasey Ford speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about why she originally wanted to avoid being in the public spotlight, but why she felt it was her civic duty to inform the country about what she'd gone through. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Christine Blasey Ford tells her own story in 'One Way Back'

Christine Blasey Ford says the time leading up to her 2018 testimony in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee – and its aftermath – is a lot like surfing, venturing out into unknown waters. Her new memoir, One Way Back, recounts her experience coming forward with an accusation that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. In today's episode, Blasey Ford speaks with NPR's Michel Martin about why she originally wanted to avoid being in the public spotlight, but why she felt it was her civic duty to inform the country about what she'd gone through. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:29

19 Mar 24

'2054' is a political thriller about civil war, misinformation and AI

2034, the first novel by Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis, chronicled a nuclear conflict between China and the U.S. Now, their sequel 2054 takes a look at the country two decades later. The President is suddenly assassinated giving a speech, which sparks a flood of conspiracy theories, digitally-altered images and horrifying technological discoveries. In today's episode, the authors speak with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about the relationship between technology and American institutions, and how destruction is sometimes an inevitable part of progress. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'2054' is a political thriller about civil war, misinformation and AI

2034, the first novel by Elliot Ackerman and Admiral James Stavridis, chronicled a nuclear conflict between China and the U.S. Now, their sequel 2054 takes a look at the country two decades later. The President is suddenly assassinated giving a speech, which sparks a flood of conspiracy theories, digitally-altered images and horrifying technological discoveries. In today's episode, the authors speak with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about the relationship between technology and American institutions, and how destruction is sometimes an inevitable part of progress. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:04

18 Mar 24

In 'Collision of Power' and 'Outtakes,' journalists look back on their careers

Today's episode features two retired journalists who've written memoirs reflecting on some of the highs and lows of a career in the industry. First, former Washington Post editor Marty Baron speaks with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about Collision of Power, covering the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and the state of media in today's electoral cycle. Then, former NPR producer Peter Breslow joins NPR's Ayesha Rascoe to discuss Outtakes, taking a three-month work trip camping across China and up Mount Everest and finding hope in a music school in Afghanistan. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'Collision of Power' and 'Outtakes,' journalists look back on their careers

Today's episode features two retired journalists who've written memoirs reflecting on some of the highs and lows of a career in the industry. First, former Washington Post editor Marty Baron speaks with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about Collision of Power, covering the 2016 and 2020 presidential elections and the state of media in today's electoral cycle. Then, former NPR producer Peter Breslow joins NPR's Ayesha Rascoe to discuss Outtakes, taking a three-month work trip camping across China and up Mount Everest and finding hope in a music school in Afghanistan. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

19:15

15 Mar 24

In 'The Extinction of Irena Rey,' translators search for a missing author

Eight translators from eight countries travel to a Polish forest to begin adapting famed author Irena Rey's newest book into their respective languages. But when Irena Rey disappears, a competitive, ego-fueled search unravels in the surrounding woods and within each person. In today's episode, author Jennifer Croft speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about her new novel, The Extinction of Irena Rey, and how her own experience as an International Booker Prize-winning translator sparked an interest in the drive and desires of the people tasked with "shapeshifting" a text into their own tongue. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'The Extinction of Irena Rey,' translators search for a missing author

Eight translators from eight countries travel to a Polish forest to begin adapting famed author Irena Rey's newest book into their respective languages. But when Irena Rey disappears, a competitive, ego-fueled search unravels in the surrounding woods and within each person. In today's episode, author Jennifer Croft speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about her new novel, The Extinction of Irena Rey, and how her own experience as an International Booker Prize-winning translator sparked an interest in the drive and desires of the people tasked with "shapeshifting" a text into their own tongue. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:41

14 Mar 24

'The Last Ships from Hamburg' recalls the plight of Jewish refugees before WWI

Before World War I, approximately 2 million Jewish people fled Russia and Eastern Europe for the United States. The Last Ships from Hamburg, a new book by Steven Ujifusa, recounts this time in history with a special focus on three businessmen who facilitated mass emigration: Jacob Schiff, Albert Ballin and J.P. Morgan. In today's episode, Ujifusa speaks with Here & Now's Scott Tong about how anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. looks very similar today to how it did then, and why beyond historical record, this is a deeply personal story for him to write. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Last Ships from Hamburg' recalls the plight of Jewish refugees before WWI

Before World War I, approximately 2 million Jewish people fled Russia and Eastern Europe for the United States. The Last Ships from Hamburg, a new book by Steven Ujifusa, recounts this time in history with a special focus on three businessmen who facilitated mass emigration: Jacob Schiff, Albert Ballin and J.P. Morgan. In today's episode, Ujifusa speaks with Here & Now's Scott Tong about how anti-immigrant rhetoric in the U.S. looks very similar today to how it did then, and why beyond historical record, this is a deeply personal story for him to write. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:14

13 Mar 24

Maurice Vellekoop's graphic memoir recounts his coming out to his religious family

Maurice Vellekoop's new graphic memoir, I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together, is named after the song Carol Burnett would close out her show with in the '60s and '70s. But it's also a reflection of some of the author-illustrator's most cherished childhood memories, going shopping in downtown Toronto with his mom. In today's episode, Vellekoop tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe how that relationship changed as he came to terms with his sexuality — something his religious mother did not accept — and how his father ended up surprising him later in life. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Maurice Vellekoop's graphic memoir recounts his coming out to his religious family

Maurice Vellekoop's new graphic memoir, I'm So Glad We Had This Time Together, is named after the song Carol Burnett would close out her show with in the '60s and '70s. But it's also a reflection of some of the author-illustrator's most cherished childhood memories, going shopping in downtown Toronto with his mom. In today's episode, Vellekoop tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe how that relationship changed as he came to terms with his sexuality — something his religious mother did not accept — and how his father ended up surprising him later in life. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:42

12 Mar 24

In 'Anita de Monte Laughs Last,' Xochitl Gonzalez explores marriage, art and success

Raquel Toro, the protagonist of Xochitl Gonzalez's new novel, is working on her thesis about a minimalist sculptor when she discovers his all-but-forgotten wife, artist Anita de Monte, died after falling 33 stories from their apartment more than a decade prior. Based on the story of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, Anita de Monte Laughs Last is an odyssey into ego, power and marriage in the art world. In today's episode, Gonzalez tells NPR's Scott Simon how fiction allowed her to expand on Mendieta's legacy, and why she didn't want to discredit the husband's own career along the way. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'Anita de Monte Laughs Last,' Xochitl Gonzalez explores marriage, art and success

Raquel Toro, the protagonist of Xochitl Gonzalez's new novel, is working on her thesis about a minimalist sculptor when she discovers his all-but-forgotten wife, artist Anita de Monte, died after falling 33 stories from their apartment more than a decade prior. Based on the story of Cuban artist Ana Mendieta, Anita de Monte Laughs Last is an odyssey into ego, power and marriage in the art world. In today's episode, Gonzalez tells NPR's Scott Simon how fiction allowed her to expand on Mendieta's legacy, and why she didn't want to discredit the husband's own career along the way. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:57

11 Mar 24

Tommy Orange follows 'There, There' with 'Wandering Stars'

Tommy Orange's debut novel, There, There, centers several Native American characters grappling with identity in the bustling city of Oakland, California. In today's episode, we revisit a profile of Orange reported by NPR's Lynn Neary in 2018. Then, Orange joins NPR's Scott Simon to discuss his new book Wandering Stars, a sequel to There, There that stretches across time to follow a survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864. Orange explains how an image he saw in a museum in Sweden introduced him to this historical narrative, and why he decided to focus on his protagonist Orvil's ancestors. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Tommy Orange follows 'There, There' with 'Wandering Stars'

Tommy Orange's debut novel, There, There, centers several Native American characters grappling with identity in the bustling city of Oakland, California. In today's episode, we revisit a profile of Orange reported by NPR's Lynn Neary in 2018. Then, Orange joins NPR's Scott Simon to discuss his new book Wandering Stars, a sequel to There, There that stretches across time to follow a survivor of the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864. Orange explains how an image he saw in a museum in Sweden introduced him to this historical narrative, and why he decided to focus on his protagonist Orvil's ancestors. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

16:22

8 Mar 24

Kara Swisher's memoir 'Burn Book' reflects on a career covering Silicon Valley

Journalist Kara Swisher, who's been covering the internet and the tech industry for decades, says she's not surprised when people like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk lie to her — but what she says they sometimes don't realize is how much they lie to themselves. Her new memoir, Burn Book, recounts what she's learned in conversation with some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley. In today's episode, Swisher tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that as disillusioned as she is with how much harm the industry has caused, she's still optimistic about the future of tech and AI. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Kara Swisher's memoir 'Burn Book' reflects on a career covering Silicon Valley

Journalist Kara Swisher, who's been covering the internet and the tech industry for decades, says she's not surprised when people like Steve Jobs or Elon Musk lie to her — but what she says they sometimes don't realize is how much they lie to themselves. Her new memoir, Burn Book, recounts what she's learned in conversation with some of the brightest minds in Silicon Valley. In today's episode, Swisher tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that as disillusioned as she is with how much harm the industry has caused, she's still optimistic about the future of tech and AI. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:46

7 Mar 24

'The Rise and Fall of the EAST' chronicles China's economic history

Yasheng Huang, a professor of global economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, names four major contributors to China's economy in his new book, The Rise and Fall of the EAST: exams, autocracy, stability and technology. Huang writes that those have been the driving factors of Chinese development dating back to the Sui dynasty, and particularly during the economic boom of the past half-century. But he tells Here & Now's Scott Tong that a declining property sector, a lack of investment in people and today's political leadership is ringing alarms for the country's future. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Rise and Fall of the EAST' chronicles China's economic history

Yasheng Huang, a professor of global economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, names four major contributors to China's economy in his new book, The Rise and Fall of the EAST: exams, autocracy, stability and technology. Huang writes that those have been the driving factors of Chinese development dating back to the Sui dynasty, and particularly during the economic boom of the past half-century. But he tells Here & Now's Scott Tong that a declining property sector, a lack of investment in people and today's political leadership is ringing alarms for the country's future. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:34

6 Mar 24

Lucy Sante's memoir reflects on her experience coming out as transgender in her 60s

Lucy Sante says it was a smartphone app that ultimately pushed her to come out to herself — and the world — as trans in her mid 60s. In her new memoir, I Heard Her Call My Name, the writer and professor chronicles how using the gender swap function on FaceApp ultimately opened a brand new life to her. And she tells NPR's Don Gonyea that though there are a lot of complexities to having that kind of realization later in life, there are also a lot of positive outcomes. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Lucy Sante's memoir reflects on her experience coming out as transgender in her 60s

Lucy Sante says it was a smartphone app that ultimately pushed her to come out to herself — and the world — as trans in her mid 60s. In her new memoir, I Heard Her Call My Name, the writer and professor chronicles how using the gender swap function on FaceApp ultimately opened a brand new life to her. And she tells NPR's Don Gonyea that though there are a lot of complexities to having that kind of realization later in life, there are also a lot of positive outcomes. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:36

5 Mar 24

'The Achilles Trap' analyzes the relationship between the U.S. and Saddam Hussein

Early in today's episode, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly asks Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Steve Coll why he felt the need to write The Achilles Trap about the Iraq War amidst so many ongoing world conflicts. Coll explains that he hoped enough time had passed to try to answer a lingering question: Why did Saddam Hussein allow the world to believe he harbored weapons of mass destruction when he didn't? Coll's reporting – which includes Hussein's own audio recordings – unravels decades of tension and miscommunication between the U.S. and Iraq, which ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of lives. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Achilles Trap' analyzes the relationship between the U.S. and Saddam Hussein

Early in today's episode, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly asks Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Steve Coll why he felt the need to write The Achilles Trap about the Iraq War amidst so many ongoing world conflicts. Coll explains that he hoped enough time had passed to try to answer a lingering question: Why did Saddam Hussein allow the world to believe he harbored weapons of mass destruction when he didn't? Coll's reporting – which includes Hussein's own audio recordings – unravels decades of tension and miscommunication between the U.S. and Iraq, which ultimately cost hundreds of thousands of lives. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:14

4 Mar 24

Memoirs by Helen Rebanks and Crystal Wilkinson weave recipes with women's stories

Today's episode features two books that capture how cooking, taking care of loved ones, and running a home has sustained women for generations. First, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Helen Rebanks (who is joined by actor and comedian Nick Offerman) about The Farmer's Wife, which chronicles her life as a homemaker and farmer in England. Then, Here & Now's Celeste Headlee speaks with former Kentucky poet laureate Crystal Wilkinson about Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts, which stretches back into Wilkinson's family history to understand how Black women were the unsung heroes of Appalachia. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Memoirs by Helen Rebanks and Crystal Wilkinson weave recipes with women's stories

Today's episode features two books that capture how cooking, taking care of loved ones, and running a home has sustained women for generations. First, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with Helen Rebanks (who is joined by actor and comedian Nick Offerman) about The Farmer's Wife, which chronicles her life as a homemaker and farmer in England. Then, Here & Now's Celeste Headlee speaks with former Kentucky poet laureate Crystal Wilkinson about Praisesong for the Kitchen Ghosts, which stretches back into Wilkinson's family history to understand how Black women were the unsung heroes of Appalachia. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

19:48

1 Mar 24

'Julia' revisits George Orwell's '1984,' from a new point of view

With permission from the Orwell estate, Sandra Newman's latest novel takes place in the same world and with many of the same characters as 1984, but retold through the eyes of Winston Smith's love interest, Julia. It's a deep exploration of women's experiences under totalitarianism, and as Newman tells NPR's Scott Simon, an appreciation of the original that doubles down on some of Orwell's humor and ability to capture the psyche of fear — and unexpected comfort — under political tyranny. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Julia' revisits George Orwell's '1984,' from a new point of view

With permission from the Orwell estate, Sandra Newman's latest novel takes place in the same world and with many of the same characters as 1984, but retold through the eyes of Winston Smith's love interest, Julia. It's a deep exploration of women's experiences under totalitarianism, and as Newman tells NPR's Scott Simon, an appreciation of the original that doubles down on some of Orwell's humor and ability to capture the psyche of fear — and unexpected comfort — under political tyranny. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:15

29 Feb 24

Hala Gorani's memoir 'But You Don't Look Arab' is a journey of belonging

Journalist and former CNN anchor Hala Gorani tells NPR's Leila Fadel that she has a whole paragraph queued up to answer a seemingly simple question: Where are you from? Gorani's memoir, But You Don't Look Arab, unpacks her many roots across Istanbul, Syria, France and the U.S. — and grapples with how her identity and its impact on her work have been scrutinized for decades. In today's episode, she opens up about why she had to change her name and add a photo of herself to her passport to land a job in journalism, and why constant movement can offer an odd sort of comfort for her. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Hala Gorani's memoir 'But You Don't Look Arab' is a journey of belonging

Journalist and former CNN anchor Hala Gorani tells NPR's Leila Fadel that she has a whole paragraph queued up to answer a seemingly simple question: Where are you from? Gorani's memoir, But You Don't Look Arab, unpacks her many roots across Istanbul, Syria, France and the U.S. — and grapples with how her identity and its impact on her work have been scrutinized for decades. In today's episode, she opens up about why she had to change her name and add a photo of herself to her passport to land a job in journalism, and why constant movement can offer an odd sort of comfort for her. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:54

28 Feb 24

'Ours' follows a woman in the 1830s who has the power to free enslaved people

Phillip B. Williams' debut novel, Ours, is a sweeping story that takes place in the 19th century. It takes off with a conjuror named Saint who destroys plantations and enslavers, and creates a community of freed people, Ours, that grapples with mysticism, spirituality and liberation over the course of several decades. In today's episode, Williams speaks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about the different interpretations and experiences of freedom in the novel, and the importance of community in the story. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Ours' follows a woman in the 1830s who has the power to free enslaved people

Phillip B. Williams' debut novel, Ours, is a sweeping story that takes place in the 19th century. It takes off with a conjuror named Saint who destroys plantations and enslavers, and creates a community of freed people, Ours, that grapples with mysticism, spirituality and liberation over the course of several decades. In today's episode, Williams speaks with NPR's Ari Shapiro about the different interpretations and experiences of freedom in the novel, and the importance of community in the story. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:58

27 Feb 24

'Private Equity' analyzes the ethical and personal costs of a career in finance

There's a moment in Carrie Sun's memoir, Private Equity, when she remembers trying to answer a text for her high-pressure hedge fund job while running on the treadmill. It ended poorly — and Sun says, looking back, it was a good metaphor for the toll her career was taking on her life. In today's episode, Sun speaks with Here & Now's Scott Tong about the moral, mental and physical sacrifices we normalize for work, and why maybe that's not such a good thing. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Private Equity' analyzes the ethical and personal costs of a career in finance

There's a moment in Carrie Sun's memoir, Private Equity, when she remembers trying to answer a text for her high-pressure hedge fund job while running on the treadmill. It ended poorly — and Sun says, looking back, it was a good metaphor for the toll her career was taking on her life. In today's episode, Sun speaks with Here & Now's Scott Tong about the moral, mental and physical sacrifices we normalize for work, and why maybe that's not such a good thing. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:28

26 Feb 24

'Fierce Ambition' and 'The Lede' look inside the world of journalism

Today's episode focuses on two books about legendary journalists, the business of reporting and the state of the industry today. First, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Jennet Conant about Fierce Ambition, a biography of war correspondent Maggie Higgins – the first woman to win a Pulitzer for foreign correspondence, who also resented being defined by her gender. Then, NPR's Scott Simon asks The New Yorker's Calvin Trillin about The Lede, an introspection into the realities of being a reporter, the careers of Edna Buchanan and R.W. "Johnny" Apple, and so much more. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Fierce Ambition' and 'The Lede' look inside the world of journalism

Today's episode focuses on two books about legendary journalists, the business of reporting and the state of the industry today. First, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Jennet Conant about Fierce Ambition, a biography of war correspondent Maggie Higgins – the first woman to win a Pulitzer for foreign correspondence, who also resented being defined by her gender. Then, NPR's Scott Simon asks The New Yorker's Calvin Trillin about The Lede, an introspection into the realities of being a reporter, the careers of Edna Buchanan and R.W. "Johnny" Apple, and so much more. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

16:54

23 Feb 24

'Thank You Please Come Again' pays homage to Southern gas station food shops

Photojournalist Kate Medley took a road trip across 11 states in the South, documenting the culture of convenience stores and gas stations that serve hot, delicious food. Her new book, Thank You Please Come Again, captures how these establishments serve as important community meeting points across class, ethnic and racial divides. In today's episode, Medley speaks to NPR's Debbie Elliott about how communities of color are playing an important role in this Southern tradition, and how it's manifesting in dishes like cajun banh mis and jollof rice. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Thank You Please Come Again' pays homage to Southern gas station food shops

Photojournalist Kate Medley took a road trip across 11 states in the South, documenting the culture of convenience stores and gas stations that serve hot, delicious food. Her new book, Thank You Please Come Again, captures how these establishments serve as important community meeting points across class, ethnic and racial divides. In today's episode, Medley speaks to NPR's Debbie Elliott about how communities of color are playing an important role in this Southern tradition, and how it's manifesting in dishes like cajun banh mis and jollof rice. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:50

22 Feb 24

In a new graphic novel, romance flourishes during the Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Love Story, the new graphic novel written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Leuyen Pham, follows a teenage girl who believes she's been stuck with a generational curse for heartbreak. But during the festivity's traditional lion dance, a chance encounter gives her hope she can rewrite her fate — if she's willing to take a chance. In today's episode, Yang and Pham speak with Here & Now's Robin Young about writing romance for young readers, and what they say are the three essential elements to a good kiss. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In a new graphic novel, romance flourishes during the Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year Love Story, the new graphic novel written by Gene Luen Yang and illustrated by Leuyen Pham, follows a teenage girl who believes she's been stuck with a generational curse for heartbreak. But during the festivity's traditional lion dance, a chance encounter gives her hope she can rewrite her fate — if she's willing to take a chance. In today's episode, Yang and Pham speak with Here & Now's Robin Young about writing romance for young readers, and what they say are the three essential elements to a good kiss. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:40

21 Feb 24

'Fight Right' analyzes how to communicate and connect through relationship conflicts

Julie Schwartz Gottman and John Gottman know their fair share about relationship troubles — they're clinical psychologists who specialize in couples' therapy, and they've been married for more than 30 years. Their new book, Fight Right, breaks down how to navigate conflict by understanding communication styles, assessing wants and needs, and looking for positivity in any approach. In today's episode, the authors offer NPR's Andee Tagle some step-by-step advice on finding connection through any argument. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Fight Right' analyzes how to communicate and connect through relationship conflicts

Julie Schwartz Gottman and John Gottman know their fair share about relationship troubles — they're clinical psychologists who specialize in couples' therapy, and they've been married for more than 30 years. Their new book, Fight Right, breaks down how to navigate conflict by understanding communication styles, assessing wants and needs, and looking for positivity in any approach. In today's episode, the authors offer NPR's Andee Tagle some step-by-step advice on finding connection through any argument. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

10:48

20 Feb 24

Yangsze Choo's 'The Fox Wife' explores gender, murder and folklore in the 1900s

Yangsze Choo says she doesn't thoroughly plan out her novels – her newest, The Fox Wife, blossomed from that core idea behind the title, of a woman who also happens to be a fox. But beyond that, it's a story about a mother avenging her child, about a murder investigation in early 20th century China, and about family curses. As the author tells NPR's Scott Simon, foxes hold a wide range of intrigue and mystery in Chinese, Korean and Japanese legends — and it's these traits that broke open a whole world of secrets for her characters. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Yangsze Choo's 'The Fox Wife' explores gender, murder and folklore in the 1900s

Yangsze Choo says she doesn't thoroughly plan out her novels – her newest, The Fox Wife, blossomed from that core idea behind the title, of a woman who also happens to be a fox. But beyond that, it's a story about a mother avenging her child, about a murder investigation in early 20th century China, and about family curses. As the author tells NPR's Scott Simon, foxes hold a wide range of intrigue and mystery in Chinese, Korean and Japanese legends — and it's these traits that broke open a whole world of secrets for her characters. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:23

19 Feb 24

Novels by C.L. Miller and Tracy Sierra find suspense in spooky, old houses

Today's episode features two thrillers that unravel in the darkened halls of historic houses. First, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with C.L. Miller about The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder, a whodunnit amongst antique collectors trapped in an English manor under very bizarre circumstances. Then, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly asks Tracy Sierra about her debut novel, Nightwatching, and how the author's own New England home inspired this terrifying tale about a mother hiding from an intruder during a blizzard. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Novels by C.L. Miller and Tracy Sierra find suspense in spooky, old houses

Today's episode features two thrillers that unravel in the darkened halls of historic houses. First, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with C.L. Miller about The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder, a whodunnit amongst antique collectors trapped in an English manor under very bizarre circumstances. Then, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly asks Tracy Sierra about her debut novel, Nightwatching, and how the author's own New England home inspired this terrifying tale about a mother hiding from an intruder during a blizzard. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

17:57

16 Feb 24

Kunal Purohit's book examines Hindutva pop, social media and hate speech

Pop culture can be a powerful tool for social and political activism – but what happens when it's used to incite discrimination, or even violence? That's the question at the heart of journalist Kunal Purohit's book, H-Pop: The Secretive World of Hindutva Pop Stars. In today's episode, Purohit speaks with NPR's Diaa Hadid about how influencers, pop songs and poems are promoting Hindu nationalist values in India, and how political propaganda on social media can legitimize hate towards minority groups. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Kunal Purohit's book examines Hindutva pop, social media and hate speech

Pop culture can be a powerful tool for social and political activism – but what happens when it's used to incite discrimination, or even violence? That's the question at the heart of journalist Kunal Purohit's book, H-Pop: The Secretive World of Hindutva Pop Stars. In today's episode, Purohit speaks with NPR's Diaa Hadid about how influencers, pop songs and poems are promoting Hindu nationalist values in India, and how political propaganda on social media can legitimize hate towards minority groups. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

13:46

15 Feb 24

GennaRose Nethercott's short stories expose the monstrosity of human longing

Years ago, author GennaRose Nethercott promised herself she would sit at a cafe every morning and come up with three new creatures — beasts inspired by medieval bestiaries that combined scientific record with moral folk tales. The result, Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart, is a collection of short stories that show the magical yet spooky nature of human affection. In today's episode, Nethercott speaks with NPR's Elissa Nadworny about some of the monsters she came up with, and why she cherishes writing about darkness. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

GennaRose Nethercott's short stories expose the monstrosity of human longing

Years ago, author GennaRose Nethercott promised herself she would sit at a cafe every morning and come up with three new creatures — beasts inspired by medieval bestiaries that combined scientific record with moral folk tales. The result, Fifty Beasts to Break Your Heart, is a collection of short stories that show the magical yet spooky nature of human affection. In today's episode, Nethercott speaks with NPR's Elissa Nadworny about some of the monsters she came up with, and why she cherishes writing about darkness. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:11

14 Feb 24

'Toxic' looks back on Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and tabloid culture in the 2000s

Author Sarah Ditum has an uncomfortable label for the late 90s and early 2000s: the upskirt decade. In her new book, Toxic, Ditum analyzes how digital cameras, the Internet and tabloid misogyny created a perfect storm to permanently alter the lives and careers of nine famous women. In today's episode, Ditum speaks with NPR's Scott Detrow about the infamous Britney Spears interview with Diane Sawyer, the growth of social media throughout that decade, and the way younger generations are now reclaiming autonomy over their public image. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Toxic' looks back on Janet Jackson, Britney Spears and tabloid culture in the 2000s

Author Sarah Ditum has an uncomfortable label for the late 90s and early 2000s: the upskirt decade. In her new book, Toxic, Ditum analyzes how digital cameras, the Internet and tabloid misogyny created a perfect storm to permanently alter the lives and careers of nine famous women. In today's episode, Ditum speaks with NPR's Scott Detrow about the infamous Britney Spears interview with Diane Sawyer, the growth of social media throughout that decade, and the way younger generations are now reclaiming autonomy over their public image. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:27

13 Feb 24

'Welcome the Wretched' argues for the separation of immigration and criminalization

Welcome the Wretched, a new book by legal scholar César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, makes the case that the immigration and criminal legal systems in the U.S. have become way too intertwined over time – and they should be separated. In today's episode, Cuauhtémoc García Hernández walks Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes through the history of how we got to this point of criminalizing immigration. He also explains why he doesn't think immigrants should be deported for breaking the law, and how racism operates in immigration enforcement. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Welcome the Wretched' argues for the separation of immigration and criminalization

Welcome the Wretched, a new book by legal scholar César Cuauhtémoc García Hernández, makes the case that the immigration and criminal legal systems in the U.S. have become way too intertwined over time – and they should be separated. In today's episode, Cuauhtémoc García Hernández walks Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes through the history of how we got to this point of criminalizing immigration. He also explains why he doesn't think immigrants should be deported for breaking the law, and how racism operates in immigration enforcement. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookofthedayLearn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

11:56

12 Feb 24

'The Forgotten First' and 'Parcells: A Football Life' chronicle NFL history

It's Super Bowl weekend — so today's episode is all about football. First, a 2021 interview between NPR's A Martinez and former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson's book The Forgotten First looks back at the racial politics of his beloved sport, and highlights four key players who desegregated the game back in the 1940s. Then, NPR's David Greene paid a visit to legendary coach Bill Parcells' home in 2015 and asked about his memoir, Parcells: A Football Life, and the coaching tree he left behind even after his retirement. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Forgotten First' and 'Parcells: A Football Life' chronicle NFL history

It's Super Bowl weekend — so today's episode is all about football. First, a 2021 interview between NPR's A Martinez and former NFL wide receiver Keyshawn Johnson. Johnson's book The Forgotten First looks back at the racial politics of his beloved sport, and highlights four key players who desegregated the game back in the 1940s. Then, NPR's David Greene paid a visit to legendary coach Bill Parcells' home in 2015 and asked about his memoir, Parcells: A Football Life, and the coaching tree he left behind even after his retirement. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

14:46

9 Feb 24

Sarah Cooper's memoir 'Foolish' is about her immigrant family, TikTok fame and comedy

Comedian Sarah Cooper blew up when her TikTok videos making fun of then-President Donald Trump's statements in press conferences went viral. Her new memoir, Foolish, recounts that moment in her life — but it also expands on Cooper's larger trajectory, from learning she was Black as the daughter of Jamaican immigrants to working at Google as an adult. She tells NPR's Leila Fadel just how surreal her rise in comedy has been, and why HomeGoods home decor actually dishes out some pretty wise life advice. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Sarah Cooper's memoir 'Foolish' is about her immigrant family, TikTok fame and comedy

Comedian Sarah Cooper blew up when her TikTok videos making fun of then-President Donald Trump's statements in press conferences went viral. Her new memoir, Foolish, recounts that moment in her life — but it also expands on Cooper's larger trajectory, from learning she was Black as the daughter of Jamaican immigrants to working at Google as an adult. She tells NPR's Leila Fadel just how surreal her rise in comedy has been, and why HomeGoods home decor actually dishes out some pretty wise life advice. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:18

8 Feb 24

'Not the End of the World' takes a solutions-based approach to climate change

There are lots of reasons to worry about climate change: rising temperatures, rising sea levels, devastating natural disasters. But in her new book, Not the End of the World, data scientist Hannah Ritchie says there's actually a lot of factors trending in the right direction, like declines in poverty rates and carbon emissions per capita. In today's episode, Ritchie speaks with NPR's Andrew Limbong about why it's important to reframe our thinking on the future of the planet, and how our decisions can actually make a difference. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Not the End of the World' takes a solutions-based approach to climate change

There are lots of reasons to worry about climate change: rising temperatures, rising sea levels, devastating natural disasters. But in her new book, Not the End of the World, data scientist Hannah Ritchie says there's actually a lot of factors trending in the right direction, like declines in poverty rates and carbon emissions per capita. In today's episode, Ritchie speaks with NPR's Andrew Limbong about why it's important to reframe our thinking on the future of the planet, and how our decisions can actually make a difference. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:43

7 Feb 24

Ai Weiwei's graphic memoir 'Zodiac' recounts a life of art and activism

Told through the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac, Ai Weiwei's new graphic memoir moves between the past, present and future with anecdotes from his childhood in a Chinese labor camp to his most recent moments, including flashing the middle finger in front of Trump Tower. In today's episode, Ai Weiwei speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about some of those memories, including the 81 days he spent detained by the Chinese government. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Ai Weiwei's graphic memoir 'Zodiac' recounts a life of art and activism

Told through the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac, Ai Weiwei's new graphic memoir moves between the past, present and future with anecdotes from his childhood in a Chinese labor camp to his most recent moments, including flashing the middle finger in front of Trump Tower. In today's episode, Ai Weiwei speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about some of those memories, including the 81 days he spent detained by the Chinese government. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

05:55

6 Feb 24

'Find Me the Votes' investigates Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election

As Donald Trump runs for office in 2024, a new book by journalists Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman details how Trump attempted to overturn the presidential election in 2020, and how Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis built a case against him. In today's episode, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Isikoff and Klaidman about Find Me the Votes, the layers of intimidation behind Trump's bid for power, and the fast-moving allegations against Willis and her counsel. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Find Me the Votes' investigates Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election

As Donald Trump runs for office in 2024, a new book by journalists Michael Isikoff and Daniel Klaidman details how Trump attempted to overturn the presidential election in 2020, and how Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis built a case against him. In today's episode, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly speaks with Isikoff and Klaidman about Find Me the Votes, the layers of intimidation behind Trump's bid for power, and the fast-moving allegations against Willis and her counsel. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:26

5 Feb 24

'The Fury' and 'Radiant Heat' set whodunnits against extreme weather

Today's episode focuses on two novels where the characters are grappling with the natural elements – and with mysterious deaths. First, NPR's Mary Louise speaks with Alex Michaelides about The Fury, a murder mystery in which a famous actress and her friends are trapped on a remote Greek island by the ferocious Mediterranean wind. Then, NPR's Scott Simon asks Sarah-Jane Collins about Radiant Heat, which follows a young woman who survives an Australian wildfire, only to emerge from her house and find a dead woman she's never met – clutching a piece of paper with her name and address. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Fury' and 'Radiant Heat' set whodunnits against extreme weather

Today's episode focuses on two novels where the characters are grappling with the natural elements – and with mysterious deaths. First, NPR's Mary Louise speaks with Alex Michaelides about The Fury, a murder mystery in which a famous actress and her friends are trapped on a remote Greek island by the ferocious Mediterranean wind. Then, NPR's Scott Simon asks Sarah-Jane Collins about Radiant Heat, which follows a young woman who survives an Australian wildfire, only to emerge from her house and find a dead woman she's never met – clutching a piece of paper with her name and address. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

17:54

2 Feb 24

'Late Bloomers' is a novel about arranged marriage, divorce and dating later in life

Dating can be difficult and confusing at any age – but especially after the end of a 36-year arranged marriage. The characters of Deepa Varadarajan's debut novel, Late Bloomers, are experiencing that second chance firsthand. Parents Suresh and Lata have just split and are learning to navigate dating online and IRL; their kids are fielding relationship troubles of their own. In today's episode, the author talks to NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer about what it means to find love later in life, and how writing fiction provided her with her own kind of fresh start. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Late Bloomers' is a novel about arranged marriage, divorce and dating later in life

Dating can be difficult and confusing at any age – but especially after the end of a 36-year arranged marriage. The characters of Deepa Varadarajan's debut novel, Late Bloomers, are experiencing that second chance firsthand. Parents Suresh and Lata have just split and are learning to navigate dating online and IRL; their kids are fielding relationship troubles of their own. In today's episode, the author talks to NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer about what it means to find love later in life, and how writing fiction provided her with her own kind of fresh start. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:39

1 Feb 24

Kaveh Akbar's novel 'Martyr!' is a journey of identity, addiction and poetry

Halfway through today's episode, author Kaveh Akbar tells NPR's Scott Simon that his life is a summation of "private joys amidst collective grief and private grief amidst collective joy." It's a contrast that contextualizes his emotionally dark yet deeply funny debut novel, Martyr!, about an Iranian-American poet grappling with addiction, loss, displacement and art. Akbar, who is also poetry editor at The Nation, explains why his protagonist is so obsessed with the concept of martyrdom, and how it relates to his own personal journey with sobriety. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Kaveh Akbar's novel 'Martyr!' is a journey of identity, addiction and poetry

Halfway through today's episode, author Kaveh Akbar tells NPR's Scott Simon that his life is a summation of "private joys amidst collective grief and private grief amidst collective joy." It's a contrast that contextualizes his emotionally dark yet deeply funny debut novel, Martyr!, about an Iranian-American poet grappling with addiction, loss, displacement and art. Akbar, who is also poetry editor at The Nation, explains why his protagonist is so obsessed with the concept of martyrdom, and how it relates to his own personal journey with sobriety. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:22

31 Jan 24

In 'The Bullet Swallower,' the wild, wild West meets magical realism

The titular protagonist of Elizabeth Gonzalez James' new novel, The Bullet Swallower, is rooted in a story she once heard about her great-grandfather: He was a Mexican outlaw, shot by Texas police and left for dead, who lived to tell the tale. Inspired by that family lore, James uses magical realism, spirituality and some very bad characters to paint a nuanced picture of life on the U.S. Mexico border. In today's episode, she tells NPR's Ari Shapiro why she's so committed to untangling Texas in her writing, and what she thinks her great-grandfather might think of the story she based on him. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

In 'The Bullet Swallower,' the wild, wild West meets magical realism

The titular protagonist of Elizabeth Gonzalez James' new novel, The Bullet Swallower, is rooted in a story she once heard about her great-grandfather: He was a Mexican outlaw, shot by Texas police and left for dead, who lived to tell the tale. Inspired by that family lore, James uses magical realism, spirituality and some very bad characters to paint a nuanced picture of life on the U.S. Mexico border. In today's episode, she tells NPR's Ari Shapiro why she's so committed to untangling Texas in her writing, and what she thinks her great-grandfather might think of the story she based on him. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

06:58

30 Jan 24

'Only Say Good Things' chronicles Crystal Hefner's life at the Playboy mansion

Crystal Harris was only 21 when she entered the Playboy mansion for the first time. Within a few days, the college student moved in. She later married Hugh Hefner, and stayed by his side until his death in 2017. In her new memoir, Only Say Good Things, Hefner looks back on the paradox of sexual freedom and strict rules she lived by at the mansion. She tells NPR's Michel Martin how her perspective on love, liberation and control has changed since she left. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Only Say Good Things' chronicles Crystal Hefner's life at the Playboy mansion

Crystal Harris was only 21 when she entered the Playboy mansion for the first time. Within a few days, the college student moved in. She later married Hugh Hefner, and stayed by his side until his death in 2017. In her new memoir, Only Say Good Things, Hefner looks back on the paradox of sexual freedom and strict rules she lived by at the mansion. She tells NPR's Michel Martin how her perspective on love, liberation and control has changed since she left. To listen to Book of the Day sponsor-free and support NPR's book coverage, sign up for Book of the Day+ at plus.npr.org/bookoftheday Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:26

29 Jan 24

'Black Sheep' and 'This Wretched Valley' use horror to question morality

It's never too early for spooky season. Today, we've got two horror books that explore relationships, cynicism and arrogance. First, NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Rachel Harrison about Black Sheep, which follows a disillusioned protagonist grappling with religious fanaticism and family ties when she returns to the Satanic community she was raised in. Then, Jenny Kiefer discusses her novel This Wretched Valley, which takes inspiration from the Dyatlov Pass Incident to put an influencer and Ph.D. students at odds with nature.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Black Sheep' and 'This Wretched Valley' use horror to question morality

It's never too early for spooky season. Today, we've got two horror books that explore relationships, cynicism and arrogance. First, NPR's Ayesha Rascoe speaks with Rachel Harrison about Black Sheep, which follows a disillusioned protagonist grappling with religious fanaticism and family ties when she returns to the Satanic community she was raised in. Then, Jenny Kiefer discusses her novel This Wretched Valley, which takes inspiration from the Dyatlov Pass Incident to put an influencer and Ph.D. students at odds with nature.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

14:59

26 Jan 24

Michele Norris' 'Our Hidden Conversations' examines race and identity in the U.S.

More than a decade ago, former NPR host Michele Norris started the Race Card Project. It was a simple premise: She asked people to send in six words that summarized their thoughts on race. Now, hundreds of thousands of submissions later, Norris expands on some of those opinions and experiences in the new book, Our Hidden Conversations. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about the context behind some of the submissions — like "I wish he was a girl" — and the way feeling "invisible" has changed in recent years.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Michele Norris' 'Our Hidden Conversations' examines race and identity in the U.S.

More than a decade ago, former NPR host Michele Norris started the Race Card Project. It was a simple premise: She asked people to send in six words that summarized their thoughts on race. Now, hundreds of thousands of submissions later, Norris expands on some of those opinions and experiences in the new book, Our Hidden Conversations. In today's episode, she speaks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about the context behind some of the submissions — like "I wish he was a girl" — and the way feeling "invisible" has changed in recent years.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:51

25 Jan 24

'Soundtrack of Silence' is a touching memoir about music and hearing loss

Matt Hay grew up with a medical condition that eventually diminished his ability to hear. But in the process of going deaf, he memorized his favorite songs, fell in love and started a family. In today's episode, Hay speaks with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about his new memoir, Soundtrack of Silence, and how – nearly two decades later – music has been able to help him do something doctors said was impossible: partially recover his hearing.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Soundtrack of Silence' is a touching memoir about music and hearing loss

Matt Hay grew up with a medical condition that eventually diminished his ability to hear. But in the process of going deaf, he memorized his favorite songs, fell in love and started a family. In today's episode, Hay speaks with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about his new memoir, Soundtrack of Silence, and how – nearly two decades later – music has been able to help him do something doctors said was impossible: partially recover his hearing.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:24

24 Jan 24

Efrén C. Olivares' memoir recounts family separations at the border

Efrén C. Olivares is a human rights lawyer – and he tells Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes that some of the toughest conversations he's ever had were during Trump-era family separations, when he had to tell the parents he was representing in South Texas that he wasn't sure when or where they'd see their children again. His new book, My Boy Will Die of Sorrow, is a firsthand account of the human impacts of anti-immigration policy at the border, told alongside Olivares' own experience immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico as a young teen.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Efrén C. Olivares' memoir recounts family separations at the border

Efrén C. Olivares is a human rights lawyer – and he tells Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes that some of the toughest conversations he's ever had were during Trump-era family separations, when he had to tell the parents he was representing in South Texas that he wasn't sure when or where they'd see their children again. His new book, My Boy Will Die of Sorrow, is a firsthand account of the human impacts of anti-immigration policy at the border, told alongside Olivares' own experience immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico as a young teen.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

12:09

23 Jan 24

Claire Keegan's new book of stories explores tension, drama and gender dynamics

Three short stories comprise So Late in the Day, the new book by the highly acclaimed Irish writer, Claire Keegan. All three revolve around the ways men and women relate to one another — from a failed marriage proposal to a troubling affair. In today's episode, NPR's Scott Simon asks Keegan about the way her male characters come across, and how the finite nature of time influences her protagonists' decisions.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Claire Keegan's new book of stories explores tension, drama and gender dynamics

Three short stories comprise So Late in the Day, the new book by the highly acclaimed Irish writer, Claire Keegan. All three revolve around the ways men and women relate to one another — from a failed marriage proposal to a troubling affair. In today's episode, NPR's Scott Simon asks Keegan about the way her male characters come across, and how the finite nature of time influences her protagonists' decisions.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:09

22 Jan 24

Adam Kinzinger, Mitt Romney and the evolution of the Republican party

Today's episode focuses on two Republican legislators who, over time, came to feel like outsiders for sounding alarms about Trump. First, NPR's Scott Detrow speaks with former representative Adam Kinzinger about Renegade, his new memoir detailing his career and the way January 6 ultimately broke his allegiance to the Republican party. Then, journalist McKay Coppins speaks with Here & Now's Jane Clayson about his new biography of Mitt Romney, and how the former presidential candidate reflects on the conspiratorial leanings dominating today's politics.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Adam Kinzinger, Mitt Romney and the evolution of the Republican party

Today's episode focuses on two Republican legislators who, over time, came to feel like outsiders for sounding alarms about Trump. First, NPR's Scott Detrow speaks with former representative Adam Kinzinger about Renegade, his new memoir detailing his career and the way January 6 ultimately broke his allegiance to the Republican party. Then, journalist McKay Coppins speaks with Here & Now's Jane Clayson about his new biography of Mitt Romney, and how the former presidential candidate reflects on the conspiratorial leanings dominating today's politics.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

21:05

19 Jan 24

'The Frozen River' tells the fictionalized story of a real 18th century midwife

Martha Ballard was a real midwife in the late 1700s who delivered more than 1,000 babies without ever losing a mother. Ballard kept a diary of her life and the town secrets she learned thanks to her profession — and she's at the center of Ariel Lawhon's new novel, The Frozen River. In today's episode, Lawhon tells NPR's Scott Simon how she stumbled upon Ballard's story while pregnant with her own child, and why it was important for her to make a 54-year-old woman the hero of her book.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Frozen River' tells the fictionalized story of a real 18th century midwife

Martha Ballard was a real midwife in the late 1700s who delivered more than 1,000 babies without ever losing a mother. Ballard kept a diary of her life and the town secrets she learned thanks to her profession — and she's at the center of Ariel Lawhon's new novel, The Frozen River. In today's episode, Lawhon tells NPR's Scott Simon how she stumbled upon Ballard's story while pregnant with her own child, and why it was important for her to make a 54-year-old woman the hero of her book.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:30

18 Jan 24

'The Golden Screen' chronicles the films that shaped the Asian American diaspora

The Golden Screen, the new book by Jeff Yang, offers a comprehensive guide to some of the most significant films for Asian American representation, including commentary by industry trailblazers like Daniel Dae Kim, Janet Yang and Simu Liu. In today's episode, Yang and book contributor Preeti Chhibber speak with NPR's Ailsa Chang about how Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Bollywood and kung fu movies shaped their identities growing up. They also get to talking about some of the harmful stereotypes we still see on screen today, and why maybe mediocrity isn't such a bad thing.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'The Golden Screen' chronicles the films that shaped the Asian American diaspora

The Golden Screen, the new book by Jeff Yang, offers a comprehensive guide to some of the most significant films for Asian American representation, including commentary by industry trailblazers like Daniel Dae Kim, Janet Yang and Simu Liu. In today's episode, Yang and book contributor Preeti Chhibber speak with NPR's Ailsa Chang about how Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle, Bollywood and kung fu movies shaped their identities growing up. They also get to talking about some of the harmful stereotypes we still see on screen today, and why maybe mediocrity isn't such a bad thing.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

09:17

17 Jan 24

'Orbital' captures one day in the life of six astronauts

Author Samantha Harvey tells NPR's Ari Shapiro that she was fascinated by the quotes and insight of astronauts as a child. Her new novel, Orbital, turns that interest into a careful contemplation of Earth, space and humanity — it follows six people on a mission to orbit around our planet for 16 sunrises and sunsets. Harvey and Shapiro discuss the kind of poetry that emerged from imagining the daily routines of cosmonauts, so far up above, together and alone at once.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

'Orbital' captures one day in the life of six astronauts

Author Samantha Harvey tells NPR's Ari Shapiro that she was fascinated by the quotes and insight of astronauts as a child. Her new novel, Orbital, turns that interest into a careful contemplation of Earth, space and humanity — it follows six people on a mission to orbit around our planet for 16 sunrises and sunsets. Harvey and Shapiro discuss the kind of poetry that emerged from imagining the daily routines of cosmonauts, so far up above, together and alone at once.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:31

16 Jan 24

Álvaro Enrigue's new novel reimagines Hernán Cortés' and Moctezuma's empires

You Dreamed of Empires sets the scene for a violent historical encounter: the war between the Spanish and Aztec empires. But in a fictionalization of Hernán Cortés' arrival in the city of Tenochtitlan in 1519, author Álvaro Enrigue challenges ideas about colonialism, revolution and influential rulers. In today's episode, he speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about finding humor and humanity in the men he writes about — sometimes laughing about, but not with, the powerful ones.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Álvaro Enrigue's new novel reimagines Hernán Cortés' and Moctezuma's empires

You Dreamed of Empires sets the scene for a violent historical encounter: the war between the Spanish and Aztec empires. But in a fictionalization of Hernán Cortés' arrival in the city of Tenochtitlan in 1519, author Álvaro Enrigue challenges ideas about colonialism, revolution and influential rulers. In today's episode, he speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about finding humor and humanity in the men he writes about — sometimes laughing about, but not with, the powerful ones.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

07:45

15 Jan 24

Two historical fiction novels focus on women's lives during wars in Southeast Asia

Today's episode features two authors who've written novels centering the personal and political experiences of women during war. First, NPR's Rob Schmitz speaks with Vanessa Chan about The Storm We Made, which follows a mother in 1945 Malay grappling with how her secret work as a spy has resulted in the brutal Japanese occupation tearing her family apart. Then, NPR's Juana Summers chats with Alice McDermott about her novel Absolution, which depicts two American wives looking back on the friendship they developed living in Saigon as their husbands' "helpmeets" during the Vietnam War.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Two historical fiction novels focus on women's lives during wars in Southeast Asia

Today's episode features two authors who've written novels centering the personal and political experiences of women during war. First, NPR's Rob Schmitz speaks with Vanessa Chan about The Storm We Made, which follows a mother in 1945 Malay grappling with how her secret work as a spy has resulted in the brutal Japanese occupation tearing her family apart. Then, NPR's Juana Summers chats with Alice McDermott about her novel Absolution, which depicts two American wives looking back on the friendship they developed living in Saigon as their husbands' "helpmeets" during the Vietnam War.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

18:16

12 Jan 24

Roxane Gay fleshes out her strong 'Opinions'

In the era of constant hot takes, what actually makes an opinion worthwhile? Roxane Gay tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe that it's a combination of things: credibility, backing arguments, articulation. In today's episode, Gay discusses her collection of nonfiction essays Opinions and the topics she tackles throughout — from the overuse of the word 'empathy' in today's discourse to the truly terrible experience of Father's Day shopping.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Roxane Gay fleshes out her strong 'Opinions'

In the era of constant hot takes, what actually makes an opinion worthwhile? Roxane Gay tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe that it's a combination of things: credibility, backing arguments, articulation. In today's episode, Gay discusses her collection of nonfiction essays Opinions and the topics she tackles throughout — from the overuse of the word 'empathy' in today's discourse to the truly terrible experience of Father's Day shopping.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:59

11 Jan 24

Celine Saintclare's debut novel explores the life of a 'Sugar,Baby' in London

The protagonist of Celine Saintclare's Sugar, Baby is pretty disillusioned with her life: She's 21 and still at home, she has few friends and she feels like she'll never live up to her religious mother's expectations. But when she crosses paths with a London socialite, Agnes is introduced to a glamorous lifestyle bankrolled mostly by sex work and social media posts. In today's episode, NPR's Isabella Gomez Sarmiento speaks with Saintclare about how the novel explores power dynamics, female friendships and social inequalities.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Celine Saintclare's debut novel explores the life of a 'Sugar,Baby' in London

The protagonist of Celine Saintclare's Sugar, Baby is pretty disillusioned with her life: She's 21 and still at home, she has few friends and she feels like she'll never live up to her religious mother's expectations. But when she crosses paths with a London socialite, Agnes is introduced to a glamorous lifestyle bankrolled mostly by sex work and social media posts. In today's episode, NPR's Isabella Gomez Sarmiento speaks with Saintclare about how the novel explores power dynamics, female friendships and social inequalities.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

11:25

10 Jan 24

Olympic runner Caster Semenya's memoir tackles gender stereotypes in sports

When she was only a teenager, South African runner Caster Semenya won gold at the 2009 World Championships. But she was soon faced with intense scrutiny over her gender and testosterone levels and forced to endure intrusive questions and tests about her eligibility to compete. In her new memoir, The Race to Be Myself, Semenya opens up about having her skill and merit challenged on a global stage and choosing self-love over it all. She speaks with Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes about breaking down expectations for women athletes, and raising her own daughters with that experience in mind.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Olympic runner Caster Semenya's memoir tackles gender stereotypes in sports

When she was only a teenager, South African runner Caster Semenya won gold at the 2009 World Championships. But she was soon faced with intense scrutiny over her gender and testosterone levels and forced to endure intrusive questions and tests about her eligibility to compete. In her new memoir, The Race to Be Myself, Semenya opens up about having her skill and merit challenged on a global stage and choosing self-love over it all. She speaks with Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes about breaking down expectations for women athletes, and raising her own daughters with that experience in mind.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

11:35

9 Jan 24

Booker Prize winner 'Prophet Song' is a dystopian tale of Irish authoritarianism

Early on in today's interview with author Paul Lynch, he says he was careful not to specify whether his dystopian novel Prophet Song is set in the future. Instead, the gripping tale of an Irish family sticking together through the fall of democracy focuses on the present moment and the personal relationships affected by it. In today's episode, Lynch speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about the power of fiction to break through the noise of news and social media – and the weight of his own platform after winning the Booker Prize.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

Booker Prize winner 'Prophet Song' is a dystopian tale of Irish authoritarianism

Early on in today's interview with author Paul Lynch, he says he was careful not to specify whether his dystopian novel Prophet Song is set in the future. Instead, the gripping tale of an Irish family sticking together through the fall of democracy focuses on the present moment and the personal relationships affected by it. In today's episode, Lynch speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about the power of fiction to break through the noise of news and social media – and the weight of his own platform after winning the Booker Prize.Learn more about sponsor message choices: podcastchoices.com/adchoicesNPR Privacy Policy

08:14

8 Jan 24

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