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NPR's Book of the Day

by NPR

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 big questions of our times – or temporarily escape from them – we've got an author who will speak to you, all genres, mood and writing styles included. Catch today's great books in 15 minutes or less.

Copyright: Copyright 2021 NPR - For Personal Use Only

Episodes

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

8m · Published 11 Apr 07:00
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.
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'Wild Kingdom' co-host Rae Wynn-Grant found nature on TV

7m · Published 10 Apr 07:00
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.
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Amor Towles revisits an old protagonist in 'Table for Two'

9m · Published 09 Apr 07:00
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.
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Hanif Abdurraqib's new book ponders LeBron James, growing up and going home

14m · Published 08 Apr 07:00
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.

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

18m · Published 05 Apr 07:00
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.
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'Grief Is for People' is Sloane Crosley's memoir about losing a close friend

9m · Published 04 Apr 07:00
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.
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'Wuhan' analyzes China's management and response to the COVID-19 pandemic

10m · Published 03 Apr 07:00
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.
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'Whalefall' by Daniel Kraus is a thriller about diving, loss and new beginnings

10m · Published 02 Apr 12:00
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.
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'Climate Capitalism' projects an optimistic future for environmental policy

10m · Published 01 Apr 07:00
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.
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Don Paterson and Michael Ondaatje's new books meditate on poetry, time and memory

16m · Published 29 Mar 07:00
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
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NPR's Book of the Day has 673 episodes in total of non- explicit content. Total playtime is 120:55:30. The language of the podcast is English. This podcast has been added on August 9th 2022. It might contain more episodes than the ones shown here. It was last updated on April 11th, 2024 07:12.

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