This fiction debut features gambling lost souls in the American West during the 1950s. It's written with gorgeous prose. Here's what the story is about.
I've captured here the novels I mentioned on NPR member station WOSU All Sides Weekend Books that aired November 8, 2019.
Ben Lerner's new novel "The Topeka School" takes us back to the 1990s with the return of Adam Gordon, the protagonist in Lerner's first novel, "Leaving from the Atocha Station." Adam is a graduating high school senior and debate champion, but Lerner is up to much more than a good story about a Kansas boy.
Twenty-five nominees in five categories made it from the longlist to the shortlist of the National Book Awards. Here's a look at three of them, and also one that didn't make the cut but has an interesting scandal going on in Norway.
Will it be Margaret Atwood's sequel to “The Handmaid's Tale”? Or perhaps Lucy Ellman's one-sentence epic? This year's shortlist offers six novels that embrace the issues of our times. Here's the list and thoughts to go with it.
In “The Secrets We Kept,” Lara Prescott unfolds a little-known, Cold War story about Boris Pasternak’s “Doctor Zhivago.” It’s historical fiction that’s entertaining, with a colorful cast of characters.
"A Girl Returned" is the English-language debut of Italian author Donatella Di Pietrantonio. This memorable novel captivates readers with its young narrator whose identity and sense of belonging is shattered by her misguided family.
So many summer books, so little time. You'll be sorry, though, if you missed these two.
"The Gone Dead," a novel by Chanelle Benz, immerses readers in the Mississippi Delta with protagonist Billie James suspecting foul play in her father's death 30 years ago. This atmospheric debut explores themes of deceit, race relations and family ties.
Françoise Gilot’s memoir of her 10 years with Pablo Picasso, published in 1964, was met with praise and controversy. The best-seller is now back in print. Here’s what “Life With Picasso” is about and why critics praised and criticized it.
A secret agent's diary written in the days leading up to World War II finds its way to upstate New York in 1988 in this compelling new spy novel by David Downing.
Take time this summer to enjoy a moving memoir by John Connell, a story about returning home to the family farm in Ireland.
Award-winning poet and essayist Ocean Vuong has written an emotionally raw coming of age story with "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous."
We should allow ourselves more often to wander through the library stacks. Here are two novels I hadn't planned on reading.
Two absorbing novels about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Syrian civil war illustrate how the region's politics and trauma affect the daily lives of citizens. One a story of friends, the other a story of family, these memorable novels make the news headlines human.